Doing well by doing good is a goal aspired to by many socially conscious people. But those who act on this goal are truly unique. "As I neared 40, I realized there's more to life than the next raise and promotion," says Greg Thompson, an IBM Corp. project manager in Atlanta. So Mr. Thompson started volunteering with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), and has since helped stage annual fund-raising breakfasts for 6000 people and a drug-education program.
In order to achieve true career security in today's tough times, we must re-imagine ourselves as "career athletes." We must see ourselves as a new breed of worker-champion. Our model is not that of the athletes engaged in professional sports, but rather, the athletes who are most like us. Worker-champions are the workplace version of Olympians, at least Olympians as they were originally envisioned. These champions are not amateurs; they are athletic activists.
Most bosses think they do a pretty good job of keeping their subordinates happy. Don Bibeault has no such illusions. "I'm not a jolly fellow who's fun to be with," says Mr. Bibeault, a former turnaround specialist and CEO in Mill Valley, California . "I'm extremely dedicated and determined, and I don't have time to sugarcoat problems. If that's considered abrasive behavior, so be it."
Alan Reisberg was eager to find a more challenging job that would broaden his expertise. But unlike candidates who hope only to move from point A to point B, the New York advertising manager already had point C in sight when he quit his job at a major ad agency after nine years.