Laura Gordon always knew she wanted to help people, but her corporate law career wasn’t fulfilling her. Ten years ago, she joined the global CEO coaching and peer advisory organisation Vistage, as a Chair. Moving away from law a few years prior had been a gamble as her loved ones were initially sceptical, but having re-qualified as an executive coach and having gained a lot of high level executive and board experience over the past 25 years, the shift to Vistage felt like the natural next step. She recently won the Phil Meddings award (the highest accolade for Vistage chairs) at a Vistage award ceremony - the first woman to win such an award.
WHAT'S BEEN YOUR MOST CHALLENGING MOMENT? AND HOW DID YOU COPE/WHAT DID YOU LEARN?
When I was in my late 30s I found myself at a crossroads; I was a corporate lawyer specialising in telecommunications and media law. I was given the opportunity to accept a partnership at the firm, but I was considering walking away from law. I’d become disenchanted with law as it had become so transactional and I realised I was far more interested in building relationships with people. But I didn’t know what to do; I looked at banking and even working at Starbucks!
Eventually I saw an advert in the paper for “the most exciting job in Scotland” - they wanted somebody to run an economic development initiative for the Scottish Government. So I left law to do that, but always with the opportunity to go back to law if I wanted to as it was only a two and a half year contract. The next logical step would have been to accept a partnership at the firm, but I was considering walking away from law. I then re-qualified as an executive coach and have worked on a variety of different boards. I took a leap into the unknown, which was a big challenge in my late 30s but it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I was right to follow my heart.