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Oct. 17, 2022

WALL42: The Globe-Trotting Frustrated Optimist with John McKendry

WALL42: The Globe-Trotting Frustrated Optimist with John McKendry


What’s stopping you from taking that leap towards living the life you’ve always dreamt of living?


Watch our conversation on YouTube!


More often than not, as we get sort of blinded by flashy opportunities and shiny objects, we fail to allow ourselves to have that time and space to rethink our career steps.  


Is your current situation something you’d want to recommit yourself again, or do you now see yourself in a completely different place? It is of much importance that we also consider our happiness.

But of course, I understand that it’s difficult; I understand why we tend to get caught up in this. Nevertheless, as our guest today says, the greatest opportunities are never easy.


So give it a try; give it the best that you have. Take that leap and go after what you truly want. After all, your home will always be there, exactly where you left it. Remember that if you feel like it, you can always go back.



John McKendry is a senior healthcare executive with over 20 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical, medtech, and healthtech industries. He is passionate about business transformation and lifescience leadership, all while practicing as a healthtech advisor.

John is the President of the KYE Pharmaceuticals, and prior to this was CEO of a global growth stage medical supplies company, having deep knowledge of the pharma industry. For the past two years, he’s been providing independent advisory on assisting the growth and commercial development of early stage healthtech startups in Southeast Asia.  

John and I met through a gig we worked on together a couple of years ago, coaching pharmaceutical leaders back in 2020. He has these spaces in his career where he took some time to evaluate what he wanted to do next – and that is the exact reason why I brought him onto the show. Join me as we learn to work and live large with John today!



In this conversation, you’ll hear John discuss:

  • His experience in roles which had really high attrition rates
  • How he turned that around through his time by building culture
  • What inspired the decision of his family to leave their home in Canada to work internationally
  • The importance of giving yourself the space to really think about what drives you and what you value, and how you can incorporate and leverage that into your next career steps
  • Why he calls himself a frustrated optimist, and the beauty of being one



Conversation moments:

(00:00:03) Episode snippet + intro

(00:00:58) Introducing and welcoming today’s guest, John McKendry

(00:03:52) Arc of the Leap: Leaving Canada, going international, then flying back to Canada

(00:08:07) The process it took John to do all that he’s done in his career so far

(00:11:26) Talking about the “we can always go back” philosophy

(00:13:12) Appreciate and respect the differences, but don’t let them be excuses!

(00:17:21) “Find a way to do this… and that will color what you want to do next”

(00:21:44) John as a frustrated optimist: “Progress, not perfection”

(00:25:38) John’s thoughts on quiet quitting

(00:27:36) The wake-up moment in spending time in a disenfranchised population

(00:32:50) Let’s see people from here in leadership around the world!

(00:36:09) Rapid Round

(00:40:01) Connect with John McKendry



Connect with John McKendry here:

John on LinkedIn



Rapid Round Recommendations:





Click here for show notes and to subscribe to Leanne Hughes' Work and Live Large podcast.