I love ideas. The bigger the idea, the more excited I am. And I’m passionate about making those ideas come to life.
I’m curious by nature and I scan broadly all the time. Often my best ideas come from connecting dots and combining things from one area, industry, approach, or category with another. I think that’s how humans have always created great new products, compelling services, and the most fascinating stories and works of art.
Ideas don’t belong to any one person. They’re floating around and available to whoever latches on. When I “see” something, and know how much value will be created because of it, I can’t stop myself. I put in the sweat, overcome the obstacles, and make whatever adjustments are necessary along the way. I feel tremendous ownership during this stage and am very demanding with myself and others about standards and expectations, and tenacious about achieving results.
Then, once the idea begins to take shape, I love to collaborate with like-minded colleagues and partners to bring it to life.
As much as I love to connect ideas together, I also love to connect with people.
I believe in the power of people – as individuals and in teams.
I produce better with others. My brain works faster. My ideas are more interesting. Together, we multiply our abilities and achieve so much more.
I enjoy the company of people, too. When we’re working hard on a project or sharing thoughts and opinions, I feel intensely curious about what they think and believe, and I love sharing a laugh.
I get great satisfaction when the people who work for me discover more of their own potential and stretch their abilities to new levels. When they advance in their careers and get rewarded and recognized, that means more to me than my own personal success.
By nature, I am someone who looks after others, and have a caring but demanding approach when it comes to helping people grow and succeed. It starts with my family, and it’s even more direct with my employees and co-workers, but I feel that way about my friends, too, and my community.
Recently, my interest in helping both companies and young talent has grown.
I’ve focused increasingly on advisory work through my company, Business Advisory, and on-Board participation as a non-executive director. I love working with CEOs and Boards. Having done those jobs before, I get great satisfaction offering hard-earned advice and seeing them succeed.
Now, I get even more pleasure helping young talented people thrive by mentoring them and sharing my knowledge and experience. I’m lucky to be part of two global networks where those sorts of relationships get facilitated. I learn as much or more than I teach.
I think happiness is rare and shows up in our lives in isolated instances, sometimes for only the briefest of moments. We should treasure those times, and appreciate them, but not get lost in a pursuit for more happiness or constant elation because that’s an impossible goal.
It’s far more important to pursue a life of purpose and fulfillment.
I believe that humans live for meaning and elevate themselves through the pursuit of purpose. That’s what motivates us to work harder than we might think possible, achieve goals that are beyond our current capacities, grow dramatically as individuals and teams, and enjoy more success and fulfillment than we could imagine. That’s how we create something out of nothing and bring it forth to the world.
For business leaders, it’s imperative to develop or recalibrate your purpose by defining the impact you and your organization can have on the world. Then you re-engineer that goal to understand how to manage it, operationalize it and profit from it in the marketplace.
I have captured that formula in my Purpose-Innovation model. More often than not, the drive to achieve great things arises out of crisis. How do we rise above the challenges we face and strive to make things better for the world? After identifying a global “problem-to-solve” we make it happen by linking that end-goal to our business model and developing the innovations and deploying the technology to make it happen.
I don’t think material wealth or external success is nearly as important as the satisfaction of accomplishing a great purpose and realizing your own potential. I earn what I must to cover my needs, and I enjoy the validation that comes from achieving something worthwhile. But I prefer to dig and search for new ideas than profit from old processes.
It’s even better when I get to share that exploration, hard work and progress with others, and ultimately celebrate our success together.
I think that’s how we make the world a better place.