Making Change With Your Money: A Podcast With Jann Freed of The Genysys Group

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A conversation with Jann Freed, a Leadership Development and Change Management Consultant with The Genysys Group. Jann is an Executive Coach, author, and host of the “Becoming a Sage” podcast.


  • You can’t get those 2 hours back. Jann enjoyed her 30 year career as a college professor, teaching business management and marketing courses, but the two hour commute was wearing on her. It suddenly became very clear to her that, if she was going to do what she felt she was being called to do, she needed to change her job.
  • Give yourself time to retire from a profession that is an intrinsic part of your identity. Jann spent five years letting go of her teaching career. She had been studying aging and sage-ing, and learned that it takes about five years to transition emotionally. Jann says to start exploring and discovering while you’re still employed and have a paycheck.
  • When making a big life transition, consider putting rituals in place to help let go. Jann decided to take the bus rather than fly to a conference in Chicago in order to accomplish her ritual project. She took the faculty directory and, during the 5 hour trip there and then back, she wrote about 110 postcards to those she wanted to thank without telling them she was leaving.
  • Recognize the value of relationships. Jann makes a point of keeping in touch with friends, texting and otherwise connecting. She notes that, as we age, we really do have to be thoughtful and stay in touch with the people we really like and enjoy. Also, be sure to find ways to meet new people, perhaps through an online course, which is how Jann and I met.


As a former professor for decades, Dr. Jann decided to practice what she was teaching and preaching. She says she is out to retire the word “retirement.” We are not retiring from life, but moving onto something else. Jann believes it takes time and intentional thought to successfully move on to what’s next in life.

This awakening led her on a research journey that resulted in her book Leading with Wisdom: Sage Advice from 100 Experts. One chapter that really resonated was “Leaders Live Their Legacy.” So Dr. Jann did a deep dive on legacy work and set out to interview gurus. From this work, she created the concept of Breadcrumb Legacy™ and it became her latest book Breadcrumb Legacy: How Great Leaders Live a Life Worth Remembering.

Dr. Jann also hosts the “Becoming a Sage Podcast” where she interviews thought leaders on the wisdom of life and work. She also writes the “Leading Edge” column for Training Magazine which is published in print and online.