2011 Ranking: #28
Shortlisted: 2011 Thinkers50 Leadership Award
Herminia Ibarra is the Cora chaired professor of leadership and learning, and professor of organizational behavior at INSEAD. Her work focuses on professional and leadership development including collaborative leadership, identity, women's careers and career transition.
In her 2003 book Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career Ibarra offers an alternative view of careers and career advice. Successful careers are not a linear progression, she says, moving inexorably towards management seniority and career satisfaction. Rather than waiting for the perfect career to come along, we need to experiment and try on different careers for size. Changing to a more enjoyable career entails a three-part process, she suggests, involving experimentation with professional activities, building social networks and honing the story about who you are and what you want to do.
Ibarra set her sights on a career in academia early on. In an interview with the Financial Times, she admits to dreaming of a career as an organizational behavior professor as a 13-year-old.