fbpx
Search
Close this search box.
ET Project \ Podcasts

ET-054: The Queen of Courage with Effortless Vitality in Retirement

With Ms. Sharon Rolph

ET-054: A conversation with Ms. Sharon Rolph

and your host Wayne Brown on July 04, 2023

Episode notes: A conversation with Ms Sharon Rolph

Hello and welcome to the ET Project. I’m your host, Wayne Brown, and as usual, we’re delighted to be delivering this podcast for executive talent all over the world whom we’re affectionately referring to as Team ET.

Today we are off to the greater Seattle area, in Washington. For the non-American’s this is located at the top north west corner of the USA and is not Washington DC which is on the east coast and where you find the White House. Often a point of confusion for many of us. We’re heading to Seattle, to visit our guest Ms. Sharon Rolph.

  • Make sure that you check out her book “Fresh Courage In Retirement.” and several free eBooks
  • Plus, the Loneliness to Resilience Community
  • As well Sharon offers Coaching and Development programs

Here is an extract from our conversation as we start to get into it…

“… So for our listeners, Sharon is a young 75 years old. It’s super impressive that you are so energetic, so enthusiastic about life and engaged with what you’re doing. So kudos to you. I’m really hopeful that at 63, I’m hopeful that in 12 years time, I still have the energy and the vitality that you do. We were just talking before I hit record about an influencer that we are having as a common interest, Dr. Lance Secretan.

Now, Lance is 84 and still going strong. So there is no limit to what can be achieved in the world today. So the topic that you really put a lot of focus on is on retirement and helping people transition into retirement. Before we get into that, I wonder if you’d mind just sharing a little bit of your backstory. What was your career about? What brought you to this point? And we’ll go from there….”

Today’s Guest: MS. SHARON ROLPH

As a behavioral scientist, Essence and retirement coach, Sharon is known as the Queen of Courage, after working 50+ years in the corporate world.

Being a maximizer, she loves to bring out the best in people. She’s passionate about helping others find their joy, helping them repurpose their unique talent, experience, knowledge and values, into their defined Spark, so that life becomes an effortless and priceless expression of themselves.

For most of her life Sharon felt invisible and when she retired, wondered how she’d know if she was productive.

Today at the young age of 75 Sharon is a motivational influencer.

Her days now feel “right” since finding her Spark. This transformation that Sharon experienced is now offered to her clients.

Sharon’s sparkle, passion and youthful appearance are easily confirmed. Mental strength and faith have given her a healthy lifestyle.

The concept of Potential has intrigued Sharon from a very young age and she loves to help others find their uniqueness. That’s what she sees in people, from her Behavioral Science perspective. She inspires curiosity and possibilities in everyone.

Final words from Sharon:

“a couple of things. One is that I see the Loneliness Community being step one, I’m planning to also do another follow on community called “Mental Strength” that’s getting those negative worries out of and the fear in your life, reading them out. ‘Cause I think that has a lot to do with me looking so young.

And then the third step would be to take them into the inner discovery of your inner spark. But a quote that I found at work one day that just means so much to me is that, “If one has a talent and cannot use it, one has failed. If one has a talent and learns how to use partially that talent, one is partially failed.

But if one has a talent and somehow finds out how to use a whole of it, they have gloriously succeeded.” And what a satisfaction few people ever know. I want that to be you…”

[music]

0:00:01.6 Wayne Brown: Hello, I’m your host, Wayne Brown, and welcome to the ET Project. We’re delighted to be delivering this podcast for executive talent all over the world, whom we’re affectionately referring to as team ET. Today we’re off to the greater Seattle area in Washington state. For the non-Americans, this is located at the top northwest corner of the USA and it’s not Washington DC which is on the East coast and where you’ll find the White House, this is so often a point of confusion for many of us. We’re heading to Seattle to visit our guest, Ms. Sharon Rolph. As a behavioral scientist, an essence and retirement coach, Sharon is known as the queen of courage. After working 50 plus years in the corporate world, being a maximizer, she loves to bring out the best in people. She’s passionate about helping others find their joy, helping them repurpose their unique talent, their experience, knowledge, and values into their defined sparks so that life becomes an effortless, priceless expression of themself.

0:01:08.9 WB: For most of her life, Sharon felt invisible. And when she retired, wondered how she’d know if she was being productive. Today, at the young age of 75, Sharon is a motivational influencer. Her days now feel right since finding her spark. This transformation that Sharon experienced is now offered to her clients. Sharon’s sparkle, passion and youthful appearance are easily confirmed. Mental strength and faith have given her a healthy lifestyle. And the concept of potential has intrigued Sharon from a very young age, and she loves to help others find their uniqueness. That’s what she sees in people from their behavioral science perspective. She inspires curiosity and possibilities in everybody. So with that team ET, brace yourself for another great conversation this time with our guest, Ms. Sharon Rolph. In this episode titled, “The Queen of Courage with Effortless Vitality in Retirement.”

0:02:11.0 Speaker 2: Welcome to the ET project, a podcast for those executive talents determined to release their true potential and create an impact. Join our veteran coach and mentor, Wayne Brown as we unpack an exciting future together.

0:02:24.7 WB: All right, well, good morning again, team ET. Great to have you here for yet another week, and I say it every week. But again, we have a fantastic guest joining us for a conversation today. Behavioral scientist, Sharon Rolph goes by the AKA of the Queen of courage. So Sharon, I’m really looking forward to this conversation. Welcome to the ET project. Great to have you here for a conversation and look forward to unpacking some of what you do.

0:02:58.9 Sharon Rolph: Thank you, Wayne. It’s an honor to be here and I love… Well, most behavioral scientists deal with people who are addicts, I think. I never wanted to work with addicts. I wanna work with people who are good and take them to better. ‘Cause I am all about potential and I’m even realizing in the last week how much potential has been a part of my life theme through since a teenager actually.

0:03:29.6 WB: And you call yourself a maximizer now, does that come out of the CliftonStrengths? Maximizer?

0:03:36.2 SR: Yes.

0:03:36.9 WB: Okay.

0:03:37.8 SR: Yes.

0:03:38.4 WB: I’m also a maximizer. That’s number three on my list. We had that in common.

0:03:43.8 SR: Yeah, I think I’m number one and I’m still not sure why it’s number one, but I’ll take it. [laughter]

0:03:49.3 WB: So, for those listening, what does that mean to you to be a maximizer?

0:03:56.1 SR: I think it has something to do with potential, but it also has, I think, has to do with recognizing that we’re all in one community. And it goes back to what I just said. I wanna bring out the best in people. I want to… I read a book years ago called, “Liberating Greatness.” And I think I wanna liberate greatness in everybody. [laughter]

0:04:21.4 WB: Am I allowed to say your age on this podcast?

0:04:24.4 SR: Yes, I brag about it. Yes. Yes, yes, please.

0:04:26.4 WB: So for our listeners, Sharon is a young 75 years old. It’s super impressive that you are so energetic, so enthusiastic about life and engaged with what you’re doing. So kudos to you. I’m really hopeful that at 63, I’m hopeful that in 12 years time, I still have the energy and the vitality that you do. We were just talking before I hit record about an influencer that we are having as a common interest, Dr. Lance Secretan. Now, Lance is 84 and still going strong. So there is no limit to what can be achieved in the world today. So the topic that you really put a lot of focus on is on retirement and helping people transition into retirement. Before we get into that, I wonder if you’d mind just sharing a little bit of your backstory. What was your career about? What brought you to this point? And we’ll go from there.

0:05:29.5 SR: Well, in fact, as you’re talking, I got thinking that all this, I was tapped down in my career. I felt invisible. And actually I kind of made a vow when I was very young, maybe 18, 12 years old, that I wanted to be invisible because it felt safe in our home. But so, I was just diligent doing what’s required, being reliable, responsible, and don’t rock through. [laughter]

0:06:07.7 WB: Right.

0:06:07.9 SR: So since I retired, I started coaching school just the week before. And so all that hidden energy, vitality that I did all through my career has now exploded. [laughter] So I worked for General Telephone, GTE for 19 years, and both here in the Seattle area and in Tampa, Florida. And then I moved myself to Dallas, Texas. Was there for 12 years and then came back to Washington where I was born and raised and I say we have a thousand shades of green here. [laughter]

0:06:56.9 WB: You have a book that I’ve read partially called “Fresh Courage In Retirement.” In the book you talk about some of the challenges… In the early part of the book, you talk about the challenges of moving, initially from Washington down to Tampa. I found that was quite an interesting transition for you. I wonder if you could share a little bit about some of those challenges you experienced and why you think that is.

0:07:23.9 SR: Well, I before I left at the kinda goodbye party that my friends put on for me, somebody had said, they were going around, “What’s your words of advice for Sharon?” And this one person said, “Well, give yourself at least six months before you consider coming back home.” And after about four months, I thought, “I’ve got this. I think it’s working out pretty good.” And then it hit me. And I had actually kind of a sense before I moved to Florida, maybe two, three years before that, that I would be leaving here. So I looked around and said, “What would I miss of Washington?” And I decided I’d miss the seagulls. Well, Florida has a lot of water, but they don’t have that many seagulls. It seems like they were deprived.

[laughter]

0:08:20.7 SR: So I took a couple of posters of seagulls before I left. But I also, I had been reading the book, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” even on the plane down there. I remember that. And I considered the start with the end in mind. And so I thought, “Okay, I’m starting a new life and what would I want people to say at my funeral?” And I decided I wanted them to say that I was generous. So pondering all those seven habits was pretty effective. But the other thing that I was chewing on at the time was I didn’t know hardly anybody there. The people that had transferred there before me, I may see them in the lunchroom once every three, four months. And I would often go into work and I say, well, if I wanted this kind of element to buy, I would go to the Ace hardware or something where would I go to in Florida? So I had to pick people’s brain as to what’s the new setting there, what’s the new norms and all the… Oh, I noticed one of the norms was it wasn’t peach and teach and teal. They had different words for those same colors. Oh, this is the Sandy beach kind of culture.

[laughter]

0:09:45.1 SR: But I was… Somehow I got onto… In the Bible, in Joshua 1 and 2, it talks a lot about courage. And being in a new place, it took courage to ask for help. Those two chapters talked about, “Do not be afraid. Be courageous. Be very courageous.” And it was all about courage and don’t fear. I realized, well, I wouldn’t even stop my foot. I refuse to be afraid or full of fear. ‘Cause one of my sayings here, my art blocks that I make is, “Worry is a misuse of imagination.” And to me, that’s the opposite of courage, ’cause that’s spinning your wheels and wasting your energy to worry.

0:10:38.0 WB: Right.

0:10:41.0 SR: So anyway, that’s probably where my queen of courage even started, like 20, 30 years ago. So the other thing I like to talk about that goes along with courage is, possibilities. Being curious.

0:11:00.7 WB: Yes.

0:11:02.2 SR: ‘Cause curious and possibilities and courage and hope, they’re all kind of spiritual words, don’t you think?

0:11:07.6 WB: Yeah. Very true. Very powerful words when you apply them throughout your life, sure. If I look at character traits or values, CliftonStrengths we’ve mentioned we have the, Seligman VIA characters, these words are dominant or prominent in those areas as well. So I think very true.

0:11:32.5 SR: Yeah. ‘Cause so often, in fact, as I read Lance’s book, “Reawakening the Human Spirit” is so much of our lives as like, “We got to figure it out, we got to control this. We got to… ” Putting an extra effort. And there’s an element of faith that opens us up to new possibilities, something beyond our resources. It invites an unknown element into our circumstances. And I believe God wants to help us a lot. Instead we, “Oh, no, no, I can handle it.”

[laughter]

0:12:12.6 SR: Instead of being open to what else is possible. Do you find that, Wayne?

0:12:20.2 WB: I’m an advocate of needing to be a curious person. One of the things that I speak a lot about is the need for all leaders, and if I talk to our audience, which are leaders, the need to be constantly curious, exploring, questioning, open, I think is absolutely essential for everybody. I have an 8 year old daughter, and it’s one of the things that I share with her that one of the absolutes that I would hope she develops is that sense of curiosity that you can take through a life.

0:12:56.3 SR: Yeah. I remember answering one of Lance’s questions on LinkedIn and I used the word curious and his response was, “You’ll be forever young.” And I, “Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about here.”

0:13:10.1 WB: Fantastic. You showed that little piece of artwork there, and in your book, each chapter is preceded or concludes, whichever way you look at the book with a piece of artwork and a little piece of wisdom. So how did you get into doing this? Is this a hobby that you developed? [laughter] How did this come about?

0:13:30.0 SR: Kinda of, yes. My mom had stamped out some quilt blocks that were the theme of all the quilt blocks was birds and flowers of the states. So when she passed away, I decided that I would finish her project ’cause she hadn’t put one stitch of embroidery on it. I haven’t finished it either, [laughter] but it opened the door to these little art blocks. So these are just postcard size. But I love… We need to help people think, I don’t know if they want to think, but I love inspiring them to think. [laughter] And so in fact, I’ll probably use this a lot in my new community that I’m starting, is that when we socialize, we’re happier and especially in retirement ’cause we no longer have business card to tell us who we are anymore. [laughter] We don’t have a team to work with.

0:14:30.9 SR: Anyway, here’s one of my favorites. In fact, as I’m even in reading Lance’s book, I’m cupping down some lines that I could use that to help people think. So in the Shack book, there’s several times that there’s a, I’m fond of you that God or the Trinity is saying about us. And I’m hearing a lot the last the few months of how we need to love ourselves because that helps open up, the flower begins to bloom the more we love ourselves and stop judging what’s happening and what we’ve done in the past. But I’ve always struggled with weight, extra weight and I finally decided I’m doing the best I can. What a difference that made that stop the judging. And that was a big step in moving towards loving me more. [chuckle]

0:15:37.9 WB: In your business, you are listed as a spark/essence in retirement coach. Spark in retirement, I’m understanding. What is an essence coach? Could you explain what that is, please?

0:15:54.3 SR: Okay. Let me start by saying what my essence is. The first thing we learned in coaching school, the very first class was to write our essence statement. Here’s what mine, the discovery I made with mine. I am precious jewel of wisdom. I am colorful, collaborator, motivator, and learner. I am tranquil, authentic and pure inspirer. I light fires, I light your fire.

0:16:26.4 WB: Very good.

0:16:26.5 SR: So that takes… Well, this might be difficult to see because I still have the plastic on it, but we take what you love to do, what your personal qualities are, your hot button, your aspirations, your values, and guiding principles and wrap that all up into a metaphor. And it kind of reminds me, when you read the parables in the Bible, each time you read the same parable, it can tell you different things. Well, that’s what happens with this nature story that we wrap, I have an amazing story about having been in the Mayfest in Dallas and this guy booth way back at the back corner. It was a jewelry… Well, it was a geometry teacher turned jeweler.

0:17:16.3 WB: I can see the connection. [laughter]

0:17:17.7 SR: Yeah. It’s like, I remember unique stuff, but I wrote just I think on my Facebook page this morning, learn the elements to be a pro, but then as an artist, break the rules because you’re different than everybody else. And anyway, this jeweler had stackables and I put them on my finger. Oh, I actually have a ring here. [laughter] I put the rings on my finger and something moved in my gut. I just happened, I was bewildered. I took them off and put them back on and it moved again and I was stunned. I kind of quickly left the booth because what just happened? And I later used that symbolism of Julie to describe how I contributed to my team at work at GTE and the value, the brilliance, the shine that… Anyway, on and on. And so when it came to my writing my essence, I used that same analogy. And at the end of writing our essence statement, which I’ve now changed the name to “Inner Spark” ’cause it has a lot to do with our inner motivation that we stood in a circle and we read our statements to each other. Nobody had ever asked me to share my soul before. That’s what it felt like. And that’s what I wanna do for everybody.

[laughter]

0:19:01.0 WB: And the card you just shared on the screen, just to remind people, it’s called “Inner Spark 90 Day Discovery Pursuit.” And as I understand it, you do two versions of that. You have a one-on-one coaching as well as a group coaching.

0:19:15.7 SR: Yes. For retirees, I think it’s really important for you to discuss with people who no longer have a job that, have you forgotten who you are? You still have your education, your colleagues, your talents. You’ve been through a lot in life. And just because you don’t have a business card anymore doesn’t mean that you’re invisible now. Repurpose those things from your life into something that you can do from your heart instead of from your head that your bosses usually want your brain knowledge. But another one of the little things, yeah. Have you forgotten who you are? [chuckle] This is actually a line from “The Lion King.” When… I don’t… It’s been a long time since I seen it, and I don’t remember the names of the Lions, but the one that went off to find out what life was about.

0:20:22.9 SR: But he was the next in heir for the head of the tribe, the lion tribe, and his cousin or somebody comes and finds him and says, “You forgotten who you are.” Well, the easiest transition for retirees that somebody gave me, ’cause I actually happened to have this special lady on my podcast, and I wasn’t even planning for her. I was talking to her husband, but she said the easiest transition is do what you did for charity. So if you were a pilot, find something or someone that needs delivering.

0:20:57.8 WB: You have an ebook that I feel covers that topic very nicely. It’s called “Three Tips for Creating a New Life After Retirement.” And the three tips are essentially what you’re explaining at the moment. So tip one, if I read from the book, it says, find other sources of value. And that’s essentially what you’re talking about, how to repurpose your uniqueness in other ways as you transition into retirement.

0:21:24.0 SR: Yeah. What a difference when you get to live from your heart. Nobody tells us that’s the freedom. One of the freedoms we get in retirement is we now get to do what makes our heart sing. And maybe you loved your former job and find new… well, what is it? Repurpose your engineering, re-engineering your colleagues and education and all that. Yeah.

0:21:52.3 WB: Right. The second one you talk about, and you talk a lot about it, is charity. So giving your value through charity to help of service to humanity, if you like. How do people go about finding the charity that they’re passionate about? Do you have any suggestion in that regard?

0:22:16.3 SR: Well, I probably do actually… That’s another free resource I easily give out. In fact, I have a Facebook page for, “Fresh Courage In Retirement.” I’m not positive it’s on that page, but it should be. And I know it will be a gift that people get when they join my Loneliness to Resilience community that starts in next week, in fact. I have a bunch of books and movies and websites, places that could be… Get that curiosity going and being possibilities of what new things you could, that makes your heart sing. I know that there’s a couple of matching services, but they don’t come to mind right now. And I regret it. I can’t give that to you, but it is… Email me or contact me on either my webpage sharonrolph.com, or on my Facebook page and I’ll be happy to send that to people ’cause I’d keep adding to the list over five or six years now. So it’s rather extensive.

0:23:28.3 WB: You also have a YouTube channel, I believe that you’re active on. We’ll put the links in our show notes of course, to make sure everyone has access to everything that you have on offer. Let’s transition now. You provided a nice segue into the new community and the program that you’re setting up for Loneliness to Resilience. What’s it about? What’s the purpose behind this community?

0:23:54.7 SR: I got inspired by reading last month our surgeon general’s book, “Together” was the name of the book. And he gave lots of examples how there’s various times in our life being preschoolers and primary grades and getting your first job or getting college. How you gotta find yourself kind of thing in college. And he moved to… He was from India and he moved to Boston. I think he was first in… Oh, His parents moved to Florida and then in his career he moved to Boston ’cause that’s where one of his first jobs was. All of the different ways that either bullying showed up or that loss feeling or, “Where do I belong? And I’m different, I don’t fit in here maybe.” And it really tugged at my heart because I felt like I solved that problem. And when I was about 22, I was crocheting an Afghan, Ripple Afghans were in then.

0:25:03.8 SR: It was a Friday night and I was crocheting on my Afghan and this critical voice came and said, “Well, Sharon you’re a young lady, you should be out there socializing. You should go to the bars or whatever, be active with other people.” And I said, “Wait a minute, I chose to be here. I kind of like my own company and I’m doing what I wanna do here tonight.” So I’m kind of like, “Go talk to somebody else. Scoop.” And it never bothered me ever again. And since I’m considering starting this community, I thought, “Well, what do I really have to share with, since I haven’t struggled with it, do I really have much to say?” But just in this last couple weeks, I realized before I left Seattle and went to Tampa, and my bye-party, will visit this, at a restaurant.

0:26:08.5 SR: My best friend told me she had never known anybody to be so resilient. Me, are you talking about me? [laughter] And I realize now that I’m starting to appreciate, I had been taught in my family about, we’re Christians and we’re not the kind of people that go to bars or, go dancing or go… We had a lot of restrictions and they put with that message and we’re different and that’s okay, that we’re not like everybody else. So that was our uniqueness and I love uniqueness. So that resilience… Well, yeah, that willingness to be different and it be okay, might be where that connection to resilience started from.

0:27:05.9 WB: In the context of this community, is the loneliness people are feeling as they transition out of one life into this life of retirement, is that the connection with the loneliness? Or is it…

0:27:20.9 SR: Yeah.

0:27:21.1 WB: Anyone that’s feeling lonely, it’s a epidemic at the moment, there’s so much loneliness in the world. So is there a group you’re targeting, maybe a better question for the community?

0:27:33.8 SR: I’m actually opening it up to everybody. I actually have a nephew that is quite depressed and I’m not exactly looking for depressed people, but people who feel like we had a term staring at your belly button, have you heard that term? That you’re so…

0:27:53.3 WB: Navel gazing. Yes.

0:27:58.6 SR: Yeah. [laughter] That you’re so sad about the friends you don’t have, or the talent you don’t have, or parents that you don’t have that you’re just kind of feel stuck around your social and possibly your emotional life. So I have constructed 25 questions for reflection. I’m not sure we have been taught how to reflect or that we do it very often, when we’re sitting around watching a campfire. Yeah, you might reflect while you’re looking at the flames but how often you do that? Maybe every 5, 10 years. But reflecting on how did you get here is one of my first questions. Maybe you made a bad decision or choice. Maybe your lover, relationship broke up and you just thought the world of that. And now who are you without this special person in your life? People who feel stuck around, “Woe is me.” And one of the first things to do, first challenge I have is talking about, how can you be grateful for today? Or how can you help somebody? Oh, that would be another one. Random acts of kindness. Or see the third one. Another one was, well, can you forgive yourself or someone else? Those are healing questions that maybe we don’t wanna look at, but they might be the tiniest little move towards a better state of mind for you. And as a behavioral scientist, that all means a lot to me, and I think it’s worth being serious about answering some reflective questions and making choices.

0:30:06.6 WB: The whole premise of being more self-aware, to look inwardly first, to understand the emotional as well as the rational, logic of the emotional is often hardest.

0:30:20.8 SR: I think I’m going to start each meeting with giving yourself a hug.

0:30:26.6 WB: If people are interested in connecting with community, you have a website specific for this new group?

0:30:35.7 SR: Oh, yeah. On my sharonrolph.com, there’s a page that’s called “Loneliness to Resilience Community.” And it does have a small fee associated with it because I just wanna make sure we get the ball rolling. And the first 50 people that join will be in the founders group at this special rate and then I actually Wayne, have a goal to reach or touch impact 10% of the boomers, and that’s somewhere around 7 million people. So between these podcasts and these communities and my book, I intend to be heard and make an impact.

0:31:24.3 WB: Good luck with that. I would call it a B-HAG, a big hairy audacious goal, but I love it. Yeah. So it’s great to set your target and it’s a very worthwhile noble cause. So let’s hope that you’re successful in achieving, maybe even exceeding the target. So good luck with the venture. We’re getting towards the end, but I would like just to come back to the topic around coaching people as they prepare for retirement. As somebody who’s just stepped away from the corporate world last year, myself, this is a huge transition point in your life. And you talk about it so adequately and in all of your material that I’m wondering from the individual’s perspective, the person that’s making the transition, is there a plan that you help them put together or is there a process that you work through or anything like that with these people that helps them?

0:32:33.3 SR: Yes. I first start out with helping them recall and kind of go deep self knowledge. Not very many of us know who we really are on the inside. So that’s my first task. But I then go into coaching around the things, these are called the four pillars, health, family, purpose and usually all the training I got on retirement was just around money. But when you… Depending on how your health is in retirement, it may make a difference in what you can do and what you can’t do. There’s often limitations around health. Well, there could be limitations too around family. A lot of people move to wherever their kids are and make the same move as your kids. Or if there is… There could be health issues even in your family that make a difference and help be part of a decision making process. But purpose is one of the big things that’s not talked about that much. Because that’s, again, taking that reinventing yourself and saying, “Now I need a new purpose.”

0:33:44.2 SR: And the volunteering is a big part of that. On my podcast, I interviewed the Washington State, AARP President for six years. And he had a several of… Nine things that you’re gaining when you volunteer. And he says, if your organizations that you’re looking at to volunteer for, if they don’t give you adequate training, you just move on. But he said, “When I volunteered, I found out that my dentist was quite a bicyclist. He knew three languages and traveled quite a bit of the world.” He used to know that as a dentist, but now he’s volunteering together with his dentist. I think he volunteered down here at the University of Washington Arboretum. He became an expert on wood plants. I still don’t know what wood plants are other than trees [laughter] but that kind of goes outside the realm of plants in my mind. But between learning and coming expert, meeting new people in each… I think he volunteered like four different places. I volunteer to deliver from the food bank to seniors who either have a caregiver and can’t get out or they’re don’t have a car anymore. I think that’s mainly started during the pandemic, but I have four families that I deliver food to every single week. I appreciate being able to serve them with the food that they need.

0:35:19.0 WB: And you kind of feel your heart expanding. One of my stories from my book was a lady here that had been in real estate for 15 years and she had such a hunger to expand her heart. So she dreamed up 12 community service projects around the world. [laughter] And she fed baby lions. She rode an elephant. One of her favorite stories was about being in a baboon sanctuary where they’re caring for animals that had been either sick or injured. So she came back with these people all over the world she knew now.

0:36:08.2 WB: Is this the lady with the Habitat for Humanity Charity, or is this…

0:36:12.0 SR: No, that was actually… No, but she did write a book called “Smiling at the World.” But Habitat for Humanity is another story I love to tell, because you can actually take your RV, go to a place that they’re building a home and you’ve got your own bed and during the day you’re helping a group of people build this house. So the possibilities are just amazing.

0:36:38.5 WB: The premise, if I understand correctly, is you focus on those four pillars. You make sure that people understand, and they think through how retirement is going to play out in those areas. And you talk a lot about re-purposing or re-identifying, re-positioning your purpose of life and what you’re going to focus on, which I think is so critical. I’m not sure that enough people are aware that your purpose is likely to transition as you change in your life.

0:37:13.0 SR: Yes.

0:37:13.5 WB: Right? It’s so important to continually reflect, to your point, reflect on what’s happening in your world and what is it that’s important for you so that you can be happy in what you’re doing and focus on the right things as you’re going through your career, but very important as you come to that point of retirement. So, Sharon, any final words of wisdom that you would like to share with the audience before we wrap up? Anything you would like to say to our leaders that are listening?

0:37:45.4 SR: Well, a couple of things. One is that I see the Loneliness Community being step one, I’m planning to also do another follow on community called “Mental Strength” that’s getting those negative worries out of and the fear in your life, reading them out. ‘Cause I think that has a lot to do with me looking so young. And then the third step would be to take them into the inner discovery of your inner spark. But a quote that I found at work one day that just means so much to me is that, “If one has a talent and cannot use it, one has failed. If one has a talent and learns how to use partially that talent, one is partially failed. But if one has a talent and somehow finds out how to use a whole of it, they have gloriously succeeded.” And what a satisfaction few people ever know. I want that to be you.

0:38:47.1 WB: Very nice. Sharon Rolph. Thank you for being a guest on the ET Project. Fantastic conversation. Really look forward to releasing the episode and getting it out there so other people can hear it. So thank you.

0:39:00.5 SR: You’re certainly welcome. And thanks for having me. I look forward to coming back, Wayne.

[music]

0:39:05.1 Speaker 2: Thank you for joining us on the ET Project, a show for executive talent development. Until next time, check out our site for free videos, ebooks, webinars and blogs at coaching4companies.com.

[music]

Thank you for contributing to this important research.

Please complete the form and submit this form and
continue to download the survey.