Boom VisionTM Podcast

Ep. 20: Expat's Journey: Formula for Speed and Truth w/ Tom Roberts


Today's interview is my guest, Tom Roberts, Expat Executive Coach.  As a leader in the healthcare company, transplanting his family to multiple countries, how did his spiritual journey blend with his career progression?  What was Tom's truth that was inside him that his soul wanted to express after meditating and journaling? In today's interview, we dive into:

  1. Tom's origin story
  2. Resilience comes from experience
  3. By journaling: there's always truth lives inside you and it comes out of writing.
  4. Speed does not equal speed. Patience + Reflection = True Speed
  5. Your life is not about following your heart, it's about examining your heart.
  6. His advice for expat executives that may feel stuck in their career

Show Notes

[1:56] - Quote: "Roads were made for journeys, not destinations.” - Confucius

Welcome to episode 20 of the Boom Vision podcast! I'm excited to share today's interview with Tom Roberts. Tom is a new friend that I got to know through our mutual friend, Shari Alexander (as you may recall I interviewed in Episode 6).

Now, when I think of traveling overseas, whether it's for business or family vacation, I usually see it as destinations. But when I got to know my friend Tom and the journey he went through, personally, professionally and spiritually when he and his family lived overseas,  I couldn't help think of a better quote by Confucius:  "Roads were made for journeys, not destinations."

As a brief background: Tom Roberts grew up in Arkansas. After 30 years of diverse business experience, working abroad for many years and interviewing expat executives from the world’s largest companies, Tom founded Cranberry Leadership with the goal of making every expat assignment a success for the company, for the expat leader, for the host team, and for their families.

Tom, his wife Michelle and two children, Anna Grace and Jack, are happy to call the USA home after 11+ years abroad in Tokyo and Seoul.

So without further ado, here's Tom Roberts!:

[3:30] - Tom's origin story.

  • (TR) Went to school for Journalism
  • Pivoted to business, went into sales and entered the healthcare industry.
  • First started his career in Atlanta until he rose up the ranks, got promoted and asked to head up operations in Tokyo, Japan.
    • Moved family to Seoul, Korea for a few years before asked to move back to Tokyo, Japan. Spent 11 years overseas before deciding to come back. 

[8:49] - (TR) "Resilience comes from experience."

[12:16] - (BY) What were the inflection points or changes of events that made you want to come back?

(TR) That work (helping patience re-integrate into society) fed my soul. When I moved to Korea, it was a fantastic experience for my family and personally. But my work was more about bringing out efficiency in the business without the direct interaction with the patients. I suffered greatly from that. 

The texture of the work changed greatly. There came a dissonance, and I didn't hear it that well.

[16:02] (TR) I didn't listen to my body and my soul at that time.

[24:51] - (BY) Something slowly tried to transformed in you, where your intuition came, but now you're paying attention to it. Was the sensation different? Was it the way you received it different? What was the thought process you went through and how you responded?

[26:40] - (TR) The journaling, there's always truth lives inside you. and it comes out of writing.

[31:16] -  (TR) Speed does not equal speed.

Patience + Reflection = Speed.

[33:33] (TR) Your life is not about following your heart, it's about examining your heart.

[36:50] - (BY)  What advice would you give them if they feel stuck?

(TR) 2 words: Be Deliberate

You have to be present with yourself so you can start listening to what your body is trying to tell you. 

[38:26] - (TR) A tool we're putting together at Cranberry later this year is the Expat Table: Be deliberate with the people you surround yourself with.

  • Truthsayer: Person that will tell you the truth 
  • Soothsayer: Elder experience 
  • Industry Sage
  • Spirit Guide
  • Consiglieri

[43:06] - (BY) What is one thing you would tell yourself if you had an ability to travel back 10 years ago and share with your younger self? 

(TR): To find a way to become very proficient and highly engaged in your work because it drives a lot of goodness.

But, don't become so self identified by your work, that it's the only thing goodness that's going on in your life.

[49:08] - (BY) Where can our listeners find you?

Tom's information:

[54:20] - Wow, I hope you all enjoyed listening to Tom's international journey. There's so many words of wisdom that Tom shares. The top 3 takeaways I got are:

  1. Speed does not equal speed.  As Tom mentioned from his own experience of inner reflection: Patience + Reflection = Speed.
  2. Your life is not about following your heart, it's about examining your heart. By being introspective, examing and truly listening to your heart, you're minimizing the chance of not confusing your desires with what your heart is truly trying to tell you. In my own words how I interpret this, it's being able to distinguish what your intuition (your Soul GPS) is trying to signal to you, rather than your inner voice that may be from your ego or old SOS programming.
  3. Be Deliberate. You have to be present with yourself so you can start listening to what your body is trying to tell you. A question one of Tom's coaches shares is that: How are you complicit, in these events that you don't desire? Are you ignoring the warning signs that your body is trying to signal to you?

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