The Smart Start Coach – Linda Lopeke

Smart Start Coach - Linda LopekeA couple of months ago I had a chat with Linda Lopeke, who teaches at a university in Canada. Linda has had a career outside of the university but designed an MBA-level course called Fortune 500 Intelligence. From what I can tell this has been an excellent testing ground for her to refine her Smart Start program, as she works with hopefuls and wannabe’s (I was an MBA student so I can say that :p).

Linda has a program for “the rest of us” (meaning, not her students) where she makes some very strong claims. I don’t think the claims are far-fetched. A lot of what is being taught is not necessarily new stuff – although professional coaches are going to not only base their coaching on principles, but know the trends, fads and current career management stuff a lot better than someone who isn’t immersed in it all day long.

You can get a taste of her program here, with the free stuff.

You can get an idea of what she teaches here, with the Cash for College challenge questions.

Listen to her on the radio or read a press release here, to get to know her and her program better.

Her home page is really long but has a lot more info, if you are interested. The pricing seems nominal for someone that wants to get started on the career fast track… you can read all about it here.

Linda has a system, with newsletters and communication catered to those that are trying to figure out how to get ahead. She has teleseminar classes that you can dial into, and I think peer communication opportunities to get to know other people that are in the program. This isn’t a replacement for one-on-one career coaching but if you have been hesitant to jump into something like this, I think for the price, it’s a great alternative.

Do you have a coach yet? Do you have a mentor? Has it been beneficial?

3 thoughts on “The Smart Start Coach – Linda Lopeke”

  1. SmartStart is truly amazing! A definite recommendation to all, whether fresh out of college or already working in the corporate world. No one in the program has quit since in began in 2005. I know I would be lying if I said I would ever give up my seat!

  2. Hi Jason,

    Thank you kindly for the blogpost! Just to clarify a couple of points: teaching MBA students is not my career it’s just my hobby. I did launch the original mentoring program (in 2005) from Queen’s (a Canadian university) and now teach MBAs from Queen’s as well as many other top b-schools such as Columbia Business School (New York), London School of Economics (England), the Sorbonne (France), Schulich School of Business (Toronto), and Richard Ivey School of Business (London) to name a few. However, my entire career (40 years) has been spent working in and with the Fortune 500 in various operational and executive management roles. It is this real-world experience and having mastered 6 professional management disciplines that makes the SmartStart program valuable to its members because my advice is specific right down to role and industry.

    I also do a significant amount of 1:1 private coaching (for CEOs, senior execs, new managers, and anyone with career ambitions who is new to the Fortune 500 or to North America). Many of these private coaching clients are also in the SmartStart program.

    I think perhaps the most interesting thing about the mentoring program, at least to me anyway, is that since its inception, not a single person has left! So we have to keep expanding its capacity through the creative use of technology. And with the business world always changing, it looks like there will be plenty to talk about and help program members with for years to come! I swear helping these folks is the best job I’ve ever had!

    For those who may want to confirm my career credentials, they are posted at and, as Jason noted, SmartStart program information is available from

    We’re happy to welcome new members anytime! But when the seats are gone, they’re gone… at least until we do another technology expansion.

    Linda M. Lopeke

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