“… along the way, I discovered many new ways to develop our business leaders tribe.”
written by Wayne Brown
35+ years back I decided to join this elevator-escalator tribe and it’s turned out to be one of the best choices I’ve made in a long and fruitful career.
This single decision has blessed me with an opportunity to explore the world, grow as an individual, and work with a fantastic network of people, many of whom have devoted their lives to a challenging and often unforgiving industry.
And along the way, I discovered many new ways to develop our business leaders tribe.
Recalling the day it all began? …
My recollection of that first day is crystal clear – walking into the Sydney office, feeling the vibe, listening to the camaraderie, and looking at the staff who seemed taller than most.
Little did I know at that moment of joining (a young’un merely 25) that this industry was infectious. Once entering your bloodstream, it overpowers you, locking you forever into a culture, from which many have tried to escape, but few succeeded.
Keeping it in the family …
I should have realized! I should have been more aware, as I was not the first in our family to fall prey and enter the industry. Instead when the opportunity presented itself, I fell for the lure of the “perks” that I knew all too well, having spent many years watching my brother-in-law accept everything bestowed upon him.
Before joining, I worked as an electrical contractor. He was already a 15-year elevator-escalator veteran, receiving benefits and developing ways not often available to us folk on the outside.
However, in addition to the benefits, I recall sitting together at our family gatherings on numerous occasions, listening to stories of his latest adventures. They seemed somehow magical and far more exciting than my life at the time;
Tales of adventure & triumph …
- His tale of installing the first escalator in a Papua New Guinee store with the locals kneeling to worship him as he ascended effortlessly towards the heavens.
- The back injury resulting from a heroic dive to prevent an acetylene bottle from rolling off an upper floor of a Brisbane construction site to the unknowing pedestrians ten stories below. (note – this story is from the early 1970s, well before Australia transformed to its current-day safety standards).
- Or the sleepless nights from a week on after-hour call and being handsomely rewarded with more money in that one period than I could hope to earn from an entire month.
As a young guy looking in, I felt in awe and constantly wondering whether other tribes provided similar opportunities? Would I ever find such a world filled with daily excitement and adventure? History records that I didn’t have to wait long to join the party.
My brother-in-law would eventually spend his entire 44-year career committed to the cause and, for the most part thoroughly engaged and enjoying it.
We had our differences though …
While my brother-in-law stayed close to home throughout his career, I have been the opposite. A wanderer, seeking out adventure, traversing between cities, then countries – having now lived in 6 countries and 23 cities, working in more than 80 locations.
Ticking off the “bucket list” and adding new “must do’s” in the process. Sight-seeing from most corners of the world, both for business and pleasure. The more remote and more significant the challenge, the better.
I, driven by an insatiable hunger to explore cultures, meet people and learn from my surroundings. We were two people from parallel worlds but with different desires and purposes in life. This elevator-escalator tribe has offered us both far more than we had ever anticipated or even dared to dream for but from entirely different perspectives.
Time now to give back …
And so now it’s time to open the journals and share, to give back a little and call upon the broader tribal network to join with me and do likewise?
Our tribe members number into the hundreds of thousands, spanning the globe, and we continue to grow.
We have always been in “a state of change.” Still, at this moment in time, significant shifts in thinking abound, spurred on by the disruptors with innovations made possible through our society’s digitalization.
It’s time to regroup, learn from our past, and remain focused squarely on the future. To acknowledge and listen to the inner circle of stakeholders while staying agile and responsive to the cause.
… and to do this, our tribal leaders must re-skill!
in a way different to our generation of baby boomers. Millennials and Gen Z’ers need a new method that they can relate to – ones that are agile, accessible, and flexible.
You will notice that I use the phrase “elevator-escalator tribe” throughout the article, as it describes our industry perfectly. In the book by this name, Seth Godin describes the tribe like this;
“A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to become a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.” TRIBES – Seth Godin (For further insights into this theory check out his book or watch his TED Talk) topic.
So, to the creation of Skills 4 Executives and the purpose of this site …
We aim to support executives like you in developing your elite leadership talents. We focus those efforts on four core capabilities – Communication, Facilitation, Life-long Learning, and Coaching and Mentoring. Each of these is broad fields and for those of you embarking on this journey with us. You will need to commence with a growth mindset, sharing a clear intention and willingness for change to become your new normal. For a complete picture of how you can become part of this, please visit our main site at www.skills4executives.com.
You are reading this article from our communications division site, which is called A Mentors Couch. On this site everything is free and covers five forms of communications, as detailed below.
Starting with our Coaches Blog…
The blog offers readers an opportunity to learn through eight specific categories.
Comms-4-Execs, Experts-4-Execs, Finance-4-Execs, Leading-4-Execs, Learning-4-Execs, News-4-Execs, Psych-4-Execs, Tech-4-Execs.
Except for Experts-4-Execs, the other seven categories have a team of researchers looking at and writing about educational topics of interest for today’s busy leader.
Let’s look closer at Experts-4-Execs…
With Experts-4-Execs, we do something a little different. Here we host conversations with and through like-minded individuals from our own and other tribes.
We are sharing stories and adventures from our careers and travels, which have resulted in more than just memorable experiences to recant for our grandchildren.
These experiences come with important lessons from which the current and future generation of tribal leaders can learn.
But looking to the past is not sufficient; it’s the future that holds the challenge. Therefore, we shall engage those in this global elevator-escalator tribe with sights set in this direction to catch a glimpse of the future changes.
This site has no allegiance to anyone’s elevator-escalator tribe, nor is about the products or services they create and offer. Instead, it is about the realization that every day and each event holds the opportunity to grow a little more and learn something new, regardless of age, position, country, or culture.
Rounding out our group of experts and ensuring that we have the big picture, we liaise with key stakeholder groups, who are probably the most important (our clients – architects, consultants, developers, building owners, facility managers, etc.) Seeking their input about developments within their business tribes and the likely impact these bring for us.
“Legends” are those with a minimum of 30 years of experience working in this global tribe. A wealth of knowledge and skills waiting to be shared.
“Innovators” are the forward thinkers that will shape the way our industry operates tomorrow—a critical group in this fast-paced, ever-changing digital world.
“Cheque Writers” are our clients, whether big or small, with their changing environment driving considerable expectation and demand for us.
- Each blogger will bring their own story, experience and insights to share and for you, our followers to learn from and enjoy. At the end of each article, you will find a summary of key take-aways as illustrated below.
Communicating through videos & podcasts …
But it won’t all be serious or written. Visitors to this site will also be able to enjoy the latest video production by yours truly under the menu heading of “Mentors Rant” – a lighthearted look at topics from a broad array of fields relevant for today’s leaders.
At the same time, we regularly host new podcast episodes containing interviews with a member from our three different groups or on topics that I explore directly. You will find these sitting under the menu heading “couchTALK.”
The final two comms methods to reach you …
It’s clear by now that we are focused on supporting your growth through topics related to developing you as an elite executive talent. And therefore, the package wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t include a regular series of live and recorded webinars. These will sometimes be in support of book releases or events related to leadership. Other times they will center on critical, present-day issues that need a stage and open discussion.
And to the last of the free communications methods available for you, we offer the opportunity for you to subscribe to a six-monthly newsletter. Yes, that is right. Unlike many sites today we understand the sheer magnitude of information constantly sweeping in front of your eyes. Our purpose, therefore, is to bring you topics of real interest and not already covered by our other channels.
And so, in closing …
As a current, future, or past leader of your tribe, we hope that you find our sites of value, educational and engaging.
If you fall into one or more of our categories, “Legends,” “Innovators,” or “Cheque Writers,” and would like to share your story, experience, or insights, please get in contact with us and we’ll be more than happy to discuss.
Until next time stay safe and keep learning!