Throughout the writing process, I realized that my continuous reflection, ability to learn from mistakes, curiosity, and calculated risk-taking were the driving forces behind my personal and professional development. These experiences, integral to 'vertical development,' were enhanced by my rich exposure to coaching and mentoring across different cultures. This book is an invitation for you to learn from my journey, find inspiration, and reflect on your own life and leadership journey
"Vertical Development" is a unique blend of biography, management insights, and personal development. Spanning a critical decade of my life from 35 to 45, this book recounts my global journey, taking me from Denmark to Argentina, the UK, Venezuela, Romania, and finally back to Denmark. In roles such as General Manager, Finance Director, and Change Manager, I not only navigated diverse professional challenges but also deeply immersed myself in various cultures. This book shares those cultural learnings and the importance of cultural sensitivity - a vital, often overlooked skill that is foundational for effective leadership and personal growth.
Part 1 delves into the theme of change, which I experienced both personally and professionally. Change, often perceived as a threat, is one of life's few constants. This section guides you in understanding and managing the emotions and reactions triggered by change, both in yourself and others, especially in multicultural contexts. You will learn the interconnectedness of taking risks and managing change, drawing from my own experiences.
Part 2 focuses on cultural understanding, specifically addressing the differences in perceived right and wrong behaviour across various countries. By sharing key elements of cultural understanding and mindfulness, I aim to help you navigate and avoid the cultural pitfalls I encountered, enriching your ability to engage in diverse environments.
Part 3 is about transformation, both in professional and personal contexts. It covers the necessary adaptations to new and unfamiliar environments, including cross-cultural settings, and the complexity of orchestrating organisational changes for business survival and success.
Part 4 reflects on leadership, emphasising the importance of leadership agility in a diverse world. Understanding vertical development and its stages is crucial for identifying and prioritising your growth areas. This section will help you appreciate differences in leadership capabilities and limitations, enabling you to lead more effectively and intentionally.
Purpose in Life
Finally, Part 5 is my reflection on discovering my purpose in life through understanding my core values. It highlights the importance of ongoing reflection and the courage to seek the unknown. My personal story illustrates the need to ask profound questions of oneself, offering guidance for you to consider your own life's purpose and direction.