For the first 40 years, my life had two distinct halves.
In one, I became an operational leader in financial services, developing customer service and leadership skills. I honed my optimisation ability, taking an end-to-end view of a situation, breaking down complex problems, and removing obstacles and inefficiencies resulting in cost savings and making people’s work lives better. It’s provided the opportunity to work with colleagues from different cultures, become fluent in three languages, and move abroad. The most rewarding part has been leading teams and developing others’ careers.
In the other half, at night and on weekends, I was spending hours at the piano composing and playing music, and recording voiceovers for clients around the world. This has been about acting instinctively, without inhibition, improvising. It requires a technical understanding of the theory behind the music and voice, and creative ability to make it sound good. This half of my life allows me to use both halves of my brain.
In my forties I’ve been exploring ways to integrate the two halves into one fuller, more valuable life.
This process has increased my consciousness around leadership and bringing value to businesses. Instead of just acting on instinct, I now lead in a more deliberate, authentic, directed way.
Like improvisation, it’s about creating harmony with processes and teams through an optimal balance of structure and play, flow and guidance. With this integrated view, I am able to bring a higher level of structure and simplicity to work. This allows greater focus on core values and behaviours.
To support this I have recently completed INSEAD’s Leadership Transition program and the University of Oxford’s Blockchain Strategy Programme at Saïd Business School.