Why Gary Quit as the CEO of His Company and What Happened Next

resistance to change Feb 10, 2020


Here is the deal: it’s not that easy to surprise me. 

No, I have not seen everything there is to see on Planet Earth. 

I have never been to Australia.
I was spared from war and violence.
I don’t know what dragon fruit tastes like (to be honest, it kind of freaks me out).

But after living on three continents in two different political systems, working with countless organizations doing what I do, getting me genuinely amazed is not an easy task.


However, when the Managing Director of a successful 14-year-old consulting company announced that he quit and took on a whole new never-before role barely 2 weeks into our reinvention course, I was seriously surprised:



What surprised me was not the intellectual reasoning behind this decision. After all, I have been championing
 the idea that every organization needs a Chief Reinvention Officer for a good half-of-a-decade.

[My logic is simple: many years ago when the speed of change was bearable, when the volatility and uncertainty would show up only once in a while, a CEO of a company had the luxury of doing both: leading the company into the new future while managing the business of the present. 

That time has passed: today, running the existing core business is nearly non-stop firefighting, which always takes precedence over the need for leading change. It's time to give change the undivided attention it deserves - by creating Chief Reinvention Officers.

But I digress, so let me come back to the story.]


In theory, Gary Graham’s decision made perfect sense. What was surprising, however, is that he actually had the guts to go from idea to execution

Harvard Business Review tells us that only 8% of CEOs are capable of doing that. 

[Not sure if there is any statistic for the situations where strategy you are trying to execute includes firing yourself.]

Even more amazing: Gary quit not because things were bad. He quit to allow himself, his company, and most importantly his clients to start future-proofing their businesses before crisis knocks on the door - when the budgets are still there, when risks can be taken, and experiment can be welcomed:

“I work with large and small organizations, executives and management teams to reinvent their culture, leadership practices and business models to be able to thrive during disruption, volatility, and uncertainty.

Business has been great for the last few years especially as we’ve tried to reinvent our offering and relevance at least 3 times since 2003, and every year just seems to get better.”

 
Is it possible to go from good to great?

As an executive, team coach, impact entrepreneur, and facilitator, Gary’s focus has always been on igniting energy, possibility, deep learning and action in people and organizations.

Relieving himself from the burden of running the existing business - and focusing on imagining new offers, testing new reinvention tools, and creating new partnerships allowed the newly minted Chief Reinvention Officer to move from the focus on what’s urgent to the focus on what’s important. The result?

“In the last two weeks, we've landed 3 significant global impact reinvention contracts. Two of these involve reinventing HR for greater impact and relevance. This is a direct result of using Nadya's reinvention content and processes. The investment has already paid for itself!  And it’s increased my motivation to live more fully what I champion in others - individuals and client organizations.”

There is a big win for our global reinvention community as well: since taking the course in October of 2019, Gary is becoming an absolute pioneer of the STELLAR Strategy Model - a tool we developed that allows for combining both discipline and flexibility in your strategic planning.

At this point, I think Gary drew more STELLAR canvases for his clients than anyone in the world, including myself - allowing for all of us to learn from his experience and improve the tool even further.

I’d say that’s pretty great.


Now, what will you take from this story?

What projects, “to-dos”, relationships, jobs, or beliefs do you need to quit today to allow yourself room to reinvent?

And where will you start?


I can't wait for a chance to write your story.


P.S. Gary Graham’s reinvention story is a great example of what our signature course, Breakthrough Reinvention, can do for you - and it’s my honor to invite you to enroll (with our 14-day no-questions-asked money-back guarantee, that’s absolutely risk-free). 

Enrollment is open right now - we close our doors on February 20th, so the time to make a leap is right now.

And if you’re on a fence, stop by our Masterclass. We’ll only do them for the next 10 days, so grab your chance to go from good to great before it disappears next week.

 

————

Dr. Nadya Zhexembayeva helps companies such as Coca-Cola, Kohler, and IBM turn change and disruption into an opportunity.

Want to join this amazing reinvention community? Grab you spot or a replay at our free live online masterclass and you are in: https://www.learn2reinvent.com/resistance

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