This world-renowned leadership expert and movie buff believes the more great leaders in the world, the better it will be.
Heralded in Inc. Magazine as one of the Top 100 Leadership and Managements Experts and Speakers, Gordon is also ranked #2 on the Top 15 Must Read Leadership Blogs, was #4 Most Socially Shared Leadership Blog.
Gordon is contributing author on Inc https://www.inc.com/ , Entrepreneur https://www.entrepreneur.com and Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/ as well as a Visiting Professor at Staffordshire University Faculty of Business, and a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management.
Gordon believes that humour is a great stress reliever and that teams that laugh together work harder together.
Gordon, Welcome to the Leadership interview
How do you start your day?
I like to start my day with 5-10k run. Helps get the mental and physical juices flowing I find it sets me up for the day.
What was your first job and what is the worst job you’ve ever done?
My first job was my worst job. I worked in an engineering factory with helmet, goggles and ear protectors as I drilled holes in metal. There was zero social contact except lunch breaks. I lasted ½ days.
What advice would you give to others about furthering their career?
Always look to add value and be passionate. It will help you stand out and get you promoted. If you wait until you’re promoted to add value, you will be waiting a long time.
Who inspires you and why?
People who are passionate about helping others and making the world a better place. I mentor a young Ghanaian who has founded a group called www.1billionafrica.org, and organisation which is looking to help African make Africa better.
He inspires me greatly because his motivation selfless wanting to help improve Africa for others not just himself.
Do you think a talent to lead is nature or nurture?
I think that leadership is all about behaviour and skills and they can all be learnt. We can have some talents we are born with that can help us. So I think leadership is about nurture, but nature can give us a little step up.
How can a leader fail? Do you have a personal example?
Leaders can always fail, we can aim too high, we can be unlucky, or we can be put in positions where it’s difficult to succeed. I led a program where technically it was a success, but the system wasn’t wanted or needed by the business so overall it was just a waste of $100m. No matter what I did I couldn’t make it successful. My part went well but I still failed.
What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
My biggest strengths are my problems solving and ability to simplify things, which then helps me to communicate and build confidence in team which then inspires them. I’m also passionate, determined and tenacious which then helps get others motivated and helps drive completion and success.
What do you find most challenging about being a leader?
It can be emotionally draining, especially when people are very, very resistant to change. That’s the hardest part for me.
What are you most proud of?
I’m proudest of the leaders that I have helped develop who have then gone on to achieve great things, and the more people I can develop the more impact I can have on the world. The more great leaders we have in the world the better the world will be.
What’s your biggest self indulgence?
Movies, I love to watch movies. And also I would say Game of Thrones, I can watch that for hours, I love the intrigue, and there are great leadership lessons, some good and some bad.
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These range from kidnap/hostage scenarios, Grand Prix, SAS, Tivoli roller coaster crash, dance and RNLI immersive experiences.
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