This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.

I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other’s stories – of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing.

In the interview, John talks about how can we make work a place where people can seek and find dignity, uncover who they are and find joy in what they do, in addition to just making a living. He opens up about his faith, about our tricky relationship with money, and he shares that what he does today is the reason he is here. We also talk about the importance of having people to lean back on and of celebration in the context of leadership.

You can find John at the below links

In the interview, we talk about

  • How do we kind of rescue the company in a way and provide a place where people can seek and find dignity and who they are and joy in what they do and as well as making a living?
  • It’s more that we lost our way and we forgot, what was important or we separated what we felt was important from what we actually did.
  • I think the pandemic has accelerated this question around that people wants to do meaningful things with their time.
  • The company of the future is going to be quite different, but for a number of different reasons, not just meaningful work, The family structure has changed. People who go to work have changed and digital, the digital landscape has changed. The regulatory landscape is changing. Almost everything has changed except for the structure of a company.
  • A very rampant individualism has made people feel like I can force my will on the world. And the companies have felt the same, but I think are increasingly finding that it’s not quite as forward. And you’re not quite as in control as you thought.
  • Our purpose is to restore joy, meaning and freedom to every workplace.
  • It is starting to see money as a tool, as opposed to something that you have rather than it has you.
  • How do we use money more wisely? How can we redirect its energy and power in a positive direction as opposed to just being captured by it all the time?
  • I think trade has always been part of the human experience and it always will be, but I think we are perhaps moving beyond the sort of obsession with consumerism and material identification.
  • The real problem is in people. It’s in their hearts and souls and that spirit, why do I do this? What matters to me? How am I going to treat people? What level of courage do I have? How much sacrifice could I cope with?
  • You might need some painkillers, but long term, if you really want to change, you’re going to have to put in the effort.
  • I have a faith myself I do lean on that and have my kind of rituals or prayer or whatever that helps me feel.
  • The bigger that responsibility gets the lonelier. And with it comes more wealth and in the world’s eyes, more power, but it can be extremely isolating.
  • It is really important to, even with the small things, to take time out, to feast and celebrate and find gratitude and joy in what you’re doing.
  • I quite like challenging the stereotype of who I am, I come from a particular background and, sometimes that means in some situations, people make assumptions about how you’re going to see the world. And I enjoy sometimes disrupting those and then being surprised at what my perspective on something might be or what I might say.
  • How do we design education to support children becoming adults for jobs that are not only very different from the average professional of my age, but potentially not just companies that aren’t there, but whole sectors that might show up?
  • When big companies start talking about questions of purpose and meaning in work, these are such deep human questions that I think it is a mistake for them to imagine that they can control those in a kind of manufactured and corporate way.