AND

A coaching client is moving to Myanmar. (Which is not what usually happens with my clients.)

This client is an adventurer. If he’d been born in the 19th century, he’d have set off with Shackleton. If he’d been born in the 24th century, he’d be off colonizing new planets. Since he was born in the 20th century, he’s moving to the other side of the world.

To Myanmar.

Recently laid off, this client had sought my help strategizing a career plan. As we talked about what adventure could look like in Seattle, this opportunity to work in Myanmar came up.

“Of course you’re going to interview,” I suggested. “More data is a good thing.” He flew to southeast  Asia for the interview and got the job.

Which was a problem.

This client loves his life in Seattle. He loves his house and his neighborhood full of friends. He has a dog.

And he met a girl. He loves this woman. He doesn’t want to leave her behind.

But this job is exactly what he wants to do. It’s work that is a perfectly placed stepping stone to what he wants to do next. He is thrilled by the prospect.

And heartbroken.

Quite the conundrum. No right answer.

He accepted the job on a Friday and reneged the following Monday after a tortured weekend, which is one way to find the right answer.

And then the cool thing happened.

The president of the company called him to figure out how to make it work. So now this (former!) client will spend several months a year working in Seattle, and the company will sponsor a work visa for his girlfriend.

She’s going with him (soon).

The story of his decision reminds me of one of the few useful — if trite — things I got out of business school:

The power of AND, not the tyranny of OR.

This client’s story is a reminder to me to continually look for the and – to push my clients to find the overlap, the compromise in the conundrum.

The only thing I’m worried about this move to Myanmar?

His dog.