Passionate about helping people
Eden Park Group came about in part by evolution and in part by design as a result of my interest in the areas of Life & Career Development and Leadership which I studied while doing a master’s degree in organizational psychology. I started my own consulting firm in 2002 after being a partner with a global consulting firm, and I began to evolve my consulting focus from strategy implementation toward organizational and leadership development during my master’s degree. When I completed my degree in 2012, I started to explore the synergies between career management and leadership development. As a former C-suite executive, I came to realize that there is an under-served market in the area of career management and leadership development – two disciplines which go hand-in-hand.
In my experience, I’ve found that many people fall into their careers and then make their way forward with some combination of deliberate planning and serendipity. This was true in my case. When I was in the last year of my undergraduate degree, I applied for one job in financial services and ended up in another job. It was the person in Human Resources who decided that I would be a better ‘fit’ in one job over the other. As it turned out, she was right and so began my successful career in bond trading. After bond trading, I became a capital markets executive, a partner in a global consulting firm, an entrepreneur creating my own consulting company, then back into industry as an Executive Vice President in the capital markets division of a Canadian bank, and then back to being an entrepreneur.
Owning Your Career
When I began my career, organizations used to determine your career path. People tended to work for one organization for their entire career, and while career paths were well defined they were often controlled by others. Today, this isn’t the case. Many people today will work for multiple organizations throughout their career, and most people are on their own to figure out a career path and what’s right for them. This works out better for most people because they have more control over their own destiny but it also means that they need to invest more time and effort into planning their career if they want to get the most out of their career.
When I started working, leadership development was a top-down concept. Moreover, leadership development was limited to people managers. As organizational structures have flattened, leadership is no longer a top-down hierarchical concept. Leadership has become more democratic and collaborative – where more people throughout the organization contribute to the leadership process. As a result, “soft-skills” like emotional and social awareness have become increasingly important. I’ve seen this throughout my career and current research supports this view. The World Economic Forum, in its report “The Future of Jobs” (2020), identifies required skills in the lead up to 2025 such as critical thinking and analysis as well as problem-solving, and skills in self-management such as active learning, resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility. Hence, Emotional Intelligence is becoming a core capability of 21st century leadership.
Where Do You Find Help?
In the marketplace, career and leadership services are fragmented. In the career space, services are limited. In the leadership space, the focus is more on hard skills than on soft skills.
At Eden Park, we have taken an integrated approach to career and leadership development. We believe that career and leadership development are two sides of the same coin – the two go hand in hand.
We are passionate about helping people. We offer career and leadership coaching services to people throughout their career life cycle and we welcome the opportunity to work with you!
Heather Stewart, MSc Org Psych