How long have you lived in Marylebone?
I am from Ireland and regularly visited Irish friends who lived in Marylebone. When I moved here for work in 2002, it seemed like an obvious and familiar option. Little did I know that I had just happened upon the best place to live in London! Now I can’t imagine living anywhere else! I live close to the High Street, with my 8-year-old daughter, Meera, and we are very well settled into Marylebone Village life.
I have heard you are a famous author and have written many books?
I am definitely not ‘famous’ (!) but I have had modest success in the business book publishing world, with six leadership books published since 2011. I set up my own leadership consulting business in 2004, working as a corporate leadership advisor to senior executive clients in companies such as Accenture and Microsoft. Early on I specialised in advising clients on their ‘First 100 Days’ and how to step up successfully into new senior leadership roles. This inspired my first book (still the best-selling) which is called ‘Your First 100 Days; how to make maximum impact in your new role’. I also work with clients on how to get promoted, and other key transition moments in their leadership career and role lifecycle.
The way I see the world is that we are just humans, with some having more power than others – our so-called ‘leaders’. If those leaders did a better job, the whole human race – and the planet! - would all be better off. This is what inspires me and keeps me motivated and excited in my role. In my own small way, I am trying to improve the quality of leadership in the world - one new leadership beginning at a time in the ‘First 100 Days’, or one better leader who I help get promoted, or one new book about how to improve your leadership skills.
Tell me about all the books you have written, and which book did you enjoy writing most?
The book I am most proud of writing is called ‘Future Shaper; how leaders can take charge in an uncertain world’. Rather than focus on a niche leadership topic, it is my leadership manifesto in its broadest sense – everything I wanted to say about how you can become a great leader, which is a mix of very basic ‘forgotten’ skills plus a whole new set of sophisticated ones for the world we live in now.
My next book venture is to write a leadership book series for children. This project is in the works and has not found a publisher yet. As my child progresses through the education system, I realised that leadership skills are not taught at school. It explained why we see such poor-quality leadership at the top of organisations and in government. How ironic – and tragic - that the most important skills to run our world are not being taught at school! I am writing a set of stories for children to absorb in terms of age-appropriate leadership skills to learn, and hopefully it will inspire them onto greatness. Our world needs better future leaders, now more than ever!
For anyone interested, you can find by business books listed in Daunts Marylebone.
The Marylebone Association
229 Great Portland Street