We’ve come a long way since my days of working at corporate giants like Verizon and Siemens. Gone are the days of top-down management. Today, engaging and building consensus is vital to empowering new generations. Striking a balance between the realities of the day-to-day and conceptual thinking is part of defining the bigger picture.
The experiences in my life have taught me that collaboration and inclusiveness hold the keys to driving innovation as business continues to evolve.
I’ve worked with giants
In the days when giants like AT&T dominated the communications landscape and new companies were starting to emerge, the competition became even tougher in the marketplace. Being the one that thrives on challenging industry practices and executing big deals, this was the perfect environment for me. I leveraged Verizon’s internal strengths and services to create several initiatives that taught them how to out-perform their competitors.
Survived a failed parachute jump
I have survived jumping out of an airplane with a parachute that failed to open. This is known as a streamer. We were told during pre-jump training that this was the most lethal and least likely ‘chute malfunction. It occurs when the air does not open the chute, leaving one hurling towards earth with the lines tight overhead and the spare likely to get caught within them. I was fortunate, even blessed you might say.
However, what is more, interesting was the lesson learned of oneself during such an event. They say for some, during such events, time stands almost still, giving one the ability to dig deep within, calmly weigh options and make a plan of action.
Learning to dig deep and leverage core strengths starts with an innate trust in doing the right thing the power of integrity. Add a love for one’s fellow man, a sense of responsibility for one’s surroundings, and rich relationships are sure to follow.
And comfortable going out-of-bounds
As a ski instructor, I was the first to arrange for a class of young students and their parents, to be taken on a snowcat ride at the ski area, off the backside of the mountain that was closed for the night, all while being in the middle of a snow storm. It was incredible and beautiful for all…lifetime memories were made that night. This was one of many steps taken with the larger mission in mind of giving the students an appreciation of all those on the mountain that made their experiences possible, to appreciate what gifts they were given.
It’s lifetime experiences that inspire us to learn more, explore more and challenge more. As an instructor or organization leader, it’s my role to lead individuals and teams toward finding a common path toward a goal that we can all celebrate achieving. Through this process, it’s my mission to help people challenge perceived boundaries and rise above what they thought was possible for themselves.
“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”