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Your Next Season


Your Next Season –A Groundbreaking Book of Its Kind!

To preview the foreword and 1st chapter, click here.

A groundbreaking book of its kind, Your Next Season: Advice for Executives Transitioning from Intense Careers to Fulfilling Next Seasons, provides executives with:

  • Unvarnished advice for the single greatest transition in an executive’s adult life: retirement
  • Findings from hundreds of interviews with executives, providing insights and advice
  • Guide book on how to transition from an all-consuming corporate role to a fulfilling and rewarding Next Season

Your Next Season has received endorsements from preeminent Chief Human Resource Officers of leading companies including: GE, American Express, Archer Daniels Midland Company, Ingersoll Rand, Tenet Healthcare, and Lear Corporation.

Additional endorsements have been submitted by (Retired) Executives from Bank of America, Allina Health, ExxonMobil, Estée Lauder, MSA, Merrill Lynch, Delta Airlines, GE, Wells Fargo, and others.

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Praise for Your Next Season

“Pure demographics suggest we are at the leading edge of a massive exodus of incredibly successful executives from the C-suites of corporations all over the world. Your Next Season provides a roadmap to these transitions that is at once provocative and practical. Great companies understand that by helping their most talented executives navigate their Next Season, they benefit their brands, their culture, and their bottom lines.”

Kevin Cox

Chief Human Resources Officer, The American Express Company

“This book is essential reading for any executive who is contemplating or already in transition. As someone who has recently made that turn, I can attest that the advice, strategies, and words of wisdom are spot on. My anxiety over the transition quickly turned to excitement for a purpose-filled Next Season.”

Burnet Tucker

Retired, HR Executive, Bank of America Corporation

“I read the entire book—I loved it! So many essential truths are woven through this book of wise advice. I think everyone who is about to retire should read it! Retirement can be exciting and new, and Leslie Braksick and Bill Innes give the reader all the elements to consider during this major life transition. They outline the difficulties and offer practical solutions while inspiring new perspectives that facilitate an extraordinary life.”

Lynne Greene

Retired, Group President, The Estée Lauder Companies, Inc.

“As you prepare for a post-work world, Drs. Braksick and Innes help you navigate the transition to a new stage of life, one filled with purpose and meaning. Strengthening and renewing relationships, hobbies, and activities you loved from earlier years, coupled with new learnings, giving back, and doing what brings you joy . . . the choices are endless as you finally have the gift of time. It is a must-read for anyone contemplating their ‘Next Season.’”

Kathy Cassidy

Retired, Senior Vice President and Treasurer, General Electric Company

“Yoda’ is the word that aptly implies the wisdom contained in Drs. Braksick and Innes’ Your Next Season: Advice for Executives on Transitioning from Intense Careers to Fulfilling Next Seasons. If you are headed toward a change of seasons, do yourself a huge favor—read this book, and act on it! Not only will you have the wisdom of Yoda from the two authors who are fonts of wisdom, but you will benefit from the dozens of lessons shared from clients just like you who they have counseled over the decades. This is by far the best inspirational and practical guide I have read on this topic. Applying the lessons shared herein will change your life!”

David Simms

President Olive Tree Impact Foundation
Former Executive Chairman and President, Opportunity International

“Drs. Bill Innes and Leslie Braksick have written a book that should be read by all executives. All executives will face the decisions that Drs. Innes and Braksick discuss in Your Next Season. Unfortunately, many executives put off these decisions – and the requisite planning that goes into them – far too long. Multiple personal examples from real life executives will make it clear that using the principals and actions described in Your Next Season will help enhance an executive’s next position and/or retirement.”

Wood Parker

Chairman, Leadership Development Council, Global Good Fund

“A most helpful book addressing the challenges a retiring executive may encounter. It doesn’t try to preach what one ‘should do,’ but rather, what one ‘could do.’ Well done, Leslie and Bill!”

Hal Cramer

Retired Vice President, ExxonMobil Corporation
Retired President, ExxonMobil Fuels Marketing

“Your Next Season is a compelling and provocative perspective of ideas on how to navigate professional and personal career transitions. The book offers a practical guide based upon a collection of thoughtful insights from those who have experienced career transitions.”

Dick Pettingill

Retired, Chief Executive Officer, Allina Health

“Your Next Season provides a gift of helping executives explore their unique desires in order to craft their personalized transition plan for joy and fulfillment in their lives after the corporate world. This book is a contribution to the field of human resources in a neglected area, as well as an insightful guidebook for individual introspection and life planning.”

Marcia Avedon

SVP, Human Resources, Communications and Corporate Affairs, Ingersoll Rand, plc

“Your Next Season is replete with practical and common sense advice on transitioning from one stage of life to another. The extensive use of real-life examples, both positive and otherwise, gives the book a rich authenticity. Everyone must choose their own path through life, but this ‘how to’ manual on transitioning from one’s first career offers basic principles that have universal application and that can make the Next Season the most rewarding and fulfilling stage of one’s life. Bill Innes is a shining example himself of such success.”

Don Campbell

Former Canadian Ambassador, Senior Public Servant 
Former Group President, CAE Inc.

“Dr. Braksick’s insights in understanding and shaping the arc of the career of a CEO are deep and invaluable. She has naturally extended her expertise in coaching CEOs to be their best during their careers to studying the best ways to put their talents to use and to live with purpose after their formal careers end. This is essential reading for anyone contemplating what’s next.”

Trevor Fetter

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Tenet Healthcare Corporation

“An instant classic; the seasons change, but the lessons are timeless and gifts to those when they are needed most. This book eases the journey and accelerates the transition process.”

David Kasiarz

Senior Vice President, Global Total Rewards and Learning, The American Express Company

“I loved your book and have read parts two or three times. As a Next Season graduate soon to be three times, I reflected on things I did well and things I wish I had done differently. The biggest learning for me as I enter my Next Season is to take time to really think about how I wish and intend to spend my time. I’ve made a commitment to take zero offers for three months. After being a corporate executive for over 20 years and two CEO jobs at big non-profits, it’s time to rest, reflect, renew, and rethink. You’ve provided a perfect guide to keep Type A personalities focused on staying busy but in different and potentially more meaningful ways.”

Vicki Escarra

Global CEO, Opportunity International 
Former CEO, Feeding America
Former EVP, Chief Marketing Officer, Delta Air Lines, Inc.

“The insights and help shared by Dr. Leslie Braksick are priceless. She has fog lights that allow her to help someone approaching retirement see the future clearly and plan for what can be the best chapter in one’s life. I have seen her do this live with top companies, and she has now translated this experience into Your Next Season in a powerful and thoughtful way.”

Edward A. Kangas

Former Global Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited 
Chairman, Board of Directors, Deutsche Bank USA Corporation 
Lead Director, Board of Directors, United Technologies Corporation 
Chair, Governance Committee, Board of Directors, Tenet Healthcare Corporation 
Chair, Audit Committee, Board of Directors, Intelsat S.A.
Chair, Audit Committee, Board of Directors, Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc.

“Like so many retiring university presidents, I was not only leaving the position that had been my life for more than a decade, but moving out of the president’s home and relocating to a new city. Your Next Season delivered the practical tools, inspiration, and advice that I needed to start a personally fulfilling and intellectually stimulating next chapter!”

Anne Steele

Retired, President, Muskingum University

“Your Next Season does a great job of recognizing that there are a number of different paths that could be taken when one gains his or her ‘freedom’ after retirement. It also will cause you to realize that there are certain things everyone needs to do in order to achieve a fully rewarding ‘Next Season.’ I am confident that anyone who is about to transition or is in the midst of their transition will find this a productive use of their time.”

Ken Lewis

Retired, Chief Executive Officer, President, and Chairman, Bank of America

“This book is an incredibly insightful guide to the ‘Next Season’ of an executive’s life. Especially for people like myself who viewed retirement akin to jumping off a cliff. Your Next Season ensures a soft landing! As a Fortune 500 CHRO, I often am solicited for retirement advice and counsel by my colleagues, and I will not hesitate to recommend this book as an essential and thought-provoking guide. If you are an executive over 40, you should make the time to read this book!”

Tom DiDonato

Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Lear Corporation

“Leslie and Bill’s excellent book poignantly reminds us that so-called ‘retirement’ is not an event but an ongoing process for preparing for the first of several ‘next phases’ of your life. If done properly—and if you follow their advice, yours surely will be—it can be the most exciting, productive, and fulfilling time in your life, deepening your connections with your community, your loved ones, and, indeed, yourself as you take back control over your precious time and become the person you always wanted to be. To paraphrase the old American Express card commercials with Karl Malden, ‘Your Next Season . . . Don’t Leave Your Career Without It.”

Paul Haaga

Retired, Chairman Capital Research and Management Company 
Current boards: NPR, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (Chair)
Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania Law School, Georgetown Prep
Ralph M. Parson Foundation Advisory boards: Hoover Institution and American Economic Institute

“A powerful, practical, easily applicable guide for senior executives who are ready for the next step in their professional careers. Braksick and Innes offer an experienced, thoughtful take on the challenge of finding meaning and fulfillment in the next stage of their lives. A must-read for hard-charging executives wondering what comes next.”

Mike D’Ambrose

Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, The Archer Daniels Midland Company

“Everyone will have a Next Season in life. The difference between those of us who survive it versus thrive in it will be the purposeful thinking, honesty about ourselves, and decisive actions we bring to the process. This book gives us all a roadmap, a ‘how-to’ guide with insights from others who have designed their paths with intention. It is a can’t-miss read for anyone who wants to live the next chapter of life fully and with impact.”

Brenda Wensil

Chief Customer Experience Officer, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Federal Student Aid

“You captured my exact feelings during my transition! I recommend Your Next Season to anyone beginning this journey. Pace yourself as you decide how to finish well.”

Joe Price

Retired, President of Consumer and Small Business Banking Bank of America
Chair, Board of Directors, Habitat for Humanity International

“Whether suddenly or with time to plan, Drs. Braksick and Innes provide invaluable advice and tools to effectively deal with the critical first transition step, ‘Pause,’ or discernment before leaping ahead. The transition of ‘seasons’ for an executive is one of the most important and scariest lifetime events, but with Drs. Braksick and Innes’ advice and tools, successful navigation is made much easier.”

Jim Unruh

Founding Principal, Alerion Capital Group, LLC

“Packed with the experiences of others, this is a thoughtful piece on transitioning from a highly active career into the Next Season in life. A worthwhile read for those interested in successfully making the journey.”

Ed Galante

Retired, Senior Vice President, ExxonMobil Corporation Corporate Director

“Have you ever thought how an astronaut slows down from flying at 15,000 miles per hour to a soft landing without burning up on reentry? Full of interesting experiences and distilled into usable ‘pearls of wisdom,’ this very readable and entertaining book by Dr. Braksick is the manual for the highly successful to slow down to the speed of life and their happy reentry into their retirement.”

Rob Cañizares

Retired, President, MSA International

“Drs. Braksick and Innes have created a well-researched and accessible guide for executives transitioning away from the structured momentum of corporate life. They provide building blocks for retired executives and their spouses to help explore and optimize a new world of choice, opportunity, and purpose in the seasons ahead.”

Alan Kelly

Retired, President ExxonMobil Downstream Marketing 
Adjunct Professor, Wake Forest University

“Essential reading for executives and their spouses transitioning from corporate life to a future of unbounded possibilities.”

Carol Kelly

Executive Spouse

“If you’re an executive close to retirement, your world is about to be rocked in a multitude of ways. Through stories and tips shared by recently retired executives, this book will help you ‘see the change, so you can be the change,’ to successfully lead yourself, your family, and your company into Your Next Season of significance.”

Julie Smith, PhD

Chief Executive Officer, ChangePartner

“Navigating the transition with the support and friendship of Leslie helped me so much. It is guidance I sought and benefited from greatly. I am glad I did not try and go it alone. Her experience with so many details of a transition like mine remains invaluable as I progress to my Next Season.”

John Thiel

Former Head of Merrill Lynch

“Clear. Courageous. And with unvarnished advice, this book is practical from beginning to end. A must-read for executives considering their next phase and the companies that employ them. Fast-paced and replete with compelling anecdotes and personal examples, the book concludes on a high by offering worksheets and prompts that the reader can benefit from immediately. Buy your copy today!”

Mindy Mackenzie

CEO Advisor and WSJ bestselling author of The Courage Solution: The Power of Truth Telling With Your Boss, Peers, and Team
MM Enterprises

“Your Next Season thankfully disrupts the notion of retirement as a form of surrender. The authors provide a simple call to action that resets boundaries for relevancy and gives permission for continued contributions to things that matter.”

Robb Webb

Chief Human Resources Officer, Tenet Healthcare Corporation

“Each individual’s approach to, and success with, the transition from corporate life to that of a retired executive is, indeed, unique. Some seem to do it effortlessly while others struggle and never find their way. This book recognizes that wide variation and, with many testimonials from those who have faced and made the transition, it provides structure and many helpful suggestions to plan and achieve the retirement that is right for you.”

David Clair

Retired, President, Exxon Research & Engineering

“Retirement may be easy for some, but for executives driven by calendars, accomplishments, and advancement, it may be the most difficult challenge of their lifetime. Your Next Season provides guidance and examples that can help transitioning executives be as successful following their corporate careers as they were during them.”

Patrick M. Wright

Director, Center for Executive Succession, Darla Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina

“A comprehensive and realistic roadmap for highly charged executives embarking on their Next Season.”

Vanessa Castagna

Retail Consultant 
Director, Carter’s, Inc. 
Trustee, Purdue University

“Your Next Season provides a holistic approach in serving an important unmet need. I had a successful transition to my Next Season by following the tenets of this book—clarity of purpose, health, and companionship.”

Dee Mellor

Retired, Officer, General Electric Company

“An excellent depiction of the post-executive experience! This book captures the emotions, stages, and joys and challenges of moving from one meaningful life stage to the next. The tools proved an effective guide through my own transition. With every turn of the page, I found myself reflecting that my feelings were normal and that I could feel excited about what is ahead.”

Laura Schulte

Retired, Executive Vice President, Wells Fargo & Company

“An excellent guide for executives transitioning into retirement. While the authors have used their extensive experience and interviews to focus on ‘senior’ executives, I believe this book is an appropriate guide for many non-executives approaching retirement.”

Michael Ramage

Retired, Executive Vice President, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company

“To the best of my knowledge, this book is a first. It thoroughly addresses the important subject of how to make your transition from a life of running hard every day to one of using your gifts and experience in a way that is purposeful and fulfilling. It explains the process, provides real-life examples, and includes tools to guide you and your spouse/partner on the journey.”

Frank Berardi

Retired, Director of Employee Development, The Allstate Corporation

“A great guide for the retiring executive, this book provides a wonderful path though the transition from retirement to a Next Season. It explores the thoughts and feelings that often accompany retirement and the uncertainty beyond. It is well-written, complete with great advice, thoughts from many executives that have blazed the trail already, and practical tips on how to plan and execute the process.”

Richard Downen

Retired, Executive, Bank of America

“Business executives have led organization change most of their lives, yet we have not prepared these important people to effectively manage their own life transitions. This field guide has practical advice and tools for retiring executives, or for anyone contemplating a major career change. A must-read for all corporate Baby Boomers!”

Dan Hawkins

President, Summit Leadership Partners LLC
Former Fortune 500 Executive

“Reading Your Next Season will help senior executives replace fear of retirement with joyful anticipation of the future. Practical tools and engaging testimonials encourage executives to reflect, dream, and envision a successful Next Season. This book is a must-read for leaders nearing retirement!”

Nancy Bunce

Partner, Morningstar Song LLC

“What a wonderful collection of sage advice for executives transitioning from warp-speed lifestyles and slammed calendars to more peaceful lives grounded in greater purpose. Drs. Braksick and Innes give us a compelling reminder that it’s OK to press the ‘pause’ button and take some time to plan for a Next Season not orchestrated by the world around us, but rather shaped by our own gifts, aspirations, and imaginations . . . and, of course, a few whispers from above.”

Mike Sharp

Retired, Corporate Real Estate Executive Bank of America
Founder & Owner, Lighthouse Consulting Corporation

“Retirement from intense business careers is an abrupt affair. Your Next Season provides more than enough for new retirees to work with from a large cross-section of people who have already been there. Active engagement in the future is the way forward. To succeed, you need something of equal imaginative power to match what your career gave you.”

W.A. Macdonald

President, W.A. Macdonald Associates, Inc.

“Your Next Season skillfully takes readers from a life in the ‘frying pan’ of corporate life to a life built on purpose and personal fulfillment. Leslie Braksick and Bill Innes have crafted a smart, entertaining, and actionable blueprint for anyone planning the Next Season of their life.”

Gary Sheffer

Retired, VP of Communications and Public Affairs, General Electric Company

“Retirement looks different today, and the insights here help spark new ideas and offer practical advice and fresh perspectives. The thoughtful analysis and real-life examples are extremely beneficial for those planning their Next Season.”

Andrea Smith

Chief Administrative Officer, Bank of America

“Start planning for life after your hectic career before you leave. There is no one right answer and, clearly, no silver bullet on how to transition. As they say, ‘to each his own.’ This advice, however, does give a list of the many things one needs to consider when approaching the ‘departure’ date, whatever the reason. The range of advice is broad and, importantly, real-life examples help to illustrate best practices that one may choose to adopt. As I look back, I wish I had this to read a year or two before I retired. I may—no, I would—have done some things differently. No reason to make same mistakes I did. This advice will help amplify and underscore the words a transition counselor will provide . . . the two go hand and hand. As an aside, after almost two years into my Next Season, it was great to read this sage advice and fine tune accordingly.”

Neil Cotty

Retired, Chief Accounting Officer, Bank of America

“After 20 years of teaching and coaching successful leaders on a journey ‘From Success to Significance,’ I believe that Your Next Season is packed full of practical wisdom and expertise that will help you avoid costly, but common, mistakes at retirement. Your most creative and productive years could be ahead.”

Lloyd Reeb

Primary Spokesperson, Halftime Institute

“Senior executives thrive when they have the opportunity to build and execute plans that drive value for their key stakeholders. Your Next Season provides these executives with a thoughtful and holistic plan to put themselves in the stakeholder seat. That journey is expertly guided by the experience and insights of Drs. Braksick and Innes. This is a great read for executives as well as the HR professionals that support them.”

Marty Gervasi

Chief Human Resources Officer, The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.

“This book provides a simple, yet very powerful and compelling wakeup call for people at later stages in their careers. The authors draw you in and provide some very direct coaching that causes you to thank them when you finish the book.”

Roger Cude

Executive Vice President, Humana

“Good read and so true. Recommend it to anyone seeking to make a shift as it really captures the changes you will face.”

Ronald A. Rittenmeyer

Former Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Electronic Data Systems
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Millennium Health, LLC
Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Turnberry Advisors, LLC
Director, Tenet Healthcare Corporation
Director, American International Group, Inc.
Director, IMS Health Holdings, Inc.
Former Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Alorica
Former Managing Director, The Cypress Group
Former Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Safety-Kleen, Inc.
Former President and Chief Executive Officer, Ameriserve Food Services
Former Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, RailTex, Inc.
Former President, Ryder TRS, Inc.