This is an excerpt from an introduction I made for myself to a new business community. Posted here to help all better understand what I do and why I do it.
Hi, my name is Craig P. Anderson. I’m a Leadership Confidence Coach helping accidental leaders become confident business owners and executives.
What is an Accidental Leader?
So what is an Accidental Leader anyway? Well, me. I’m a guy with a degree in English who somehow became an SVP for JP Morgan Chase. A guy who likes comic books more than EBITDA ran national divisions for Sallie Mae <ducks>. The last place I thought I’d end up in my career as a senior executive for Fortune 500 companies. But there I was.
And I had a great career, but my non-traditional background led to many challenges. I always felt like I was catching up. I had maybe three business classes in college, and I did not have a distinguished record. My limited knowledge of accounting and finance led me to avoid being noticed during the “high finance” conversations.
Yet, I was good at sales and, as it turns out, good at leadership. So, I kept saying “yes” to things and kept getting promoted. Eventually, I found myself sitting in Manhattan high-rise office buildings surrounded by people with Harvard MBAs. And I was intimidated. I didn’t feel like I belonged there. Mostly I was waiting to be found out for the fraud I thought I was. The Imposter Syndrome in me was intense.
Building My Leadership Confidence
It took an Executive Coach to help me deal with my insecurities. I came to realize there was a reason I was at the table. I understood the value I brought to the company. And I understood why the now CEO of Wells Fargo sought me out at an event and quizzed me about the industry for over an hour. And when you know your value, the Imposter Syndrome gets driven back to a dark corner where it belongs.
Eventually, I ended up launching a small business out of a larger, not-for-profit. The company focused on helping students repay their loans (yay! karmic balancing). And in addition, I focused on building a company focused on its people. I loved helping my employees see the potential in themselves they didn’t know was there.
Helping Leaders Build Their Confidence
And, when we sold that business, I launched Clear Path Coaching and Consulting. A company focused on helping Accidental Leaders become confident executives and business owners.
Fun fact about me. I was a geek before it was cool. I’ve been collecting comics since I was ten. My collection comes in at just under 12,000. A big item on my bucket list was to attend San Diego Comic-Con, which I did for the first time in 2017 (hence the picture).
Take the Next Step on Your Leadership Journey
Are you an executive or business owner struggling with imposter syndrome? You don’t need to. There is a better way. I talk about overcoming imposter syndromes and other ways to become a better leader in the Clear Path Leaders Forum. Join today (no cost involved – it’s a Facebook Group) for weekly training, content to make you a better leader, and great conversations.