This year I’m celebrating 30 years as a mentor for business leaders focusing on personal and leadership development. For 28 of those years I was also a professional speaker. My peak years in terms of activity were 2005 through 2015.
In those years I spent a lot of my life on a aeroplane and gave about two thirds of my 2500 presentations to live audiences, primarily at conferences and conducting workshops for executive teams and peer groups.
In 2012 I made my one and only trip to the Gulf working with a multinational client who I had also worked with in Indonesia and Singapore. On this trip I met Strategic Solutions CEO Susan Furness. She was a part of a global online community called Differencemakers that I founded and led from 2008 – 2013. Susan and I have stayed in touch. As you will see below we now work with clients in a collaboration online.
A decade ago I began experimenting with giving presentations and hosting conversations online. I primarily used Skype initially and graduated to Zoom about 5 years ago. As it’s turned out my experience of over 500 events online now places me in good standing.
I have batted the disease of melanoma for over 40 years. In 2013 this battle intensified. One of the side affects meant air travel was a health hazard and so I began to transition away from travelling all the time to travelling very little.
My wife and I moved home to a location where I could maintain a healthy client base without air travel. I remained doing about 20% of my work online. BC (before Corona) I had increased to 80% of my work online.
3 key lessons that I have learned since 1990:
- When we genuinely put people and our planet first we make a healthy profit.
Many people still believe that making a profit is why they are in business.
After working with more than 1000 leaders, women and men, in over 500 diverse organisations and in more than 40 countries, I can say unequivocally that I have never seen a profit first approach to be of any long term value to society or to the people holding the belief.
I believe that profit is never a reason for being in business rather a result of being good at business.
- The purpose of leadership is to create more leaders. I first learned this from a 1924 publication by Mary Parker Follett.
- The primary work of leaders is the art of seeing, sometimes unearthing, mostly magnifying and enhancing people’s essence (unique personal significance) including your own. I called this heart-leadership. I believe it is the new normal.
PC (post corona) these 3 lessons will be even more important and valuable than they have ever been because I believe that our best and brightest future has much to do with being decisively human in a digitally-connected world.
This concept of being decisively human was gifted to Susan Furness and myself by a colleague during our co-creation of Strategic Heartistry, an alternative to strategic planning that helps leaders to Re-imagine, Re-purpose and Re-start life and work in a PC world.