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Jill Rayner attended Blenheim Palace as part of a Carlos Dean Leadership workshop.

Carlos Dean Leadership Workshop

Jill Rayner attends a leadership course led by Carlos Dean, a maverick, a mentor and a mediator who believes that business is about personal development and becoming a better person
"A focus on higher purpose creates a vision of unity, teamwork, community and connection."

Do pinstripe suits, platitudes and spending an hour feeling self-important all feature in your idea of leadership training?

This description, whilst fitting some and appealing to others, doesn’t include myself, so the idea of sacrificing some of my precious working hours by attending a leadership development course doing “corporate” stuff filled me with horror.

My judgement, however, isn’t infallible, so before I declined the invitation, I had a look at the man behind the business. Suddenly, the world of “leadership” seemed like a much brighter place.

The man in question is Carlos Dean, and this charming character with a colourful past invited me along to experience one of his get-togethers held in the amazing surroundings of Blenheim Palace. The sight of hugs, kisses and genuinely warm greetings from one delegate to another was actually a little disconcerting, as I was used to name badges, competing footwear and and a two minute precis of pomposity, and I was taken even more off guard when I entered a room equipped with no more than a circle of seats and a rather bare flip chart – Where could I put all my “stuff”? You know, the essential things that I need as a security blanket – gadgets, pens, pads…

The answer was nowhere, and like most things that Carlos does, his unorthodox but effective way of making you focus without any distractions was certainly less show, more sincerity.

Carlos is a maverick, a mentor and a mediator who believes that business is about personal development and becoming a better person. This in turn teaches everyone about consideration, respect, building trust and appreciating the good and consequently as self- esteem, enlightenment, awareness and understanding rise, so do profits.

Now, the publishing industry is fuelled on coffee, deadlines and pressure, and to be sat with a group of people who actually get up early to share their experiences, growth, and challenges was more akin to a therapeutic and almost meditative experience than a “training programme” bought off the shelf and delivered with little or no passion.

As Carlos explained to me: “Business, of course, needs to make a profit – so that it can continue to invest and develop its products. However, business is so much more than just commerce. It is about truth – selling things that do what the seller says it does, for a price that is fair on the producers as well as the end users. It is about producing products and services that are ethically robust; it is about helping people with areas of their lives that they are ill equipped to deal with, and about improving people so they can experience a better quality of life. It’s about learning to work together for the sake of everyone.

“A focus on profit creates a vision of survival. A focus on higher purpose creates a vision of unity, teamwork, community and connection.”

The mix of attendees were clearly a circle of genuine people, and throw Carlos in the mix and what happens is almost magical.

As he told me, “in the so called developed world we have undergone the industrial revolution, the transport revolution, the arms race and now the information revolution. In many respects the human race is gifted and intelligent and yet despite all of this we have yet to tackle our greatest challenge, the relationship revolution.

“From my work within the SME market place, I have become excited by the potential of these arenas to become a force for real change which will and can address some of the fundamental root causes of the social and political unrest that we have endured and tolerated for many decades. Business should be about personal development and becoming a better person, because it teaches the participants about consideration and respect, how to build trust and to appreciate the good in everything and everyone.”

The man is Carlos Dean, the experience inspiring, but as for the results? Well, we’ll tell you soon, as Carlos is now working closely with all of the OX team. Someone once told me the aim of a leader was never to let anyone leave your company without feeling inspired.

Carlos certainly managed that.

 

Jill Rayner attended Blenheim Palace as part of a Carlos Dean Leadership workshop.

 

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