DON’T judge a book by its cover is an expression that readily springs to mind when considering David Sims’ introduction to Naked Leader (NL).
Appearances can indeed be deceiving!
By his own admission, it was the word Naked that had David wondering just what exactly he had signed up for when he agreed to attend a leadership event run by NL founder David Taylor. In his words “all manner of strange images were conjured up in my mind and I thought “this is going to be interesting!!”
‘I had a quick look on the internet just to make sure it was all above board,’ he says.
Thankfully for David his initial misgivings were banished following a period of research backed up by colleagues who had attended previous NL courses.
‘They validated how useful it was, also, how much more beneficial it would be if I attended with an open mind. “Don’t stick to things you think you know, let go and embrace the event” they said, and that is exactly what I did.’
For David, the event had a seismic impact on how he now goes about his life, both personally and professionally. What had started out as a brief flirtation with NL may not have become a marriage made in heaven but has certainly developed into a steady relationship and has given him principles which he is happy to be guided by.
He is in the EMEAI IT leadership team for AECOM, a technology corporation which is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets including architecture, design, marketing and construction.
Seeing NL founder David Taylor and his team in action sparked his consciousness.
‘I have been working my way up the ranks for several years and can honestly say I have never attended an event which has had a bigger impact on both my personal and professional outlook to life.
‘The day was filled with hundreds of snippets for great ideas on how to progress in your home life and in your career. The main things that rang true for me was how simple the formula for success is. It is plain and simple! The things required to achieve it are within all of us, we just need to want it enough and be willing to go and get it.’
Recognising we all take a path in our lives and possess the ability to alter that course if things aren’t working out, David continues: ‘The event gave me loads to reflect on and has somehow uplifted me and reinforced my positive outlook on life.
‘Subsequently, things seemed much simpler and clearer and I was given the ability to block out the noise of everyday life and to embrace and focus on the change in direction I needed to start my journey. That was back in October so my journey has already begun, my path is changing direction and it is because I want it to.
‘The realisation that I do have a lot to offer both personally as a husband/dad and professionally as a leader, is shaping the way I am now choosing to go.’
That personal aspect is particularly pertinent for us all as we are all perhaps guilty of wishing time away, or letting it slip, without living in the moment. David has computed the importance of communication with people we love and adds: ‘For 2015 I am focusing on making the time I get to spend with my loved ones count by being there, not just turning up, actually engaging with them, listening and focusing on them as this time is very precious to me.
‘Professionally, I have already moved within the leadership team to a position which adds yet another string to my professional bow and will also help me progress my career in the future.
‘I will also be focusing on my weakness, facing my fears and doing it anyway. This will enable me to become a more rounded leader as exposure to what you fear makes you realise once you have done it, it isn’t so scary after all.’
David is hoping to spend more time with David Taylor later this year to further tap into the ethos. ‘For those people who are reading this and thinking about attending a Naked Leader event, I highly recommend it,’ he concludes. ‘Just don’t forget to let go!’