Hello, and welcome to my very first blog.
Let me start with a confession; I’ve resisted moving into the world of social media for some time – mostly out of ignorance and fear. Then an evil and persuasive friend of mine reminded me of my sworn purpose in life – to enable transformation. He challenged me to move beyond my comfort zone of consulting and speaking engagements, and bring my learnings to the widest possible audience. So here we are.
For the last 12 years, I’ve been a researcher, management consultant and leader of my own business – all focused on transformation. That is, how ordinary leaders, teams and organizations become extraordinary. During this time, I’ve had the privilege of working closely with hundreds of leaders around the world, read countless books and articles, delivered speaking engagements on four continents, started a leadership foundation for school students, and completed original doctoral research on the subject.
Strangely, it has only recently occurred to me that I may have an incurable obsession with transformation. It has perplexed me somewhat, because there is no logical, intellectual or academic reason for it. My parents aren’t university educated; in fact they are two Italian immigrants who both left school at 15 years old so they could go to work in support of their working class families.
Growing up, I observed my mum overcome this by becoming self-educated, and developing a strong need for substance, facts and truth – she ran a no BS household. I watched my dad do the exact opposite; he became a dreamer, lost in the potential of things. He always expected the best of people or situations – almost a blind optimist if you will. To underline the point, he’s now 70, has been ten-pin bowling weekly for more than 30 years, and still believes his next game will be the perfect 300.
The impact of all of this on me has been to create an internal battle between daring to dream and hard facts; dreaming of playing soccer in Europe, while wondering whether I had the skill and discipline to get there; dad taking me to practice five times a week, and mum taking me out because my school work was suffering; feeling the pride of being the first person in my extended family to go to university, and the pain of seeing old team mates make it into the big leagues.
Then it hit me like a bolt of lightning; transformation is what happens at the intersection of dreaming and truth.
This intersection has fueled my obsession, and as I reflect on my 12 obsessive years in this field there is one thing I have learned above all others; transformation is not just a matter of intention, it is also a matter of alignment. Why do I say this? Because every leader I have ever met has noble intentions – I haven’t met the leader who aspires to destroy shareholder value, irritate customers and alienate staff – yet more than 70% of all transformation efforts fail.
It’s the same in our personal lives. My desire to be fit and healthy doesn’t help me on a cold winter’s morning when I turn off the alarm and pull the covers back up; I need to step into my trainers and hit the pavement too.
Moving forward, I hope to share my obsession with you; to reveal the many inspirational stories of ordinary managers who have become extraordinary leaders – transforming their own lives, their teams and their entire organizations in the process. I’ll share many of the strategies and techniques that have helped them to get there, so that you may consider them on your own journey.
I hope you enjoy my blog, and encourage you to share it with anyone whom you think will benefit.
Want to keep reading? Here are some quick links to other blogs you may like;
7 Metaphors for Leadership Transformation
15 Qualities Of A Transformational Change Agent
Enlist a peer coach and accelerate your transformation