Canvas Rebel recently connected with Sharon Birkman and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Sharon, thanks for joining us today. Are you happier as a business owner? Do you sometimes think about what it would be like to just have a regular job?
With ownership comes huge amounts of privilege coupled with vast amounts of responsibility. On most days, I am intensely grateful that my parents founded our company more than 70 years ago with a brave new idea that continues to resonate and help people. My Industrial-Organizational Psychologist father was a pioneer in recognizing the impact of comprehending our social perceptions. And these days, our vision statement is “To harness the power of perception to improve and transform human relationships.” While I am proud to carry the founder’s torch, there have been moments when a regular job or the freedom just to walk away sounded attractive. What I do know for sure is that my decisions, right or wrong, have consequences that can impact the lives, not for our staff, but also for our consultants and clients across the globe who depend on Birkman International. Most of the time, I am super grateful to serve in my role. I would simply say there are stressful moments but overall fulfilling and rewarding days. I love a day when I can drive home feeling “good-tired”!
From the outside, leadership looks attractive and can be exciting, but from the inside, it has also been known to be lonely and can feel isolating. Not surprisingly, the most challenging time for me has been the shock of the sudden Covid-induced separation from most of my employees. Birkman International had been steadily growing over my tenure. And because of this, the office space my father started the company in was now too small.