“There’s a comfort in knowing that I didn’t have to tackle this alone. I’m not the only one
making this kind of change.” – Toby Kilgore, Halftime Alum
Toby Kilgore spent his early career working in financial services before he transitioned to consulting financial services companies for the bulk of his career. Toby describes his personality as very “focused, head down, driven to excel.”
The problem was that, over the years, Toby found himself excelling at his career often at the expense of his most treasured relationships. It happened gradually, but Toby’s wake-up call to refocus came at the perfect time.
Early Career and Family:
After several years in the workforce, newlyweds Toby and Shellie moved to Boston so that Toby could attend Harvard Business School. Upon graduation, Toby took a position with a fast growing regional financial services company, which took the couple to St. Louis, MO.
A few years later, Toby transitioned into management consulting, initially joining PwC’s strategy consulting practice. Consulting was a career that fascinated Toby, but it came with a price – constant travelling. With the arrival of their first child, the challenge of balance – and the cost of not having it – became greater.
As Toby was simultaneously building a career and a family, he was feeling pressure at home to travel less. The tension between the growing demands of work and needs at home increased with promotions and when Shellie become pregnant with their second child. Eager to solve for competing pressures, Toby left consulting to be on the road less and spend more time at home. But, after a few years, he missed the challenge of consulting and joined A.T. Kearney, progressing to position of co-lead for the North American financial services practice, and subsequently joined Deloitte.
Looking back, Toby reflects, “My values and my faith were very real, but I think over time my priorities were skewing away from family to work. Never by design, but increasingly work was taking precedence. I kept telling myself, ‘I’ll be better about prioritizing family next week, next month, next year.’ I had the intention, but I wasn’t able to break the cycle.”
Then came his watershed moment.
Toby’s life took an interesting turn when he accepted an assignment in Australia leading a banking consulting practice. An unplanned turn of events prevented the rest of the family from moving with him.
During that season, Toby was thriving in his assignment and enjoyed living in Australia. But the separation from his family and more time alone with God brought the imbalance of those relationships further into focus. He felt a hollowness – despite having a job he loved, a great church, and living in a beautiful setting.
“It didn’t matter how well work was going,” Toby recalls, “If I didn’t have focus on my family, it didn’t matter, and I began to more fully appreciate how my relationship with God was limited because of the separate life I was living from my family.”
This was his wake-up call.
Toby decided to come back from Australia to make some fundamental changes. He had 3 key convictions that he now believes were a gift from God:
- Sense of the finiteness of time. “I wasn’t over the hill, my health was fine, but I just had the acute sense that I only have so much time on this earth. All this time I’ve been saying I’d live out all these things I believed. If not now, then when will I do it?”
- Conviction to change. Toby felt convicted that he needed to take a fundamental break. There was no putting off prioritizing what was most important.
- A waning passion for his work. “I was always energized by the work, but I no longer had the same passion for it.”
During this season, Toby began asking “What should I be doing?” His journey started with questions about his vocation but it ultimately included so much more. “The Halftime journey is not all about your job, but that is certainly where my questions started,” Toby says.
Toby’s Halftime Transformation:
A friend at Toby’s church encouraged him to consider getting a Halftime Coach and joining a Halftime Roundtable in Charlotte, NC.
From the moment he met his Halftime Coach, Bill, Toby sensed God’s presence and felt His guidance through this halftime journey. He valued being able to engage with a group of peers and a coach, but it wasn’t easy for him. “I’m a very reserved individual and I try to do things myself when I should include others. Having to sit and express myself was exhausting, but I came into it fully vested, honest about what was going on with me and what I hoped to get out of the process.”
Toby’s first question to solve in halftime was “How am I going to cultivate my relationships with God and my wife?” The initial task was reconnecting with God and revitalizing his relationship with Shellie. He knew his entire life would need some fundamental changes.
Toby found true peers who supported him in these wide-sweeping life changes. “There’s a comfort in knowing that I didn’t have to tackle this alone,” Toby says with a sigh of relief, “I’m not the only one making this kind of change.”
So, where is Toby now?…
Don’t miss Part 2 of Toby’s Story in our next post. We’ll share what Toby is doing today, and how he’s re-deploying his business acumen in the area of his greatest passion!
We’re here to help you have those breakthrough discoveries of how you’re uniquely wired and how you can have the most fulfilling and meaningful second half.