Sharon Wong Walker is the Sector Leader of CoE HR, Higher Education and Non-profit at Korn Ferry and an Argonaut from Singapore
My journey began over five years ago when I was invited by my close friend and The Argonauts’ initiator Stefan Beiten to become part of a private group, the Honey Badgers. Rich with similar objectives, it led to the imagining, seeding and growth of what is now The Argonauts. Those initial steps gave me a sudden point of “awareness” and I had the simplest of realizations: something was missing. That my life – as it was – was fragmented, that its parts were too dispersed, and that I must find a different direction that would bring about integration, not more separation.
This is why the Argonauts have become an essential box of tools that sits with me, tools that are in fact a companion, because through their holistic approach which covers all from – Personal Transformation, Professional Success, to Relationship Building – I found a way to feel how I need to be: Whole. To stop constantly trying to juggle the scattered parts of my life in a continuous chaos, but to use the tools I am now equipped with to join together all the parts of my life into one navigable stream. Plus, to do this in a way that allows me to keep achieving and also be fulfilled. I see my skills developing daily, am witness to ever more opportunity creation, and am constantly experiencing the structural implementation of frameworks that push me to continue growing as a human being.
We all have struggles. There is no “hierarchy”, where one person’s problems are worse than another’s.”
What I have come to believe is that every single one of us, no matter how seemingly successful, content or happy, has their own challenges to face. Our challenges are just as burdensome as everyone else’s. There is no “hierarchy”, where one person’s problems are worse than another’s. We all have struggles.
For me personally, this never became more apparent than when I was trying to integrate the different components of my daily life – family, my role as a parent, striving to deepen both personal and business relationships – while also being an HR executive. A position that demands you have comprehensive knowledge of the business, while positioning you to work directly with the CEO and all that such a dynamic requires.
At that time, however, HR was merely perceived as an administrative arm within the company and I was not sure, in fact, did not even dare implement the transformation I knew it deserved.
A transformative implementation that – in the role as a HR-executive – I needed to do, that I was demanding of myself, but not acting on. All of this ambition and the need to transform – intertwined with the other components of my life, the time constraints of trying to do and be “everything” – were constantly asking questions of me to the point where I even began asking, “Is it worth it?” The answer I sought wasn’t in three separate places; wasn’t through three separate services, the orthodox solution process of hiring a life coach, an entrepreneurial advisor and a relationship provider were far too expensive anyway. No, it was the creation of a combined resource of expertly applied solutions that allowed me to align all the demands put upon my shoulders with my HR Transformation ambition. All that had been scattered, flung far and wide were to come together within the harmonious banks of my new understanding and flow as one organized life.
The Argonauts’ equipped me with tools that first asked me questions. Questions that I was now equipped to answer. My entrepreneurial growth approach was put into fierce perspective and my relationship building skills were pinpointed as something requiring change. Yet, nothing exploded and threw everything asunder. Rather, I am able to act because of what I found within: The Three Dimensions tool box. I had the power to see. Unconsciously, I was finally able to implement my own mantra, one that had been missing in the past: that HR at the highest level is highly relevant to the company’s culture and is strategic in that role. I finally matter, because what I do is essential to securing personal success, business growth and forward momentum.
This commitment to that awareness has led to the creation of the best performing team (14+ consultants) at Kelly Selection (A Kelly Services Company).
More than anything else it is the fact that I am now finally on a journey that fulfills me. Not that it is complete, or over, but that I am developing in the direction I want to. It is this continuation that gives me an ever-deepening sense of achievement.
It is a journey that has not only brought me to the point where I am now, but it’s one that still offers everything possible, exactly because it isn’t over. The Argonauts’ integration of the Three Dimensions, personal fulfillment, professional success and flourishing relationships provided me with an approach that allows for growth, development, and the power to see. It is these powerful tools that cemented my decision to not only found my own executive search firm – in which I came to have a much deeper understanding of HR – but to also be a founding member of the Argonauts and endeavor to bring its extraordinary community value to more people globally.
Here I am, journeying into a very different future from the one I was set to follow even just a short five years ago. I have finally built an internationally executive search firm based in Singapore that sees the fundamental idea of HR transformation as a strategic culture that is relevant to any company’s success and future.
So, if I can share what I have been able to become with just one more person, I’ll feel an immense sense of achievement. Because in turn they, too, can not only begin their own journey, but hopefully show others how personal transformation, entrepreneurial growth, and relationship building through the Argonauts’ integrated approach is a framework for an integrated life. A toolbox whose effectiveness is further enriched and realized when shared across a platform of like-minded people that hold the same vision and values of wanting to be “whole” not scattered, of needing life’s threads to be integrated, intertwined, not separate and flailing.
– Sharon Wong Walker