[singlepic=1664,250,,,right]Barbara Pagano & Elizabeth Pagano are the mother-daughter team behind yourSABBATICAL – a firm that partners with businesses to deploy programs that attract, retain and accelerate top talent through the use of highly planned and structured leaves of absences. In 2001, they took their own leave of absence during a 6-month sailing sabbatical that set them on a new course for their lives. “Our sabbatical has had lasting effects. Today, our business partnership thrives, in part, because of our co-captaining experience.” Here they share with us the importance of that sabbatical.
What made you decide to take a sabbatical?
Each of us had different reasons. For me, life was good – but predictable. I had been successful in my career, had a nice home and marriage; yet I wanted to put myself in a challenging situation to “see if I could do it.” My daughter, Elizabeth, was in her mid-30s and had a string of life and career questions stretching in front of her. She hoped that time away might offer clarity… and maybe even answers.
What were you doing beforehand career-wise?
As an executive coach to leaders worldwide, I was busy with corporate client initiatives on leadership and developing a reputation as a facilitator and speaker. Elizabeth was a newspaper reporter before spending a few years working for her father’s manufacturing business.
What was your sailing experience like prior to your break?
This question always makes us laugh! We had sailed for 15+ years as second-mates and galley queens with my husband, Herb. We’d never handled a boat alone and certainly never sailed at night. So, Elizabeth went to a week of sailing school in Key West, and I went to navigation school (and flunked the test).
We practiced docking for a couple of days and watched the mechanic change the engine oil once. Seriously, we weren’t very experienced, and we knew we’d learn a lot along the way. But we had confidence in our ability to learn quickly, and we promised people we’d make good decisions. We put a whole lot of books on “bad weather sailing” and “boat systems” onboard, just in case!
Desire outranks skill and experience. If you really want to do something, you’ll learn what you need to know.