From the Vault: TBS' Louise Sams on How Plans Can Be Limiting

In the August 2008 issue of Super Lawyers -- Corporate Counsel Edition, we featured Louise Sams, executive vice president and general counsel of TBS, Inc. and president of TBS International. The piece retells a story of how, during a job interview, Sams was asked where she saw herself in 10 years and gave an unexpected response:

"Of course, I'm supposed to say, 'Well, I want your job,'" she recalls with obvious relish. "But instead I said, 'I'll be honest with you. What I want to be able to do in 10 years is to look back to this moment right now, and say: If you had told me 10 years ago that I would be here, I would have said you're crazy.'"

Her answer did not go over well. "He looked at me like I had three heads," Sams says. Needless to say, she did not get the job. But the answer she gave that day sums up what might well be her philosophy about the worthlessness of career plans. "I want it to be like, 'Oh my God, how did I get here from there?'" she says. "I don't like plans, because plans, as they relate to your life and your career, can cause you to not see all the opportunities that are out there. You get on this road and you've got blinders on to all the cool things that are out there that don't necessarily fit into this plan that you made when you were a bonehead and didn't even understand what the opportunities were. So I've never had a plan, really."

Find out how she wound up in her current position by reading the full feature, found here.