Thank you to the 1646 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions! I hope reading 7 Questions with
helps you in your leadership.
Name: Clive Smallman
Title: Mentor | Author | Speaker
Organisation: Professor Clive Smallman
Clive is an expert in personal and professional development and in developing business models for growth. Building on science, best-practice and 10,000-plus hours of professional development, he is passionate about helping people to develop a deep understanding of their personal and professional situation and the position of their business. From that deep understanding comes the opportunity to grow.
Building clear, realistic and meaningful objectives provides the foundation for the development of templates that plot the way forward. Clive’s experience as a professional project manager and CEO informs his ability to walk alongside clients as they execute their plans. His experience as an educator and trainer equips him to expertly guide their professional development. His experience of running successful businesses and as a professional director means his clients can rely on pragmatic business-oriented advice.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
Learning to listen deeply so that I can guide people towards solutions to complex chaotic or difficult challenges, rater than imposing what I know "works".
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Aged 16 or 17, after being desperately ill, I started playing rugby seriously. My school wasn't a "rugby school", so I stepped up to run the team, and we enjoyed huge success. After that, I've always sought out challenges that enable me to help people and bring the best out of them.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
On my best days: ring my 90+year old mom, who lives on the other side of the world, to tell her I love her; meditate; read something inspirational; exercise; plan the day; develop and follow-up leads for my mentoring business; complete business consulting projects; eat clean; an evening walk at the beach; bed by 8:30.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
There are only 24 hours in a day and 8 of those should be spent asleep. Hence, you have to spread the load. Get help.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
Viktor Frankl's Mans Search For Meaning. The lesson: it's up to you how you choose to react to what life throws at you, so choose wisely.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Deliberately and continuously seek out learning experiences, formal and informal.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
When implementing a redundancy project at a large client, my deputy and I found ourselves considering the ethics of offering a substantial redundancy package to a known alcoholic. It was obvious that they would almost certainly drink their way through the money. We debated the ethics long and hard, we spoke to the colleague and their advisor on several occasions, and we took professional advice. In the end, we gave them redundancy. It was one of the hardest decisions I've ever made as a leader. Was it the right choice? To this day, I don't know. I do know it was the best decision with the information I had available. And that is leadership: making decisions in complex, chaotic or difficult circumstances, based on the information available, and with support from others.