WHILE not quite an astronaut in the true sense of the word, Peter McCartney’s self-styled NASA-esque journey has seen him become the pilot of his own destiny.
Now he is aiming towards lift-off in a new chapter in his life in which his long-held passion for Naked Leader (NL) – and the belief in “self” – is central to the narrative. His top tip from NL? ‘If something doesn’t work, do something else, and if that doesn’t work, do something else.’
Well, having enjoyed a happy and rewarding career with Royal Sun Alliance and latterly the Co-operative Group, Peter is living by that very mantra. Having met NL founder David Taylor more than 10 years ago and bought into the ethos, Peter not only ‘got it’ he has nurtured and respected it ever since and is now putting it to further good use.
One of his favourite recollections of those early years was when he attended one of David’s workshops. ‘David asked for questions at the end and this chap put his hand up and said that he had disagreed with everything David had just said. The reply was, “Well that’s fine, just go and do the opposite of what I’ve just said. Do something, don’t just do nothing”.’
Armed with the NL tools which he says have shaped him as an individual, Peter has decided to deviate from the path his career has taken him on so far.
While most people might baulk at projects and programmes, Peter thrives on them to the point where he is driven by his passion to make a difference in the business world.
‘I first engaged with David pre-Naked Leader and while the workshop was more than 10 years ago I remember it as though it was yesterday,’ recalls Peter.
‘David used an example of someone wanting to be a NASA astronaut to illustrate ambition and the need to take action in order to avoid regrets. That has stayed close to my heart.
‘The first NL book made a lasting impression, I have read it several times and recommended it and bought it for others.’
Peter thinks of Naked Leader as his Jiminy Cricket, the fictional character who acts as Pinnochio’s conscience in Carlo Collodi’s children’s book, The Adventures of Pinocchio.
‘It is a conscience with which I steer much of my life,’ adds Peter.
Given the book was adapted by Walt Disney into a movie, it seems fitting that he should be guided in such a way as he attempts to build his own magic kingdom – a new venture he has labelled “Projects with Passion”.
‘My aim is to bring programme and project management leadership to business, but with (a) a sprinkling of NL “passion stardust” over everything I do, say and deliver, and (b) a sense of learning for those it touches, woven into all activities,’ he continues.
‘The objective is to encourage others to take developmental ownership, commit and move themselves and their organisations forward – initially professionally via their programme and project activity.
‘Later, as readers will know, NL is applicable to all aspects of your life including how you interact with others and how you make a difference to communities on a grander scale.
‘I love the challenge of projects and programmes, and I love to help others, so this is combining the two.’
While programme and project processes may not light everybody’s fire, Peter’s flame burns brightly and he adds: ‘The subject may be dull to some, but for me they provide a robust “stage” of integrity on which organisations and individuals can then “perform” behaviours and actions which will hopefully lead to betterment all-round transformation of the business, colleague and customer experience.’
He has already started with some charitable work – helping young people within a project framework to overcome challenges and launch businesses – but he intends for “Projects with Passion” to bring something new to other sectors too.
He adds: ‘I like simple – ‘Projects with Passion’ is a vehicle to share my passion for projects. It does what it says on the tin! The journey has begun, NL is my guide and my light – the future is looking good.’
Could your future include an adventure with Peter in programme and project land? If so, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @ProjWithPassion.