Opening Doors Of Opportunity To New Successful Careers With Dorie Clark


Never stick to just one thing. Life can be crazy sometimes, jobs will come and go along the way just like the many career paths of Dorie Clark. Dorie was named to the by Thinkers50. She is a writer for Harvard Business Review, FastCompany, and Business Insider. She is also the author of the book, Stand Out which Inc. Magazine declared the #1 Leadership Book of 2015. Join your host, Tony Martignetti as he talks to Dorie Clark on how she started her career as a journalist, then how she tackled freelancing, political campaigns, and becoming an entrepreneur. Listen to Dorie’s story of how she discovered her path to success and how you can too.


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Opening Doors Of Opportunity To New Successful Careers With Dorie Clark

It is my honor to introduce you to my guest, Dorie Clark. She has been named one of the Top 50 Business Thinkers in the world by Thinkers 50. She is a keynote speaker and teacher for Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She’s also the author of Entrepreneurial You, Reinventing You and Stand Out. Three fantastic books. She was named The Number One Leadership Book of the Year by Inc magazine for her books. A former presidential campaign spokeswoman, she writes frequently for the Harvard Business Review and she lives in New York City with two cats named Phillip and Heath. Dorie, it is a pleasure to have you on the show. Welcome.

Thank you so much, Tony. I’m so glad to be here with you.

Thank you so much for coming on. I can’t tell you how much of an honor it is to have you on. There’s so much that you’ve done for people like me in the world that I want to start by graciously saying that I thank you for doing what you do.

Thank you. You are awesome. I am so happy to have perhaps helped in some small way.

As we do on the show here, we’re bringing people on who’ve gotten to this place in their world where they’re making a huge impact, which you are. We want to understand how did they get there? How did they show up in this place in the world? What was the story that made them into who they are in the world? We tell it through what’s called flashpoints. Points in your story that ignited your gifts into the world. What I’d like to do is give you the space to share your story and we’ll pause along the way and see what shows up. Dorie, I’m going to hand it over to you and let you share your magic.

Flashpoint number one probably happened for me when I was in my early twenties because I was a newspaper journalist. I thought I wanted to make a career as a journalist. I ended up getting laid off from my job and I couldn’t find another one. I didn’t understand what was going on at the time. I thought it was a regular recession. It turns out as is sometimes the case these days in the world, it was a systemic disruption where the media industry was about to get its lunch eaten by the internet. No one was hiring and I was forced into having to make a career change. Otherwise, I would still be a journalist probably. Instead, I went on a different path when I lost my job.

That’s one of the most powerful flashpoint moments you could have. It’s seeing that your industry’s going through this big change and you’re directly impacted. At that point, did you feel like, “Am I good at what I’m doing? Was it the fact that I wasn’t good enough?” Did you question a lot about who you are?

I’ve always had possibly an overly good sense of self-esteem. I had this editor who didn’t like me. I asked myself like, “Am I losing my job because she didn’t like me?” It was also true that I was the most recently hired employee. It was a little bit of the last-in-first-out scenario. I’m sure it was also true that she thought I was not that great. I was the expendable one. For better or for worse, I had enough self-confidence that I framed it, not that I was not good at what I did but she didn’t like me and that was her problem.

Err on the side of saying yes

Which is good that you had that awareness and be able to see that that was the situation and not about you because so many people take it internally, start to go deeper and say like, “What if I screwed up? What is it about me?”

One of the very satisfying moments in my life came because I would submit articles to her and get rivers of red. She didn’t seem to like anything like every word. You use the and she’s like, “Can you think of something better?” It was so frustrating. I ended up submitting my first article as a freelancer within a couple of weeks to the Boston Globe. I was working for an alternative newsweekly and the Globe was the regional daily in the area, the “better paper.” I submitted it and they did not change a word. They ran it exactly as I submitted it. I was like, “Take that.” Not that she knew but it felt very satisfying.

Did you have this feeling that you were going to be a journalist even as a child? Was this something like a childhood dream or what did you dream about when you were a child?

When I was a child, I wanted to be a spy because I loved James Bond. That was my favorite. It’s a good job. As I got older, I realized it would be a lonely job. You can’t ever share yourself with other people because you know how it is with spies, Tony. You’ve always got these people sleeping with you to get international secrets and you can’t trust anyone. You’re having a great time. You have a new friend and then all of a sudden you’re being held at gunpoint. I thought, “That’s too stressful.” I realized that was ultimately not the right job for me. I am doing the next best thing though, which is I am writing a spy musical. That’s my way of sublimating that desire.

That’s one of the things that intrigued me about people especially when you find that you don’t have to limit yourself to any one thing. You can be so open to exploring all your passions and the things that you connect to as a child. I was an artist when I was a child and now, I’m finding ways to connect with that as a coach, as a person who helps people to create their world. I think that’s cool. I love that. We’re going to dig into that theater aspect in a little bit. Let’s get back in your story and know more about what happened after your exit from journalism. What did your soul say you had to do next?

My soul said I had to find a job so I could pay my rent. That was the immediate thing. They gave me a week’s severance pay. It wasn’t even a week. It was four days because I had already worked Monday. It was this very urgent situation. What made it even more urgent was that I got laid off on Monday, September 10th, 2001. My first day of unemployment was not a good day to be looking for a job. Everything felt very urgent and I needed to find work. I started freelancing. I did a bunch of stories for the Globe and that was fun. That was great. But as you can imagine, freelance journalism was not extraordinarily lucrative. I could usually scrape together a couple of articles a week maybe but that was $400, $600 or $800 a week if I had landed something good. You’re scrambling to be able to get revenue.

On the other hand, it was very good training in the sense that when we think about how people learn. When you study sports they always say, “What you need is a concerted regular practice.” The key part that a lot of people don’t get is you need immediate feedback so that you’re not practicing the free throw with your elbow in the wrong place 900 times. You’ve got to have immediate feedback and correction so you can be doing it correctly. The great thing about freelance writing is that that’s exactly what it is. You pitch ideas and the editor says yes or no. You get that feedback and it’s quick, decisive, clear and over time I had to become very good at quickly determining what was interesting as a news story and what was not. I was able to hone my skills at that, which still is very valuable in terms of the writing that I do.

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I coach executive coaching clients on breaking into high-profile publications and helping them think through. What is their idea? What’s the niche? What’s the contrarian perspective? Whatever it is. Having that deeply internalized to understand what is of interest and what is not is great. It was harsh learning in the sense that, “You’re not getting paid if you don’t come up with something good,” but it’s something that’s been very valuable over the long-term.

It gives me the sense that it’s about showing up in staying in that action that when you look back at that and you say, “It’s that thing that made me into the writer, the thought leader and the content creator that I am now.” It’s the same way that a lot of us who get into a new field have to think about. You’re starting from zero. Get into action. Start making things happen. There is an element of being imperfect at first but I’m sure at that point, being imperfect is probably not something that you were thinking about. You’re like, “I need to get paid so whatever it’s going to take to get paid because there’s a lot of pressure.” One thing that comes to mind is that it takes putting yourself in that place and continuing to show up and do more. This is what you’re doing. You’re freelance writing. At some point, you had another pivot point, a flashpoint that turned you into a different field or to amplify that to another place. Tell me what happened more along that path.

What brought me out of freelancing was I got a phone call. This was in March of 2002 from a guy that I used to know. He was a person that I would interview fairly frequently when I was writing for the paper because he was a political consultant. I would often go to him for quotes, commentary. He knew I had lost my job because I wasn’t calling anymore. He reached out because he got hired by a candidate for governor. He was in charge of staffing up the operation. He reached out to see if I would be interested in applying to be the press secretary for this campaign.

This felt like a very fraught decision for me at the time because journalism has gotten cocked up that it kind of doesn’t even matter anymore. Many years ago, there was a very clear red line between being a journalist and working in politics. People go back and forth all the time but at the time it was a big deal that if you were a journalist and you crossed over, you were closing the door. You were not allowed to be a journalist anymore. It was a very stressful decision for me because it felt like, “Do I feel ready to give up this dream that I’ve been harboring?”

At first, when he called I said, “No.” I was not interested but then I thought about it and I realized like, “The Globe is telling me, ‘A couple more months and then our hiring freeze is going to be over and then we’ll consider you.’” I’m like, “Is that even true?” I don’t know. It might be or not be. Whatever they’re offering might not be that great. They had instituted these dumb hybrid positions where they were talking to me about a reporter junior, the regional and they would pay you less. I’m like, “That sounds ridiculous.”

The guy that I would be hired for was a very exciting candidate who if he won, it could be a big deal. I was like, “This is an opportunity.” It’s rare in our lives. It is so clear that there are two doors that you can walk through and, “What’s the choice? What’s the moment? “I felt like, “This is a clear thing and I probably should err on the side of saying yes.” I called the political consultant guy back and said, “I would be interested in coming in for an interview.” I did and I ended up getting the job and then spending a couple of years after that working in politics. That was the next pivot that I had.

Tell me about your experience there. It sounded like when you were talking about this that once you make the decision to go into that political arena it’s almost like, “I have to be impartial. I have to be open to leaning towards helping them be who they need to be but also make sure that I keep my integrity, unbiased from the situation.” Tell me more about how that feels for you or how it felt at the time.

It’s more useful to look at other people who have success and reverse engineer how they achieved it.

The conventional wisdom at the time or the way that people in the journalism industry thought about things. Now it’s different with the rise of blogs even on the regular news pages. To their detriment, many prominent papers are injecting a little bit more opinion into the regular news coverage. Back in the day, it was very sacrosanct. If you were a reporter, some old school reporters, they literally wouldn’t even vote because they’re like, “I cannot. I have to be perfectly impartial. I’m not even going to as a private citizen exercise that right.” That’s always a little bit extreme but there are more conventional viewers like, “Do what you need to in private but you cannot ever do anything that is going to telegraph bias.”

Having worked for a particular candidate implies that you have a particular ideology. In theory, maybe I could have gone back to journalism if I was writing feature stories about restaurants or fashion. I would not have been able to cover politics with any credibility after that because people could say, “It’s obvious that you believe X, Y and Z.” Nobody’s political beliefs line up perfectly. Even the staffers don’t necessarily agree with everything that a candidate is standing for. It was a big deal because you had to reconceptualize your identity and what your potential future path was in making that choice jumping on board and saying, “Let’s do it.”

That’s learning on its own because there’s an element of being able to tell the story but also be able to tell the story in a way that allows you to still connect with it and keep your integrity. You said, “Integrity is an important part here but it’s also sharing a story that is not going to go against your candidate, go against the people who you’re working with. It’s fascinating. At the end of the day, that’s what you’re taking a lot with you is all these learnings. You move on from that campaign. That campaign ends. What happens now?

By that point, I had gotten on the train of like, “I’m doing politics.” When you’re working on a campaign and then it ends abruptly as these things do after election day, you feel like there’s unfinished business or you were in the middle of dancing and then somebody pulls the record off the table or pulls you off the dance floor. It’s like, “I’m not done.” The next thing that was looming on the horizon. This was late 2002 and was the 2004 presidential election. I decided it would be great to get to work on that. At that point, it was two years before the campaign and 1.5-year before all the primaries.

I thought, “This is what I want to do.” If you’re working in politics, the presidential race is like the major leagues of that. I figured, “I’m going to max out.” I tried hard to break into a campaign. I had my tiers of people that I wanted to work for but I would’ve been happy to get to work on almost any opposition campaign because, at the end of the day, their opinions are not necessarily so different. This was an example of me networking like a maniac, trying to get in, trying to work connections and angles because it’s not a very clear process how one gets a job on a presidential campaign.

It is very much like the backroom of who you know, who can put your resume on whose desk. I was working a lot of angles. It took quite a while. It took again six months for me to be able to land something but I was able to get in with Howard Dean's presidential campaign. One point that is important is there was a guy during the governor’s race who was one of our chief proponents. This guy is named Steve Grossman, who is running for governor. One thing I thought was very classy about him and Ink that many people have lost art in the modern world. I was working for an opponent of Steve Grossman’s. I knew Steve Grossman. I liked him. We had a nice relationship. It was my job to be advocating for his opponent. He might bear some ill will but he was such a gentleman and I want to call that out because he was tight with Howard Dean. They went way back. He was instrumental in helping me get in to work for Howard Dean and to be able to land that job. I appreciated that and if all of us can have a little bit more of that attitude of understanding that you might be on different sides for one race but you can be on the same side for the next one. It’s a helpful frame of mind.

This is one of the things that are important. When you’re trying to get networked in and this is a lot of things you’ve talked about in your books and how to get out there is trying to get those connections working but especially this story. I love it because there’s an element of seeing how when people show that they care, they show that they’re willing to go to bat for you. It goes a long way then you’re willing to say something here in this spot to say, “I still appreciate that for that connection because it makes a big difference.” All you need is that one strong connection that makes a big difference in someone’s life.

What people lose sight of is it is a win-win in the end have that attitude because Steve Grossman knew that by helping get me placed in the campaign, he always had somebody he could call. He could call Howard Dean but if you’re running for president, you’re busy. You’re not always able to return somebody’s call at a moment’s notice. It was to Steve’s advantage to have me as someone that he could have on speed dial. He knew that I knew that I owed him and so I would always get back to him right away and be able to answer the question or be helpful. We’ve entered too much of a Manichaean grudge culture. He was somebody who was a constant enough political operator that he realized that doing a favor for you is not only a nice thing and a classy thing but it’s going to help him in the end because he’s got his people and his favors. It’s a smart way to be.

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I’d love to get your thoughts on a counterintuitive truth around the strengths of networks. It’s great to have people who will go to bat for you but does that bias you to dismiss people who are out there? It means that people who are not getting those connections need to maybe work harder to think about where I am missing the opportunities to make connections. It’s a great thing when you can have someone who you do trust and you will be willing to go to bat for. I want to think about this concept of why is it that everything happens through connection and is it okay?

It’s an important question to ask. In the end, what I think it’s similar to is the age-old thing of the jocks in high school who don’t work hard and all they do is play football. “How is it that they’re able to be so popular, successful and get good jobs? They didn’t do the work. They didn’t get straight A’s.” At the end of the day, what we have to realize is life is not run on the same metrics that school is. Our parents are doing us a disservice and we are doing ourselves a disservice to cling to this idea that what meritocracy means is that you excel on a certain narrow set of parameters and that determines your worth. That’s ridiculous.

It’s good to be good at school but also that’s not the only thing. Life is a lot bigger and broader than that. What we need to understand is you have to be good enough. It’s unfair if someone who is 100% lazy, untalented, unqualified or whatever gets installed somewhere and that does happen sometimes. Much more often what it is, is that someone who is adequate or sufficient is able to ascend to the top because, in addition to being sufficient at whatever the metric is, it’s that they’re great at some other metric that perhaps we haven’t been taking into account. The metric of being able to make friends, bring out the best in other people, bringing a cheerful attitude, having interests or skills in another area that they’re able to import or having a network of people that is unusual that other people don’t have.

All of those things are equally valid and they push the person to the front of the line because it’s like, “They’re good enough at this.” They have this other thing. I’m never a fan of the attitude of people shaking their fists at the sky and saying, “It’s not fair.” Ultimately, it’s much more useful if we’re looking at other people who have success or things that we don’t want to try to reverse engineer it and to say, “What exactly did they do? How exactly did they do it?” Assuming they didn’t break some law or do something that’s outside the pale, we need to start thinking, “How can I do more of that? How can I emulate that rather than criticizing it?

This makes me think of, “The old adage of success is where preparation meets opportunity.” There’s an element that’s missing which is a success is where preparation and network meet opportunity because that’s the element of this that adds to the mix. I think about your story. Your preparation was going through all the things, journalism, getting out there and doing the freelancing and all those things you picked up along the way and your strong ability to network with the right people. That’s what has been showing up so far in your ability to do what you’re doing.

To bring it full circle, the way I first met Steve Grossman was when I was a freelance reporter because I was looking for story ideas. Every waking moment, I always looking for story ideas because I had to have the stuff to pitch. Steve was a businessman in my town that I lived in, in Somerville, Massachusetts. He had this envelope company. Originally, it was envelopes then they started doing promotional products and all these things. I was like, “An envelope company. That’s random,” but it was a big company. I thought, “That’s interesting. How do you make a living selling envelopes? What’s the deal?”

I decided that I would write a profile of him, his envelope company and how he had grown it to be such a thing. That was how I got to know him. I was able to successfully pitch a story. I profiled him. I got to spend time with him. He liked me. He liked the story. In reality, he couldn’t take it personally because he hadn’t offered me the job. He was already staffed up. It’s not like I turned him down. He was able to take it in stride because he already had a context for me. We had developed that relationship previously then we were able later on once the campaign had ended, for him to say, “Maybe I can suggest a story and put her forward for this position.”

When learning something, what you need is concerted regular practice and immediate feedback.

It’s a great example of how things get done. There are probably countless examples of it that you can think of throughout your journey. I want to get more to where did you go next because your story is fascinating in terms of where you’ve come along. How did you get to where you are now?

Keen viewers may be aware that Howard Dean did not become president so I had to come up with something else to do. I went back to Boston after the campaign ended and I ended up running for a couple of years a bicycling advocacy nonprofit. During my time running it, about a year in I had this revelation that running a nonprofit was quite similar to running a small business. I thought, “I could do that for myself.” That was my next revelation. I spent about a year planning my transition. In 2006, I decided to go out and start my own business, which is what I’ve been doing since.

It’s remarkable too because when I think about it, there are so many people who in hindsight, they’re like, “Starting a business. That seems like a lot of hard work. Is that something for me?” You probably would have never have thought that you’d be running your own business or having a successful business, which I see as a very successful business. The reality is it’s hard to put yourself in that trajectory until you’ve taken the steps that have put you on that path. Would you agree?

Yes. It was not a desire that I had been harboring for a long time. It was not something that would have occurred to me were it not for all the steps along the way. Ultimately, even though at the time, the people around me felt that me running this little tiny bicycling nonprofit was this bizarre career aberration because I wasn’t even a good bicyclist. I was a terrible bicyclist but it was great because running this very small organization, you have to do everything. You have to adopt the mindset of an entrepreneur where it’s like, “If you’re not going to do it, it isn’t getting done.” You have to roll up your sleeves and figure it out even if you don’t want to like, “The website is broken. It’s not like you can call somebody in like, “You fixed the database. How do you do worker’s comp claims?” You figure it out.

That is the kind of mindset that is very helpful for entrepreneurs. That you know that you’re responsible for everything and you have to make it get done even if you don’t quite know-how. I dove in. Probably the biggest thing was understanding that a problem that I see in a lot of coaching clients or people that I come across as this golden handcuff situation where people have maybe been working in the corporate world for a long time. They would like to go out on their own but they have gotten used to a lucrative corporate salary and then they feel like, “I don’t know. It feels risky.”

It’s true when you start your business. It’s very hard if you’re making a lot of money already. It’s hard to replicate that instantly. We all kind of know this intuitively. It takes some time to build up. I guess for better or for worse. My situation was I was not making a lot of money at all. I was making no money. I looked at being an entrepreneur and I’m like, “Literally almost no matter what I do, I can make more money than this. This is pathetic. I can figure out a way to make more than this.” That emboldens me. It made me feel like it was not, not quite so risky.

I love the way you described that because there’s also an element of perspective that makes all the difference. When you start to look at it in the first few years of starting a business and you see that “I’m not making what I used to make in the corporate world.” I think about it from my perspective, you look at double your revenue every year and you should be proud of that. That’s insane. You think about how quickly things ramp up but they’re being compared against the salary that you used to make. It takes some time before you get to where you were. Your perspective on what you’re creating, you’re like, “I’m doing this and building it from scratch.” That’s the beauty of this. You got to have patience and perseverance. Those are the two P’s that come to mind for me.

What were you doing right before you started your business?

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I was in the biotech space. I was working as a finance and strategy person who’s working with some of the leading biotech companies in Boston. You’ve arrived and done some amazing stuff. I want to find out what are the biggest lessons you’ve learned about yourself that you want to share with people on the show? If you could summarize all of your years of transformation from where you started to where you are now, what are the things that you feel are the most important lessons that you’ve learned?

If I think about things that hopefully might be useful to other people, things that I see in my coaching clients or people in my recognized expert community sometimes are struggling with. Certainly, one is something that you raised when we started the conversation. This is how we’re trained up from the time we’re young, a lot of people are very willing to cede authority to other people and to say, “If this authority figure says that they don’t like it, this isn’t good enough or this isn’t right then I guess they’re correct and I’m wrong. They’re correct and I’m not good enough.” I cannot emphasize enough like God did not anoint these people.

It is highly likely they have no idea what they’re doing and we should not trust implicitly that their judgment is better than ours. You don’t want to be mulish about it. If 100 people tell you that it’s not right, you can probably trust their judgment. If one person tells you, they could be having a bad day. They could be a person with bad judgment. Who knows? I have one great person who’s a coaching client of mine and she was rejected. She has written subsequently for high-profile publications but she had one piece that she was writing for a while then the editor “fired her” and said, “We don’t want you to contribute anymore.”

First of all, how insulting. She’s doing it for free. The editor fires her. The editor is 24. It’s not to say she’s not this brilliant, amazing 24-year-old. Maybe she is but also, the girl’s been out of school for two years. As a grownup, are you going to let some 24-year-old be like, “You’re not good enough.” That’s preposterous. We need to have a little bit more rage and indignation and say, “Sorry.” Whenever anybody has crossed me in that way, I tack them in my mental list I’m like, “No worries. I’ll spend the rest of my life making you feel sad and humiliated about your lack of judgment. See you on the other side.

It’s about turning into fuel for the fire in some way and/or just saying, “Okay,” or brush it aside and say, “Whatever. That’s a just opinion.” I know that we could talk for hours around the things that you share so many great insights and you’ve written profoundly. I don’t even know what the right word for it is but you’ve written so much that the content you put out there is so powerful. If anyone has not heard of your writing then they’re missing out. I feel like what you shared so far in the show is the tip of the iceberg. Is there anything else you want to share before we get to the last question?

I will mention that for people who want to dive in a little bit more and explore some of the stuff that I’m doing. I do have a free resource, which is the standout self-assessment. It is a 42-page eBook. It’s substantial with a series of self-assessment questions to help people think through what is their breakthrough idea and how can they begin to spread that more widely in the world? If that is something that’s of interest to you, you can get it for free at

Here’s the last question that we’re preparing you for as we often do. What is one book or books that has had an impact on you and why?

I’m going to give a hat tip to one of the earliest business books that I read and it’s not a straight-up business book but I do feel like every business person should read it, which is Influence by Robert Cialdini. It is such a classic in the field. It has sold more than two million copies. One thing that’s in the spirit of like coming full circle and feeling very proud about was I was in touch with Bob because he’s issuing an expanded edition of the book and he asked me if I would blurb it, which is very exciting to be an endorser for a book that has shaped you and you’ve admired. It’s so powerful. It’s a book about Psychology, marketing and how people think. For anybody who’s interested not just in business but in life, it has shaped me a lot in terms of thinking about, “What does it mean to have influence? How do you use influence properly? If you have a message to share, what are the positive levers you can use to make it more likely it will be heard in the world?”

Life is a lot bigger and broader than just being good at school.

One of the things that I often come back to is everyone has a message to share whether they know it or not. There’s something that each one of us has inside that they need to share in some way. They probably don’t know it yet if they don’t. If they’re not there sharing it then they don’t know it yet but there’s a message that’s waiting inside. Influence, I love that. That’s the first time that anyone’s mentioned that book on the show. I love it when new books get added.

We’re going to have this list made up of all the great books that are mentioned on the show. There have been some interesting ones. That was a great recommendation. I don’t want this to end. At this point, I want to say I’m so grateful and completely honored to have you on the show. I want to thank you so much for being here. I want to give you an opportunity to share other places where people can find you besides sharing your free offer that’s awesome.

Thank you so much, Tony. My website is If people want to dive in, there are more than 700 free articles that I’ve written over the past decade for places like Harvard Business Review, Forbes and FastCompany that you can get for free there. I’ll also mention my book is Entrepreneurial You and I have a book coming out in September 2021 called The Long Game: How to be a Long-Term Thinker in a Short-Term World. I’m excited for people to hopefully check that out.

I can’t wait. I’m looking forward to it. Dorie, thanks. Thanks to our readers for coming on the journey. I know that you’re completely amazed and inspired as I am. Thank you for coming on. That’s a wrap.

Thanks, Tony.

Thank you.

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About Dorie Clark

VCP 93 | Successful CareersI'm a strategy consultant, executive coach, and keynote speaker (with deep experience in virtual presentations) who has worked with clients including Google, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Fidelity, Yale University, the IMF, and the World Bank.

I was fortunate to be named one of the Top 50 Business Thinkers in the World by Thinkers50, and the #1 Communication Coach in the World by the Marshall Goldsmith Leading Global Coaches Awards, as well as one of the Top 10 Communication Professionals in the World by Global Gurus.

For weekly insights, you can subscribe to my LinkedIn Newsletter by going to this article and clicking the "subscribe" button on the right-hand side just below my picture:

I write regularly for the Harvard Business Review, FastCompany, and Business Insider, and am the author of "Entrepreneurial You" (Harvard Business Review Press, 2017), which was named "one of the most important business books of the year" by Inc. magazine and one of the Top 5 Books of the Year by Forbes.

I also wrote "Reinventing You" (Harvard Business Review Press); and "Stand Out" (Portfolio/Penguin, 2015), which Inc. magazine declared the #1 Leadership Book of 2015 and Forbes named one of the Top 10 Business Books of the Year.

The New York Times was kind enough to call me an “expert at self-reinvention and helping others make changes in their lives.”

Each week, I host a LinkedIn Live interview program for Newsweek. I also teach for Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, as well as IE Business School (Spain), HEC-Paris, Smith College Exec. Education, Babson College Exec. Education, and the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler School of Business. I'm a member of Marshall Goldsmith's MG100 program, which brings together the world's top executive coaches, as well as an angel investor and startup advisor.

Previously, I worked as a journalist, where I was delighted to win two New England Press Association awards; a presidential campaign spokesperson; and a producer of a multiple Grammy-winning jazz album. I also invest in Broadway productions, and am a lyricist in BMI's Tony-Award winning Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Advanced Workshop. Download my 88-Question Entrepreneurial You self-assessment workbook for free at

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