GLN conversation – Joining the dots
Earlier this year I was approached to become a Director of the Global Leadership Network UK (GLN) and having accepted the appointment I had a “conversation by email” where we explored my background and some leadership related topics. The discussion that ensued is reproduced here in an unedited format. (Note that the Global Leadership Summit (GLS) is the flagship conference for the GLN which is held in Chicago in August each year. This includes talks from Leaders around the world and is rebroadcast around the UK later in the year.)
How did you discover your core passion of speaking, coaching and training? What was the process? How long did it take to reach that point? And how has this informed and shaped your coaching of others as they seek to fulfil their passion and purpose? What would you say to anyone who feels stuck or uncertain?
That’s an interesting question. Life.Church has developed a program called “the Chazown Experience”. Chazown is a Hebrew word for “vision, dream, or revelation”, and the Chazown Experience is a small group study designed to bring people face to face with God’s vision or purpose for their lives.
I discovered, or rather uncovered, my core passion for speaking, coaching and training in a Chazown Experience session run by Steven Roberts from the Church Online team at Life.Church. A key element of the Chazown Experience is to explore past experiences, the events and seasons in life that have prepared me to fulfil God’s purpose in my life. For me, this helped me to realise that “everything I’ve done, I’ve taught”, or at least everything I’ve done well, I’ve taught.
Steve Jobs said this at his commencement address at Stanford University in June 2005:
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So, you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well-worn path; and that will make all the difference.”
I just love to help people learn. This includes speaking, teaching, training, coaching and mentoring; but is more than that, it goes much further. If I deliver some teaching or training and the student hasn’t learned something they can take away and put into practice then, for me, I’ve not completed my job. My passion is for people to actually learn and to do something differently as a result. It’s not about gaining knowledge or obtaining a qualification; for me, it’s about getting an education: doing something differently as a result and making a difference.
For me, the most rewarding experience is to see someone do something differently and more effectively as a result of my speaking, coaching or training.
My core passion for leadership was developed during my early career in managing engineering projects. Here I discovered that engineers are really good with things, but not always so good with people; I discovered that you can manage things, but that you need to lead people. I discovered that a key differentiator between success and failure often had a lot to do with effective leadership skills, with leading people well, and I found that you can get the best out of people when you can turn “have to” into “want to”, because then people inspire themselves to be great.
For me, the process of uncovering my core passion of speaking, coaching and training on Leadership started with The Chazown Experience, and it continued over the next few months as I thought about the outcome of that experience and how that was going to make an impact in my life. It took a few months for it to sink in, and for the inevitable result to emerge.
That’s when my life and career took a new direction, one which I am following with a passion to this day. The result was to launch into developing speaking, teaching, coaching and training resources, with a mission to help teach and train leaders learn how to maximise their effectiveness and that of their teams.
What would I say to anyone who feels stuck or uncertain? I know that can be a very challenging place to find yourself in. I know, because I have been there. Finding this new direction and purpose for my life has been so invigorating and energising I would encourage everyone to uncover their vision, dream or revelation, their new direction, their Chazown. Don’t settle for less, don’t become complacent with today, but find someone who can help you, and maybe find someone to work with you through some of the Chazown material which Life.Church provides entirely free of any charge at the links below:
About Roger Fairhead
Roger is a leadership specialist delivering Leadership for Business Achievement through Speaking, Training and Coaching to business leaders and entrepreneurs.
“He is articulate, tracks complex issues with ease and has an incredible gift for raising pearls of wisdom out of the murky depths of people and process.” His passion is to help people to learn effective leadership skills to lead their teams to capitalize on their strengths and passions to realize their dreams.
Leadership for Business also invests into the dreams of families in the world’s underserved communities to offer them small loans that empower them to invest in their future, to provide for their families and give back to their communities.