I am always telling my clients "it's all about you." And it is. Always. What I do and how I do it, depends on what you need, where you are at and where you want to go. So allow me just a small amount of space to talk about myself, which I do with humility and a degree of reluctance!
I began managing people and businesses in 1975 after graduation from Massey University with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science, specialising in Poultry Science and Animal Nutrition - not many people did that, I guess I thought differently way back then too. That first job was Hatchery Manager of an International Poultry Breeding company - again not too many people did that either! I had four staff and was also accountable for the effective operation of the grandparent breeding farm that the hatchery was attached to. I made lots of mistakes. I was a greenhorn. But I began to learn what it means to listen, think and act.
My wife and I travelled to the UK in 1977, initially for a couple of years, and came home 6 years later! My sales and sales management skills were developed in the Animal Feed Industry over there, as was my recognition of the way English (and Scottish and Welsh and Irish - they were all there) rugby players enjoy themselves!
On return to New Zealand I spent 10 years in Corporate life in the Agribusiness sector - initially with Watties, which morphed into Goodman Fielder Wattie (and now without Watties.) Management and Leadership were the areas of focus during this time, with still more mistakes made and much learning gained. I look on that time as somewhat paradoxical - some very significant strategic achievements, in some cases changing the very face of industries for ever during the 1980's, mixed with periods of enormous stress and blind panic!
In the early 1990's I escaped the shackles of corporate life and entered into business with an old school mate of mine, producing digital maps (via aerial photography) and capturing infrastructural data (using GPS and other technologies that were in their infancy at that time.) This was leading edge stuff, not just in NZ, but worldwide. The opportunity to lead and strategise in an environment of huge and accelerating change was impossible to resist. We were successful. I made lots more mistakes, and yes, I learnt even more.
In 2004 I graduated with a Master of Business Administration (with Distinction, and again from Massey University) and decided that I needed a change (the MBA does that to people.) I decided to spend more of my time using my Strengths - helping Business Owners have absolute clarity on their Strategy, defining specific milestones on their Pathway towards their overarching Goal, and ensuring that they execute the specific tasks that are needed; all the while Thinking Differently and smelling the flowers.