Inspiring Journey Video with Dr. Stephen G Payne
Interviewer: Hi everyone! Today we’re with Dr. Stephen Payne. I have the privilege of knowing him for a few years and he’s going to tell us a bit about his inspiring journey. So Stephen, tell us what you do.
Steven Payne: Good morning! I’m glad to be with you. What I do is I’m a leadership coach. I work with senior executives around the world helping them be better leaders. I have a firm based in Princeton, New Jersey that does that and I also teach in executive MBA programs in some business schools in the New York area.
Interviewer: Ok. Very, very interesting. So tell us, how did this journey begin?
Steven Payne: I think the most significant moment I can think of was: I was Chief Executive of a British Management Technology Consulting business, 21 years ago, and I got fired, and I was in a pretty bad state of anxiety and worry, I was being fired and I was driving around the turnpike one day and I suddenly got this thought that came into my mind, which seems naïve now, but it was: “Don’t you think that it would be a good idea to do something for other people rather than trying to grab at everything for myself.” That was the starting point and the turning point of a career, which took me rather than being the Chief Executive again to helping other chief executives do their jobs, and that’s how I started working with leaders. I simply went out there and said: “I’d like to help you in some way” and gave the best that I got in conversations with people, and I discovered a couple of things quite quickly: that they would invite my back and the second is that they were paying me to have the conversation with them. And that’s how I started the firm, nothing more than that. And over the years I’ve expanded it and I can’t believe it, but I’m telling you today it’s 21 years since I started. And I’ve had this most fantastic ride where I’ve been able to work and coach some of the most incredible leaders in businesses around the world over those years and it’s been an absolute privilege and thoroughly enjoyable and financially incredibly well rewarding. I formed into a partnership for about ten years and then during one of the recessions we sort of collapsed down and I bought him out. But still to this day that’s what I do every day, I work with leaders, one on one, all types of leaders in businesses around the world, helping them do a better job at competing.
Interviewer: Wow! That sounds exciting and you do, really well with other people. I’ve had the privilege of working with you and I can speak from firsthand experience, you’re a very inspiring person.
Steven Payne: Thank you.
Interviewer: And, Stephen, what would you say to people now who are stuck and would like to be in the position that you’re in now where they really find their dream career?
Steven Payne: I would say to anybody that there’s a great tendency to think that to find your dream career there’s something outside you that you’ve got to go find and discover and I would say to you: That is what society tells you. That is what all the websites tell you. But in reality the good of who you really are is already within you. The stuff of your dream career is already in there. The process of engaging in a dream career is about revealing more of that, what is already in you. So, I would start and suggest, start thinking about the things that give you joy, the things you’re good at, the things that give you fun and then see if you can march forward somewhere along that path. And if you’re doing the things that give you joy and you’re helping other people, and you’re doing that genuinely you will be amazed what will be delivered to you and it will reveal more of who you truly are. And so that’s I think that most important advice I’ve got to give. It’s not about what’s outside you, it’s about what’s inside you. If you want a dream career and a company it’s going to be about playing your strengths, it’s about connecting to the growth of a business and the growth of you from within. When you understand that equation, you will be an incredibly valuable employee for an organization. I always say the G-word when I’m teaching executive MBA students, I say: what’s the initial on my forehead? It’s the initial G! G stands for growth. You’ve got to be connected to the growth of the organization and you’ve got to do it in a joyful way. That’s where we grow from. I know that there are all sorts of systems out there that will tell you how poor you are at things, how weak you are at things; I don’t believe any of that. I believe that the corrective actions should be kept to a minimum. Playing to strengths, playing to the things that give you joy should be maximized. You’ll build a great career if you just work with those principles.
Interviewer: Those are some very good principles. Thank you very much Stephen, it’s been a pleasure as always to talk to you and thanks for your time today.
Steven Payne: Lovely to speak with you. Bye bye.
Interviewer: Bye bye.