You know that there are some people who seem to just get it right…you watch them with admiration wondering how they instinctively know where to be and how to do it. Well, Martha fits that bill. From what she calls a humble background…up to THE most senior levels in banking…and now moving from her first quasi (but not really) retirement and into a new phase. All through that accomplished path, it’s seems she’s been fulfilled and comfortable with her decisions and place in life.
She calls herself an “accidental tourist” in banking, where she ended up by a stroke of luck on the way to a teaching career after being the first in her family to attend college. At her career pinnacle at a major money center bank, she was a member of the Bank’s Senior Management Committee (those are the big boys, by the way) heading up businesses that operated in 62 countries, generating revenues in excess of $2 billion, with 6000 people reporting to her. The demands of a job like this are enormous. When you’re the CEO of a global business, you’re on a plane to somewhere every other day and have virtually no free time. That’s called the C-Suite…and that’s what she achieved.
And then in her mid-50s…the bank was acquired and she had no desire to move to Europe, the home of the acquiring bank and its senior management. Given her stature in the industry, offers of high powered positions came her way. She didn’t sign on, however. And I’d venture to say that her reasoning was more likely to have been followed by a woman than a man: Her father became ill and she didn’t want the conflict of the herculean business responsibility getting in the way of caring for him. At the same time, she had recently remarried…another motivating factor that led into her first transition out of the C Suite.