A Serial Entrepreneur Ponders The Hallway And Purple Politics

Originally posted on Forbes.com

Jeff Wald is an accomplished and compassionate leader on a quest for his next professional vision.

He founded and sold two tech companies. The first, Spinback invented social product sharing and was sold to Buddy Media, and subsequently purchased by Salesforce.com for $800M. The second, WorkMarket, provided a marketplace for freelancers and was purchased by ADP, where he recently completed his contract for the transition in September.  Now he finds himself between ventures, in the hallway exploring many doors that may be part of his next professional chapter.

For anyone experiencing a career transition, this time in the hallway can be both exciting and challenging. Jeff explained that he is simultaneously grateful and fearful about this opportunity. The fear stems from the possibility of making a wrong turn.  As he explores the options for new businesses and projects, he is being deliberate and thoughtful, so his choices become a personally meaningful path.

Jeff sits on several boards, has written two books, does keynotes, and is accustomed to having a lot of responsibility. However, he also enjoys serving as a team member among team members. For example, he spent most of his break volunteering to support presidential campaign efforts and reminisced about being a New York City Auxiliary Police Officer for nine years. This sense of duty and teamwork honors his father and other family members who served in the military. As he considers his new options, being of service is top of mind.  

Jeff’s recently released a comprehensive book that has useful information for anyone exploring future career options. The End of Jobs: The Rise of On-Demand Workers and Agile Corporations shares research and analysis on the past labor markets and how AI and robotics will impact jobs as we advance. It provides insights based on science for employers and workers to deal with the challenges and changes that exist today and beyond.  The book also includes The Future of Work Prize competition, where twenty thought leaders in the world of work wrote essays on their vision of the world in 2040. In ten years, the most accurate contributor will receive the $10 million Future of Work Prize sponsored by Jeff. These essays are rich and creative, covering various topics, including how new tech will impact society, new ideas for talent development, and how leadership will need to evolve to address on-demand workers.

In addition to new business ideas, Jeff is considering getting more involved in the world of politics in his next chapter. Although he supported Joe Biden this fall, he has contributed to both democratic and republican candidates in the past. We discussed how the answer to coming together as a country is to encourage more independent-minded candidates that can be more issues focused and less party focused. He would like to work with others to bring about election reforms such as term limits that can break down the partisanship that often slows communication and progress. As we spoke, we dubbed this movement “purple politics” and knowing fiercely intelligent and dedicated people like Jeff are looking at solutions gave me hope.

Wherever Jeff lands, his future team(s) will be very lucky to have him as part of their circle.

Jeff Wald is one of the leaders who has been nominated for the Inaugural Compassionate Leaders of the Year Awards. Please register to join us as we honor the outstanding nominees and winners in a brief virtual ceremony on January 15, 2021. Compassionate leaders acknowledge our universal interconnectedness and use their influence to make a positive impact on others and the planet. These leaders are courageous, contemplative, collaborative, and care about the world they will leave behind.