Name: Stephen Axel
Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Riverside, California, about 60 miles east of LA.
What’s a short story around the biggest transition you’ve faced in life?
My first job out of college was the biggest challenge of my career. I joined American Hospital Supply as a Territory Manager in Des Moines, Iowa. I was responsible at the age of 21 for selling $3 million of disposable medical products, covering 300 hospitals located in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota. My customers were Neurosurgeons, Anesthesiologists, Operating Room Nurses, and other healthcare professionals. I was a native Californian now located in Iowan corn fields with no friends, no sales skills, no product knowledge, no clue how cold it could be, and unfortunately at the time, no GPS. Incredibly, it was the beginning of a rewarding 17-year career that involved 6 relocations and 8 promotions while the company morphed from AHS to Baxter to Caremark.
What’s the once piece of advice you’d give a younger you?
Be more curious, ask great questions, and you can change your life and others.
Your Personal Why?
I love to help talented people explore what is possible and how to make it happen.
How does your Why drive you to be a part of the THF Ecosystem?
Being a catalyst for change with these exceptionally talented people is both an honor and a privilege.
Military Connection or Why do you respect Special Operators?
My sister’s husband was a Marine who served for 20 years. He was the love of her life and it was easy to see why. He had a big heart and a wonderful sense of humor. They traveled the world together, shared a passion for music, and he had a special captivating quality that was hard to put into words. Maybe it was the fire in his belly, his inner confidence, or knowing that he would keep my sister safe. But one thing was for sure: He was a man you could always trust to do the right thing. It is in his honor that I would like to donate my time to THF.
Favorite THF Value, and why?
Plan for Achievement. I am a planner by nature. One of my favorite quotes that I constantly use is by Stephen Covey, noted author and speaker, “Think with the end in mind.” Imagine you’re having an important meeting with someone. When that meeting is over and the person is walking away, what do you want them to be thinking? What actions do want them to take? How do you want to be perceived? Those thoughts become your agenda for that meeting; that is how you need to prepare to ensure you deliver exactly those results.
Area/Industry of expertise:
I work as both a Career Transition Coach (Career Strategy, Resumes, LinkedIn, and Networking / Interviewing) and an Executive Coach (e.g., Interpersonal Style, Emotional Intelligence, Conflict Management, High Potential / Onboarding, and Leadership Effectiveness). My sector expertise includes: Pharma/Biotech, Health Services, Medical Device, Enterprise Software, Software Security, Industrial, and Consumer Product Goods (CPG).