A few hours ago, while doing the usual scan of my social networks, I found myself on LinkedIN with this image that got my attention. I correct. I totally captured my attention, because it accurately reflects the levers that have turned my career and my life around since October 2014 when the circumstances arose for me to leave a good position in a large multinational and dedicate myself, to what Sir Ken Robinson would call my “Element”. In these months I have published my first book and I have given more than 150 lectures in 25 cities in 9 countries, touching the lives of more than 30 thousand people. I have never been happier.
I would like, in this post, to share briefly what these changes have meant for my life and my career, because it’s not a small thing and if I can contribute in some way to your development, to your transformation process and that you can open your wings and fly, so be it.
1-From profits to purpose
I come from a large company, its shares are listed on the London Stock Market and therefore, is under the constant scrutiny of financial analysts who do not see beyond their excel sheets, but who, in turn, are those who by their opinions exert a determining influence on the value of the company [of the price of its stock, to be more exact]. Therefore, they have an indirect power over those who are responsible for leading operations in more than 50 countries and on which more than half a million families depend. This causes that all the actions and decisions that are taken in the company are oriented to please the whims, desires and projections of these ambitious analysts.
Saying that the financial results of a company are not important is a lie. Of course they are!, but beware, you can not confuse the importance of the subject, with turning it into an obsessive passion or a passionate obsession.
Today, I give importance to the planning and financial performance of my professional activity. It would be irresponsible not to. But it’s not the first point on my agenda. In the end, it has become the result of what occupies the first point of my agenda: my purpose. Paradoxically, the more I focus on fulfilling that purpose, the better the financial results…
My purpose is to add a grain of sand in the lives of people and in the cultural dynamics of organizations so that they can flourish, transform positively and grow. We all have an immense capacity to dream and create. I want to enhance that capacity in the recipients of my contents.
Everything is possible. Open your mind.
2-From hierarchies to networks
The hierarchical and political structure of large corporations are a modus operandi that many are trying to change, but few have succeeded. However, it is imperative to do so. The generational change in the working world and the new organizational dynamics make these changes necessary and imminent and many companies will have to do it, even if they don’t want to.
The structures in silos, where collaboration is minimal and the agendas are often different and conflicting, makes the work dynamic turn into a constant struggle. In the end, more time is spent doing politics than doing activities that generate value and efficiency, in seeking ideas that drive innovation and in cultivating relationships that facilitate work.
Now I’m dedicated to building networks. Networks that open doors and windows for opportunities and that help me co-create my future, my career and my life. They are networks whose nodes are created by trust and not by distrust. They are networks where there is more potential to create than to destroy. They are networks based on authenticity and not on hidden agendas.
3-From control to empowerment
All companies invest a lot of time and money in attracting individuals with brilliant minds and ability to execute, but they end up diminishing the capacity to generate ideas and to realize them by exaggerated control patterns. Being in leadership positions is always imminent – and necessary – to exercise control and the great leader, the great executive is the one who is able to generate coherent and measured control mechanisms to risk exposure without these becoming burdens that take away speed up from the operation or ability to innovate. It is not an easy task, because there are many bad intentions, temptations to act improperly and considerable probability of making mistakes, all behaviors that should be minimized proactively beginning in the stages of recruitment and keeping them consistent over time.
In my new activity as an author, lecturer and consultant, of course I must control many variables, but my focus is on empowering, inspiring, motivating and allowing those who read and listen to me to discover that they have immense power to be better, to create, to progress and to generate value in all dimensions of life. Now I spend more time creating to empower than working to control.
I enjoy it more and I think I’m better at it than at the other.
4-From planning to experimentation
Preparation, discussion and review of budgets, forecasts, 5-year plans, contingency plans and thousands of planning exercises filled my agenda. There was little time left to visit clients, to sit down and think, to innovate. It has generated an exaggerated planning dynamic in the corporate context that often leads to the paralysis of development, perpetuates the status quo and leaves little room for development, innovation and seeking closeness with customers.
I now try to experiment and work under a dynamic of trial and error to adjust my messages, to approach and get close to those who listen to my lectures or read my book taking advantage of social networks and interaction mechanisms that are dramatically changing the way we promote, sell and relate to our audiences.
I experiment adjusting the message of my conferences so that each one is tailored to the needs of the person who hires me. Although my message has a clear structure, I like to adapt it so that the language and ideas that the client wants to highlight are leveraged and acquire more power with my concepts.
5-From privacy to transparency
With all the information revolution and the rise of social networks we are living a profound transition, because before the power belonged to the one who kept the information for himself in a confidential and private manner. Today the power is in who shares their information in the most appropriate way. There are few things that one cannot find out today with just a few clicks. Therefore, the culture of mystery, of privacy and confidentiality is being replaced by a culture of the clear, the transparent and the public.
I am now in the economy of ideas. My power to influence and lead is directly linked to the scope of my product to make it public, transparent and massive. The more you save it and the more you protect it, the less impact it will have. The more I divulge it, the more I share it, the more relevance, the more influence and the more positive reputation I can build.
Perhaps what excites me the most, is that this journey is only beginning.