The nostalgic executive, refers constantly to the past. What she did in her previous company, how she managed to build X and how the company eventually called McKinsey (one of the Four Horsemen) and, yes, how she still keeps a template that would be just what you need now. Like nostalgic exiled people who keep souvenirs and paraphernalia, the exiled executive keeps templates and workbooks.
The nostalgic executive may also have a tendency to reconstruct (reinvent) the reality of the past in a way that provides safer memories. In that new reality, her mind may filter here and there so that the new version, Previous-Company v.02 takes over. This reconstructing history is as old as mankind so it should not be a surprise.
The nostalgic executive suffers from maladie du pays, which is French for homesickness and sounds much better
The nomadic executive is also in exile but more content with his new status. Some have decided to be truly nomadic and will set temporary corporate tents here and there with no intention of staying too long. Actually, some subtype of nomadic executives seem to be in state of Permanent Gap Year.
The nomadic type may or may not travel light, and, who knows, he may have one or two McKinsey templates as well. But his focus is the travel ahead. Some nomadic are just temporary job holders (actually they don’t hold a job, the job holds them) and others are more of a builder type who want to leave a visible legacy beyond the fraternal pictures of the Gap Year.
Other nomadic ones may see the new post-exhile status as a form of rehabilitation for all sins and suffering of the past.
These two little vignettes of corporate anthropology may be very helpful to get to know your corporate fellow travellers and understand what they may be up to. Who knows, you may be an exiled yourself, a corporate immigrant.
Let’s face it, since we were born, we all are in exile.