With over thirty years of business experience, I can say with high confidence that I love the investment business and start-up companies – the extremely interesting, motivated, opinionated, innovative and influential people I have met and worked with has proven exhilarating. A large common factor through different periods of my life has been the desire to identify and reach new goals. In my teens and twenties, the focus was on school and sports. Once I reached my thirties, the focus started to change. While I am still motivated by setting and pushing to reach new goals, I have become increasingly energized by personal growth, group dynamics and their role in organizations and influence in success.
In 1991, I started what ended up being a five year effort as a group facilitator for people wishing to make significant changes in their lives. The experience was illuminating and powerful for me. Several years into my group facilitation experience, I started to work with my first really impactful coach – an Olympic coach who taught me as much about triathlon training as he did about personal growth and the importance of mastery principles in skill development. We worked together for six years. Approximately thirty triathlons later, including two Ironmans and five Half Ironmans, I felt I really knew what it meant to be committed to something, including the effort required to be my best. I still practice what I learned during that six year period of time, and it has formed the foundation of my coaching practice.
In the late 1990s, I was a member of a four person group which we called “The Life Goals Group.” I really witnessed and lived in a powerful way how the group can be a huge positive influencing factor in life. Each of us created life visions and reached life goals as a result of that group. In addition to competing in Ironman triathlons as a result of the group, I decided I needed to have the best education I could as an investment professional. Hence, at the age of 42 I completed the requirements to become a CFA charter-holder, the gold standard in investment certification.
Over the ensuing ten years, I managed money, led teams and client relationships and found the individual performance and group dynamics to be increasingly important and attractive. In an effort to gain a concentrated academic grounding in strategy, organizational development, team dynamics and leadership, I did a fabulous one year M.S. in Management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. The school opened my eyes to what greatness can be, as well as the interplay between great strategy and successful leadership implementation. My experience at Stanford motivated me to help move organizations and individuals to higher levels of success. I believe in the Stanford GSB’s motto “change lives, change organizations, change the world.” The next step has been the formation of Atherton Consulting Group, LLC.