We recently completed Connect, our (eighth) annual six-month leadership experience for 90 people including senior leaders from engineering, media, financial services, housing, energy and retail. These are leaders on their way up, average age early to mid forties, bright, ambitious, keen to learn.
As I pulled in to Sheepdrove this week, I was instantly reminded of my time as a Connect member in 2014. The sense of excitement, anxiety and the re-emergence of that pesky imposter syndrome were instantly with me. It also recalled the friendships and connections that I had made at my On Your Marks and indeed the personal transition I have been through since; from Connect member to being part of the Wavelength team.
Three days with 120 people on an organic farm in Berkshire.
Three packed days hearing from: British, American and Danish serial entrepreneurs; an eye surgeon from India; a Baroness who earned her title through service to sport; UK MD of a global furniture retailer whose most popular product is named Billy; evangelists from an airline that’s been profitable for a straight 43 years and from a luxury hotel chain with “Ladies and Gentlemen” not employees; the Co-Founder of the first funky business magazine, Fast Company, and former talent champion of the number one business oriented social networking site LinkedIn; and from the sustainability and partnership lead in a company innovating to reduce cows’ flatulence (among other planet-positive things).
Roy Disney once said “It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are”.
The 19th Century author and humourist Mark Twain once said that “the two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Little did he know then that his simple but painfully exposing challenge would force some of Britain’s top leaders to contemplate the meaning of their lives, the importance of their work and the human values that drive them.
Grundfos, the world’s largest pump manufacturer, was thriving with over 18,000 employees and a turnover of €3 billion euros. Why then would the company turn it business model upside down switching from selling pumps to selling water. Watch former Grundfos Chairman and Danish entrepreneur Lars Kolind explain the reasons behind the move.