At 16 I decided that by the age of 40 I wanted to be the CFO of a top UK company. As it turns out, by that age I had achieved something I feel was much more valuable.
Why this initial Vision ? I’d always loved data, research and modelling. Having discovered that so many CEOs of the top UK companies are Chartered Accountants, I decided that this would be my path to the top of the business world.
By the age of 26, I was developing strategy for a $50 million company. By my early thirties, I was an in-house VC for a family holding company with a widely diverse range of business and asset holdings around the world.
My turning point came when I took over running one of those assets — a struggling resort in the Cayman islands. The people who ran it were all about the numbers, and yet the business was underperforming. I wanted to find out what was missing. I moved my office out to the hotel and immersed myself. I walked the property every day and quickly realized that what was missing was the heart and the soul of the place.
I started voracious research on the power of people and leadership. It was then that I realized that culture — the heart of an organization — drives business as much as numbers.
I worked towards those ideals as a business leader. During my active business career, I bought, built, restructured and sold over 30 companies, some as small as $100K and others as large as $100 million.
By my early 40s, I became much more interested in people “being” leaders than “doing” leadership. I decided to leave the world of building businesses and transition to the world of building business leaders who could make an impact not only for their business, but for the world.