The adrenaline was SCREAMING through my veins. I made the mistake of looking down as I hopped one step closer - they must have seen me because the next thing I heard was "1... 2... 3... " this was it, "BUNGY". I jumped.
You know that feeling when you’re up so high up your feet hurt? Some of you might also know the feeling of your heart leaping in your chest as you free-fall. To me, that’s what it feels like to lead a team into the unknown of a new transformation program - excitement, fear, bold-hearted-dogged-persistence to follow through, and one helluva grin on the face.
But I didn’t start out this way, I used to play very very safe - and it got me a long way very quickly in my career. And then I was at a crossroads. A total overachiever I’d made executive before 30 in one of the country’s biggest companies. I had *thrived* in the highly competitive, perfectionistic, pressure cooker environment running large-scale enterprise and driving a cross-company change program.
And then it happened. 6 months of utter carnage. Our transformation program was going backwards, I broke up with my then partner of 14 years, my little brother got *very* sick on the other side of the world, and my new boss turned out to be a certifiable bully. I was breaking down, mentally, emotionally, physically. And I saw the inside of some pretty dark caves in my own mind.
As I looked around me for a way to dig out of this hole I became more disillusioned. I didn’t want to be like the leaders around me - the survivors were hardened, some of them were bullies and they always looked stressed to the eyeballs. They looked sick and they were racing towards their first heart attack. I came very close to losing faith in my belief that nice guys *don’t* finish last. I questioned myself continually - who the heck are you to be here, to be in this job, you clearly can’t cope, why don’t you just get out and leave it to the big boys. I was exhausted, frustrated, I felt betrayed and was thoroughly sick of pushing sh*t uphill.
Something had to give. And it did. I quit. I doubled down on those values I held dear: uncompromising kindness, hyper-transparency, daring to be vulnerable, truthful, and dedication to purpose. And I swore that I would not be beaten.
I began what has become a journey of deep personal discovery. Of learning some *ninja* techniques for calling bullsh*t, developing internal resources for resilience and the tools to start a revolution in corporations for honest, transparent and open communications.
Once I realised it was less about the work and more about how I show up, it was like the key in the lock and the doors swung open. I began coaching others how to kick-ass in business and still be fulfilled human beings.
The results with subsequent clients - who I count as friends and teachers - have been phenomenal. Both by traditional measures of revenue and productivity, but also the new insights we developed around true understanding of customers, not to mention the incredible change in the people we worked with.
I've been incredibly privileged to have time with some of Asia-Pacific's top executives and to have real, raw, forthright and life-changing conversations. I intend to use this position of privilege to change the face of leadership, one person at a time.
If you’re ready to step into a world where you can bring all of yourself to the task; if you’re looking for leadership up-level that rocks you to the core but doesn’t take the incense and candles; if your inner child still believes the good guys win; if you dream of a workplace where you and your team leave feeling deeply fulfilled at the end of the day; and if you are curious how you can have all this and still outperform the competition then we need to talk.
In this life, we really can have it all. 1… 2… 3...