Who am I and what do I know about being a new leader?
After spending a decade in the corporate world in various advisory, sales, and training roles, I went from employee to manager to associate director within a 14 month period. I’ve experienced the steep learning curve that comes with rapid movement!
Currently I spend my days heading up leadership and organizational development at Novo Nordisk Canada Inc. (note: all opinions expressed here are solely my own). I also publish weekly articles via my website and LinkedIn, and host a podcast called The New Leader with Ian Daley, geared towards those new to management or who aspire to leadership roles.
A little about me..
When I was 10 years old a family friend gave me a copy of the book, “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. Ever since that day I have been curious about human performance and why some people achieve their big goals while others never seem to gain any traction. I’ve experienced both sides of the coin and have spent years testing methods to determine what works and what doesn’t.
After graduating with a business degree in 2001, I moved from my hometown of Mount Pearl, NL to Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, ON. Trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life I bummed around in hotels and landscaping jobs until I set my aim on securing a federal government job (aka. job for life). Seemed like a wise choice at the time. My parents were teachers and that was the world I grew up in. Pension, benefits, steady cheque. I worked for three years at the Public Health Agency of Canada and finally secured a permanent position – then realized I wasn’t happy. The punch in/punch out routine wasn’t for me. In that same time frame I was diagnosed with a chronic inflammatory condition that sidetracked my life for a good year and a half (hospitals, sick leave, etc). Staying positive through that period really opened my eyes to how much your mindset plays a role in handling the shit life throws at you.
I eventually got better and in 2009 I finally summoned the courage to make the leap from government cubicle to pharmaceutical sales. I was offered a mat leave replacement role, and had seven months to prove myself with no guarantee of a future position. Given that a government job was a pretty safe place to be when a recession hits, I’m sure a few family and friends thought I was a little foolish. But that voice inside me kept saying it was the right move. While plagued with self doubt, I still had a strong underlying belief in myself.
That moved paid off and in a few short years I had doubled my income and things were looking up (getting a bonus in a sales job after being a government worker for years was a real eye opener!). I got promoted quickly and things really started to progress – I climbed the ladder, got engaged, and life was good. And then it wasn’t.
The promotion I accepted really wasn’t a role I was suited for. I started the job and realized it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. I made mistakes. My manager made mistakes. And within a year a promising career path became a long walk out of head office with a box of my belongings and no idea what to do next. That same month I discovered the woman I was engaged to was not the person I thought she was. She was living another life that did not involve me. Four months before the wedding, we pulled the chute.
Its in these types of moments we find out what we’re really made of. Life isn’t always rainbows and unicorns. The tough times are what make you grateful for the beautiful ones. Sitting on my kitchen floor alone and broken in an empty house was a painful time in my life. Losing a relationship and a job at the same time tends to have that effect. And then you realize you have a choice – push through the fear and anxiety or let it consume you. Thankfully in my early twenties I developed a habit of reading about highly accomplished people and learning what achievers do that the rest of us don’t. Staying in the right mindset and having a positive attitude when the tough breaks did happen made all the difference. I took a few months to recalibrate and think about what I wanted from a work perspective. I hustled and eventually landed an interview and ultimately a new job – with more pay and more vacation! I also began investing in real estate and went on to build a valuable portfolio of properties (a dream I always had growing up). I stayed single for a long time and learned about what I really wanted in a life partner.
Today I’m married to an intelligent and beautiful woman, have an awesome little boy and two great dogs.
If you’ve made it this far, check out the “Why” section of this website to see if it’s for you. If you’re a new or aspiring leader who believes in the possible and wants more out of life, who wants the straight goods without all the hyped nonsense we sometimes see online – then welcome, you’ve come to the right place. Sign up for the weekly newsletter and let’s get started!
To your success,