scars and stripes
JOURNEY SO FAR...
Stage 3 - Coach
One-to-one with executives in corporate and growth businesses; faculty leader for senior development programmes in Asia, Europe and USA.
Stage 2 - Counsel
GM/VP leading change (marketing, sales, operations) in two NYSE 100 Corps; team roles and board director at three start-ups, delivering revenues, fundraising, acquisition and sale.
Stage 1 - Create
Client relationships and team management at two agencies; director of EMEA communications - strategy, brand and organizational change.
(Further career details and recommendations at LinkedIn.)
Being fired was frightening the first time; the second was almost a relief. Both decisions were political, with a new boss and a new plan into which my capabilities didn’t fit. In hindsight, both leaders needed to make difficult decisions. But who knows - perhaps asking me to go was the easiest part of their day?
It's a great pleasure to help a person, a team, a unit or a venture realize its potential. I’ve worked with a CEO who was out of his depth; supported a territory head learning to play the game beyond a revenue target; coached a HiPo executive when arriving at two diverged career roads.
I was persuaded to put personal money into a start-up, as a sign of good faith. Only later did I discover that my investment wouldn’t be repaid until the venture capitalists had received their returns based on impossibly high multiples. (But the share certificate still hanging on the wall does make me smile.)
On the other side of my balance sheet, I once realized some value from an executive share incentive scheme. It happened the day before a considerable price drop. (No – I didn’t ‘move the market’). A few years later, I benefitted from the merger of two businesses. How life ebbs and flows, ebbs and flows.
We can all be lucky, but when looking for a job, for new business prospects, or for quality candidates, I have found that a lot of time is spent kissing frogs: Princes and princesses rarely turn up out of the blue. That’s the cost of being on the receiving end of change...
Driving change has always been more fun, more rewarding. Changing within an organization (from Rank Xerox to ‘The Document Company’); changing the type of organization (from corporates to start-ups to solo); changing the role (from Marketing and Sales to Professional Services). My ABC motto: always be changing.*
*The ABC Paradox: I've lived in my current home for over 20 years, been married to the same (wonderful) woman for 30 years, and have friends I've known for over 40 years.