Our older daughter, Katie, is getting married in July.  That’s obviously a big (and very happy) deal for our family, but as this great event approaches I’m struck by the clarity of what I am learning from her.  You see, Katie is a teacher.

During her first two years at UCLA, Katie was on the Mock Trial team and seemed destined to go to Law School.  Then she had her first chance to teach during the summer after year two, and this was followed by her chance to travel the world that Fall in the Semester at Sea program.  When she came home, they said she may be different than before she left after seeing the real world, including examples of true poverty and need.  I really wondered what would be different about her. 

It was big.  When she returned home, Katie suddenly knew that she was destined to teach kids – Law School was a distant memory.  She has now been teaching high school for the past five years and is as purposeful about her career as anyone I know; she also travels the world every summer and builds even greater perspective along the way.  I started learning from Katie from the day she decided this was her destiny.

I remember starting my own career and having no real idea what was truly passionate for me, but I see how powerful it is for Katie to be in her zone every day, knowing she is fulfilling her destiny.

Katie is a teacher for me, helping me realize the value of purposefulness.

While I watch her grow each year to become even better at her purposeful craft, it causes me to continually examine my own choices and how I spend my time.  I have to ask myself all the time whether I am living as purposefully as I can.  I see the way Katie pours her heart and soul into helping young people have better lives and achieve far more than they had ever imagined.

Who are the people in your life that are your teachers?  Perhaps it’s those folks that seem to be what you wish you were?  Perhaps it’s just something about them…

When I write these stories, I find that the subject is usually whatever I need to be learning myself right about then.  I suppose that as Katie gets married, I need to both appreciate her for the great person she has become and also to be reminded that I need to stay as purposeful in my life as possible.  Thanks for the reminder, teach!

A Quick Business Update: Our firm and my practice are very busy, and this reflection of business confidence is encouraging for the whole business community.  I’m also thrilled with the great initial success of the proprietary tool in my practice called the Fit Diagnostic – a key part of ensuring the ideal fit of candidates with our clients’ needs and culture.  I’d be happy to discuss this tool or how we might help with talent acquisition needs for your company or others you know.  


Jeff Black
Partner, McDermott & Bull Executive Search

Cell: (714) 356-1949
Office: (949) 529-2672
2 Venture, Suite 100
Irvine, CA 92618


I believe creating relationships that truly fit makes a big difference in the world