Sarah Clarke is the Managing Director of Intuition Publishing Ltd., where she has worked for 14 years, moving to New York from Dublin with the company 10 years ago. She is passionate about accelerating human performance through training, technology and mindful design practice. As an Irish design graduate, Sarah has crafted user experiences, accelerator platforms and engagement strategies to deliver business results for top brands in the US.
Tell us more about what you do and how you got there.
My role is to lead the North American division of an Irish company called Intuition. I like to think we support building epic careers and thriving businesses by working with our clients to manage, inform and influence the knowledge, information and training needs of their employees, clients and suppliers. This means creating experiences, communication, content and technology to support the growth and sustainability of any business through shared knowledge and training.
I arrived in New York 10 years ago, this year, to support our business development efforts in the U.S. Since then, and through the efforts of an exceptional team and business, we have managed to place ourselves consistently as an industry leader in Knowledge Management.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
My career has a healthy amount of diversity within the roles I’ve held, with one common thread — there has always been a combination of business development, creative problem solving, and influencing change in behavior. Working with the top brands the U.S. has to offer, the strategy for successfully solving for these challenges has varied depending on the people and businesses I’ve worked with.
The most enjoyable aspect is the process of seeing the potential of success through a clever, creative strategy during the consultancy and engagement process with our team, and that look of recognition from everyone in the room when you know you’re on to something truly game changing!
What advice would you give to Irish professionals moving to the U.S. for work?
Have a plan for how you are going to manage yourself the first six months. Many people tend to get swept up in the system or routine of things in the U.S. and time can pass quickly without any real progress. The U.S. — and particularly New York — is often seen as the destination as there’s so much planning to just get here, but it’s just the beginning of the journey.
New York will simultaneously expose the best and worst of your personality traits. Having an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses will help, and finding mentors to guide you when you are here is a smart thing to do first.
New York is a wonderful platform to learn about yourself and the world around you in a very intense, turbocharged way. I would encourage anyone to spend a portion of time here if they can. The spirit of New York and seeing up close somewhere we aspired to be as kids is so accessible is itself a wonderful lesson.
Who was the biggest influence on your career?
Definitely my parents. I learned so much from being in their presence as a child about work ethic, honesty and integrity. They informed my character on which I built a career.
If you had one piece of advice for yourself earlier in your career, what would it be?
As part of a leadership exercise, I recently wrote a letter from my 80-year-old self to my present day self and the result was powerful. Essentially we limit our thinking because of fear, as we now all know, but confidence is the life skill that requires most attention. They should teach it in schools so that kids inherently know once they have a vision and work hard, they can achieve anything if they have confidence in their own ability.
What are your passions outside of work?
I have a background in Design for Interactive Media and studied in LIIT, DLIADT and Trinity College. While my role admittedly has taken me further into the realms of business strategy, management and innovation, when I can, I’m usually designing something.
I’ve recently embraced meditation and yoga and can already say it’s been a game changer. Ironically, I always felt I didn’t have the time or mental capacity to meditate, but the actual reality is that meditating gives back time and expands your mental capacity.
In the past I was an avid dancer, mountain climber and cyclist, which I still do socially. My guilty pleasures are books on mindfulness, productivity and being around people with new business/start-up ideas. I have been known to create pitch decks for friends with great ideas and in need of a strong narrative to take things to the next level. I thrive on putting business ideas into motion.
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