Thank you to the 1646 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions! I hope reading 7 Questions with
Steven M Windmill
helps you in your leadership.
Steven M Windmill
Name: Steven M Windmill
Organisation: Everest Assets GRoup
Steven Windmill: A Visionary Leader and Polymath Extraordinaire
Steven Windmill is an accomplished and visionary leader, renowned for his exceptional leadership skills and diverse range of talents as a polymath. With over 25 years of experience leading change initiatives, directing multi-billion-pound projects, and providing strategic consultation to organizations across various sectors, he has solidified his position as a dynamic force in the business world. Throughout his illustrious career, Windmill has consistently demonstrated his ability to navigate complex challenges and deliver exceptional results. As a Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operations Officer, and Programme Director, he has spearheaded the largest change programmes in the history of the United Kingdom, transforming underperforming organizations into profit-generating powerhouses.
Windmill's leadership prowess extends beyond the corporate realm. Serving as a Colonel and leading NATO and ARRC forces, he commanded and controlled 200,000 Iraqi Military, Intelligence (CIA), and Police personnel, achieving unprecedented levels of professionalism during the war against terrorism and ISIS. This experience honed his strategic thinking, resilience, and ability to thrive under high-pressure situations. What sets Windmill apart is his polymath nature—a rare combination of intellectual prowess, diverse talents, and a thirst for continuous learning. With an MBA from Henley, a BA (Hons) in Philosophy from London University, and a diverse array of accreditations ranging from Leadership & Management to Civil & Military Engineering, he possesses a unique breadth of knowledge that transcends traditional boundaries.
Windmill's polymathic abilities are exemplified in his professional achievements. From financial management to stakeholder engagement, strategic planning to risk reduction, he seamlessly combines multiple areas of expertise to drive organizational success. Whether it's turning around underperforming businesses, negotiating complex agreements, or launching innovative projects, his multidisciplinary approach has consistently delivered outstanding outcomes. Beyond his professional accomplishments, Windmill's polymathic interests extend to various domains. A keen advocate of family time, he finds solace in spending quality moments with his loved ones.
Additionally, he nourishes his intellect through reading and maintains an active lifestyle that includes walking and embracing the beauty of the world around him. Steven Windmill's leadership and polymathic skills have made an indelible mark on the organizations he has served. With an unwavering commitment to excellence, a visionary outlook, and a wealth of knowledge spanning diverse disciplines, he continues to inspire and leave an indelible impact on those fortunate enough to cross paths with him.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
Steven Windmill is an accomplished and visionary leader with diverse talents and a polymathic nature. With over 25 years of experience leading change initiatives and directing multi-billion-pound projects, he has consistently demonstrated his exceptional leadership skills. However, one of the most significant challenges in his career has been the need to step up his game when faced with increasing responsibilities. From leading a team of 8 staff to managing organizations with 30, 600, 4,000, 23,000, and finally 200,000 people, each step presented a unique set of challenges.
Windmill recognizes that these transitions were not incremental but required a conscious decision to identify what he needed to do to be an effective leader at each major stage. Despite the daunting nature of these transitions, Windmill rose to the occasion, making strategic decisions and implementing effective leadership strategies to meet the demands of each new role. This ability to step up and adapt to rapidly changing circumstances speaks volumes about his resilience, agility, and commitment to personal growth. Windmill's polymathic nature, combined with his leadership skills, has been instrumental in overcoming these challenges.
Drawing on his diverse knowledge and expertise, he has successfully guided organizations through transformative periods, achieving outstanding results and fostering growth. In summary, Steven Windmill is a remarkable leader whose polymathic skills, combined with his ability to step up and adapt, have allowed him to excel in challenging leadership roles. His visionary approach, strategic thinking, and commitment to personal growth continue to inspire those around him and drive organizational success.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Steven Windmill's journey to becoming a leader is a testament to his determination, adaptability, and the influential mentors he encountered along the way. Although he was initially shy during his school years, he embarked on a transformative path that ultimately shaped his leadership abilities. Seeking to develop his teamwork and camaraderie skills, Windmill made the decision to join the army. This pivotal experience taught him the importance of being a team player and instilled in him the values of discipline, resilience, and effective communication—essential traits for a leader.
As Windmill transitioned to civilian life, he had the opportunity to work with prominent organizations that played a crucial role in his leadership development. Trained by Arthur Anderson and mentored by M&A billionaire Roland 'Tiny' Rowland at 3i, he gained invaluable insights into strategic thinking, corporate finance, and mergers and acquisitions. Working alongside Big 4 firms KPMG and PwC further honed his skills and provided exposure to industry-leading practices. However, it was his partnership with Roland 'Tiny' Rowland that profoundly influenced Windmill's visionary and motivational leadership style.
Under Rowland's guidance, he led high-velocity acquisition, integration, and profit improvement programs, acquiring a deep understanding of establishing and accelerating strategic drivers to deliver significant value. Throughout his career, Windmill's ability to inspire and motivate teams has been a defining characteristic. His leadership approach combines his visionary thinking with the practical know-how acquired from his mentors and experiences in the military and corporate world. This unique blend enables him to lead with purpose, navigate complex challenges, and drive organizations towards success.
Steven Windmill's story exemplifies the power of mentorship, personal growth, and seizing opportunities. From his humble beginnings as a shy student to his role as a dynamic and accomplished leader, he has cultivated a deep understanding of strategic drivers and an unwavering commitment to delivering value.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
05:30 - 06:30: Coffee and Meditation
06:30 - 07:00: Morning Routine and Personal Care
07:00 - 08:00: Breakfast and Planning for the Day
08:00 - 12:00: Work/Professional Responsibilities
12:00 - 12:20: Lunch Break
12:20 - 16:30: Work/Professional Responsibilities
16:30 - 17:00: Transition and Travel Time
17:00 - 18:15: Gym/Exercise
18:15 - 18:45: Post-Workout Routine and Shower
18:45 - 19:15: Relaxation Time
19:15 - 19:45: Dinner Preparation and Eating
19:45 - 20:15: Leisure Time/Recreational Activities
20:15 - 21:00: Personal Development (reading, learning, hobbies)
21:00 - 21:30: Wind-Down Routine and Evening Self-Care
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
The need to slow down when others need to be included in the decisoin making
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?
The Seven Pillars of Wisdom: T.E. Lawrence
Lawrence's role as a Brisithc Army officer (Captain, later Major) during the Arab Revolt against the Turkish Empire. Lawrence came to lead the entire Arab nation with around 200,000 men under his command.
I learnt from him that thinking big and having a vsion of the future leads to people following that vision
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Take coffee and cake to meetings where you wish to shape opinion
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
Risk must be found, quantified and mitigated: On an GBP £18 Billion change programme, I was constantly challenged over minor issues; once a process was in place to quantify risk, most of these distractions disappeared.