Sally talks Self-Leadership with Peter Williams

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Treasury and Innovation Professional
Citi – Director


Optimistic constant connector and lifelong learner that embraces the benefits of creativity, diversity and empathy. A serial volunteer, active across multiple local, regional, and global networks. Big believer in enabling progress by promoting equality, education, empowerment, entrepreneurship and the environment.

Global career in finance, investment, treasury and banking. With at least equal interest in the arts, sport, and the value of stories.

Angel investor and mentor to several startup programs. Host of a series of Citi FinTech Meetups in Hong Kong, connecting Citi to the grass root startup scene and showcasing topics that include Women in FinTech, Artificial Intelligence, Innovation Leadership, Wearable IoT, and the Economics of Cryptocurrency.

Past President of The University of Chicago Booth School of Business alumni club in Hong Kong, and current director on the board of Music For Life International, a charity based in New York that creates transformative social impact through music; and Resolve Foundation, a leadership program with the aim of making Hong Kong more tolerant and inclusive. Most recently has also volunteered to be a director on the board of the Ladies’ Recreation Club Charity Foundation, helping to support important causes across the community.

Speaker on topics that include how innovation happens, the value of volunteering, and networking as a personal and professional adventure. Motivated by connecting with a wide range of people and collaborating on causes we care about.

Passionate about initiatives that shape corporate culture, amplify creativity, and increase innovation. Collector of tools and techniques that fuel continuous experiments, accelerate action, and convert strategy into reality.

• Special interests include the benefits of maintaining a growth mindset, lean startup experiments, and agile project management.

• Active across mainstream sports such as golf and tennis, plus alternative sports including skateboarding and bicycle motocross.

• As excited by the future of finance as the inclusion of skateboarding, BMX, and surfing in the Tokyo 2021 Olympics.

• Active supporter of TEDx, PechaKucha, Creative Mornings, FuckUpNights, The School of Life, House of Beautiful Business etc

• Self-published author of two books, most recently ‘Productive Accidents — a playbook for personal & professional adventure’. Available at

• Speaker and podcast host, including a series of Virtual Book Tours, featuring four authors per episode, live and recorded via Facebook, YouTube, and Spotify

• Father of 4

Connect / Follow Peter on LinkedIn.


#leadership #courage #confidence #influence #selfleadership #banking #innovation #treasury #hongkong #global

The main filter that has helped turn my personal and professional life into an adventure is an idea I learned while completing my MBA at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business – “Put yourself at risk of productive accidents”. Trust the process, and wait for the magic to happen.


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Interview Transcript

This is an AI generated transcript, accuracy is not guranteed.


– Sally Foley-Lewis here with another episode of Spark in the Self-leadership interview series. I’m absolutely delighted to be joined, all the way from Hong Kong, Peter Williams, who is a… And I’ve got to read this, so I make sure I get this right. He is a Treasury and Innovation professional with a career in global finance, so that in and of itself would take you down a whole rabbit hole of interesting stories I am sure, but Peter is also on the board of two not-for-profit organisations. So it sounds like Peter’s got himself across a whole range of interesting things, so welcome to Spark, Peter. Thanks very much Sally, thanks for having me. My pleasure and thanks for saying yes to this interview, and one of the things that I’m really excited about is I get to meet really interesting and diverse people from all around the world so we can have a common conversation particularly on self-leadership. Yeah, well, I think you’re lucky that you reached out maybe to me because my default answer is always yes, and it stems back to my MBA at the University of Chicago, where we had a professor who went back 100 years, looked at how does innovation happen, and all of that research boils down to a single phrase, “Put yourself at risk of productive accidents”. So productive accidents, you can think of serendipity, it’s how innovation happens in my view, it’s how you can turn your life into an adventure. So as soon as I get a sense of a request from someone that looks like they have, you know, integrity, ethics and you know, the right skillset, then default answer is always yes, right? So, yeah. Oh, I love hearing that because I tend to say yes, and then go, “Alright, I’ve said yes, and how do we work it out?” Because I have that sense of adventure I guess, that comes with it. And I love that productive accidents, I think that’s a really great phrase and productivity is an area I’m really passionate about because I wrote the “Productive Leader,” so I think we’re up for more than one conversation, I’m so sure Peter. Sounds good. Well, that’s the title of my book as well, but I wrote last year “Productive Accidents. Fantastic, well, what we’ll do is we’ll put the link in the webpage. Yeah, thank you. So let’s get into self-leadership and let’s kick off with how do you define self-leadership? I think it’s just realising that you’ve got this opportunity to always put yourself out there, you know, in any given situation, and maybe that’s a bit more common for Australians, you know, they don’t defer to hierarchy as much as maybe some other places like particularly living in Asia where sometimes in a meeting or even in a classroom people are just so quiet. You know, I think the professors when I was going to business school were very happy with people that were engaging because they learned as much from us, you know, creating a conversation as we did from them. So yeah, I think titles are kind of irrelevant, you know, and the other person that I think has had a bit of an influence on this, I’ve done quite a few of the Seth Godin workshops, so the altMBA, the Creatives Workshop, Storytelling Workshop, and other things, and he always talks about, you know, this idea of linchpin where, you know, anyone from anywhere can do good things. And then it just becomes, you know, once you build a little bit of momentum, you know, you’re going to annoy some people because some people do like to play with hierarchies and things like that, but, you know, eventually you get a track record on your own confidence just to be yourself, and I’m pretty out there, you know, whether it’s on LinkedIn or in the work environment, or anything. And partly I do it because if I didn’t, I’d be bored, you know, like, you know, my day job feels like sometimes it uses 5% of my brain and I have to do a bunch of other things just to stay energised. And that’s where the volunteering for a couple of NGOs has come in, that’s why I also co-chaired a generation’s network internally and I helped do the strategy for the women’s network and so on. And what I’ve sort of found is that, you know, the more diverse your network is you’ve reached kind of a tipping point where it doesn’t matter who you meet on the planet, then you’re going to find a way that you can help them directly based on whatever they care about, or you know three or four people that you can introduce them to, so I’m always introducing people just very briefly, you know, Sally, you should meet X, you know, over to you and they’ll know that I’ve already worked out, that they’re a fit, so, you know, and then it’s fun just to sit back and watch what happens. Yeah, and to see whatever collaboration or co-option can come from that so, yeah, I love that. So thinking about the impact of self-leadership and what it can have on leaders particularly in the area of confidence or courage and influence, what are your thoughts on that? Well, yeah, I think it is massive because if you just go to work and hang around your cubicle and you know, barely interact with the people nearby, then that’s to me a recipe for regret in a lot of ways, because you’re not, you know, making the most of the people getting to know, you know, people in different departments, different locations, different age groups, different skillsets, different countries, whatever, and so, yeah, this idea of diversity and inclusion to me is a perfect fit for this idea of productive accidents. You know, the more diversity you have the more likely you’re gonna have more perspectives and more input into this idea funnel, and the more you have inclusion, the more likely that the shy people and the quiet people are going to be heard because you’ll provide different mechanisms for communicating. You know, some people might want to be loud in a meeting, some people might want to send you an email or have a coffee offline, but somehow you need to collect all these inputs and give everyone an opportunity to share their imagination, creativity, etc. So something I just did recently, just as a case study, I’ve got a new colleague in London and we’d never met before, but I thought, you know, let’s just set up half an hour, but I don’t want to talk about work, I just want to hear your story. I went onto LinkedIn, discovered he was a Kiwi and I went great, I went to the Rugby World Cup in Japan a year or two ago, I saw All Blacks get beaten by England we can talk about that for a bit. And what’s amazing is that half an hour is one of the best investments because now he’s sending me amazing material that I wouldn’t normally get access to and I’m sharing stuff with him, and this collaboration has accelerated, it’s gone exponential in the last seven days. So these types of things where reaching out and starting a conversation and learning people’s stories I think is a really great place to start. Yeah, so what part do you think self-leadership plays in that, in being able to kickstart those sorts of experiences or situations? Well, for me, I think it helps because I’ve always got this filter in my head, which is putting myself at risk of productive accidents. So if I get invited to speak at an event that has nothing to do with my day job, take today’s example potentially, you know, I’m always gonna say yes just because the more disconnected we are, the more likely we’re going to add value to each other, because something routine in your life could be revolutionary in mine and vice versa, and I guess that phrase has given me the permission and the confidence to go and do this, but because I’m definitely introverted, and I worked this out on a training program once where someone said, okay, write down your perfect day. And for me, it was like, you know, I’d get up early, I’d be doing a painting in a studio by the ocean, I’d go for a surf, I’d have a game of golf, I’d be in a hammock in the afternoon, reading and writing or something, then we’d catch up with friends for dinner, and then you go back and look how many people were involved in that? Not many. Okay, introverted, but it doesn’t hold you back. So for me, you go into a room with 100 people, I would rather have one proper conversation with one person, than meet 50 people and exchange business cards, you know, like spam and expect anything useful to come out of that. So my formula for networking is one person at a time, you know, get them to talk first because then you get to hear their story and then you pick up on things that you can refer back to later and I’m a bit of fan of alliteration, you know, you make a CONNECTION then you keep talking till you find something you both CARE about, then it’s an easy next step to say, let’s COLLABORATE you know, connect, care and collaborate. And I’ve been doing that for 10 years and that’s why I had to write the book because so many cool things kept on happening. Yeah, I like that, connect, care and collaborate. And it’s not as hard as it sometimes can seem, I think for some people who struggle to network and there are a lot of resources out there, but when we think of it as just having going to something or being online with someone, start with one person I think is really valuable. And I’m at the other end of the spectrum to you, I’m a raging extrovert. But one of the things I think we would both agree on is I would also rather one good quality conversation. Yeah. I’m happy for the room to be loud, and I’m happy to meet a lot of people and have those soft touches, but I actually feel more fulfilled when I walk away having had a really good conversation with a person, and that deeper connection. Yeah, I mean, you know, I think you end up getting… You can be on the border of these things, I think it’s pretty subtle sometimes, and it’s good to do both, right? It’s like a muscle, you know, you want to be exercising whatever it is, empathy, courage, compassion, all those other good things, and I think being willing to just meet people because… And it goes back to why stories are so important because we don’t really care about top-down facts and figures, we care about, you know, the human element and I’ve seen research that shows that stories are more important than facts, and there’s data to back it up, which sounds fluffy but how do you have data to back that up? But there are ways to do it. Oh, definitely. Yeah, but it’s that when you want to bring the team on board, when you want to bring a group together, when you want to truly connect with someone, then what’s the story that would be relatable, and I totally agree with you, I mean, I’m a professional speaker and so nine times out of 10 I’m sharing a story upfront because I want to make sure that the audience is listening to someone who gets it and been where they’ve been, or at least can relate in some way. And then we move into some of the strategies which include some of the facts and figures that might support this, but it’s absolutely, you know. the school of hard knocks first is usually what I’m sharing so… And a month later, if you ask any of those people what the do they remember, 99% it’s going to be the story. Absolutely, yeah. And what’s interesting, I came across a guy that I met through a series of productive accidents, who was a shipping lawyer who decided to become a designer and a brand consultant, which is a pretty big shift, but he did it by stumbling across a scrapyard for cars, taxis, in Hong Kong, and he went in there and they had scrap doors and seats and upholstery and he said, “How much has this upholstery?” And they said, well, you can have it for free, and he didn’t know what he was gonna do with it, but he decided to take it, and then he collaborated with another designer friend, they ended up turning it into a bunch of laptop covers and iPad covers, and they put red stitching and red lining for Island taxis, blue for Lantau, and green for New Territories. As soon as I saw that they’d made that connection to the colour of the taxis, and, you know, if you live on the Island, you want to get the red one because that’s a souvenir from where you’ve been living. So it was a no-brainer I had to buy that, and subsequently I’ve become a really good friend, his name was Billy Potts. And on his website ended up writing, “Contact me for anything.” and that became a productive accident because people started reaching out to him and say, hey, you’re good at branding, can you please do our branding, you know, rebrand our business? And fast forward, he was invited to pitch for the Red Bull agency to help localise their content. And here he’s up against all these international agencies. He went into that meeting with five sort of urban photos of different neighbourhoods in Hong Kong, no words on the slides, just images, and was able to tell a story about why he could build a bridge between the brand and that neighbourhood, and they won the business which is kind of unbelievable. But ever since then, I’ve been doing image based presentations, I barely have any text, I just have a good photo and tell a story. So that’s been useful as well.

– And I think the piece of that too is also he was able to answer the brief quite succinctly, because the brief was how do we localise the brand for here? And he did that with actual local, you know, quite deliberately local imagery and the story that came with that, so I think that’s brilliant, yeah. Yeah, wow, that’s a great story. Billy Potts look him up, yeah? I got him to speak at TEDx and Creative Mornings as well because he’s pretty understated. So I said, look, you need to tell your story, even helped Bendigo, I think it is to replace their dragon, they do a big dragon festival at Easter each year, which I’d never even heard of until he mentioned it. And the population of the town goes 10X apparently for that. Anyway– You’re talking about Bendigo in Australia? Of course. Fantastic. Back the gold rush days or something, you know. Longest running dragon festival on the planet almost, so anyway. Well, hello, Bendigo and your dragon festival, that’s brilliant. The things you have to talk to someone in Hong Kong about that happened back here in your own country. Happened so many times. I had people from New York come here and show me things in my neighbourhood I didn’t know exist, and the reverse has happened when I’ve gone there. It’s interesting what we don’t know about our own backyard, isn’t it? which I think to me that’s almost a metaphor at times. You know, what we don’t know about ourselves at times, that’s an interesting little metaphor where my head just went then so… And you were talking about the badge before we hit the record button around, what was the badge sharing and talking about? So this t-shirt is from a group called The School of Life. When I first heard about The School of Life we’ve been living in Hong Kong for 11 years, we were in Singapore for nine before here, Australia, before that, etc. But I’ve read an article about The School of Life and how that was opening up, and it’s Alain de Botton who’s a philosopher writer in the UK, and he said, “You know what?, universities are very transactional, they don’t really teach people how to think and how to deal with big things, like how to deal with death, how to have a good relationship, how to have a good conversation, how to be creative.” And I thought, well, this is amazing, this is, you know, Singapore needs this, I think Sydney would be great Melbourne, everywhere. The first place they actually were expanded to internationally was Melbourne. But anyway, so this t-shirt, Good Enough, I have it on a badge for a lapel, the other one that I really liked is “No One Really Knows”, which I think it’s perfect for this, right? So why hold back on being curious and asking questions, and demonstrating, I guess leadership over time, but just be curious and constantly, you know, wondering about things and making connections and starting conversations and magic typically happens. Yeah, I love that. Oh yeah, thank you. So, I want to just move sideways a little bit and ask you about times when you’ve had to reignite your own fire and ramp up your own sort of self-leadership or spark or maybe it’s a case of digging into yourself leadership so that you can reignite your courage, your confidence, your influence. You know, a lot of people we’re recording this in 2021, and so we’re still on the tail end, hopefully the tail end of COVID, and COVID has been a big, COVID-19 pandemic has been a big issue for people where it’s quite fresh obviously, and it’s a situation that people have got front of mind when it comes to thinking about having to reignite their own spark. Has there been something for you where you’ve been… Life has maybe dampened down your spark and you’ve had to reignite it. And I guess the question underlying all of this is you don’t necessarily have to share the story, although I know you’re a good storyteller, but the key piece is what did you do to reignite? What the lessons to reigniting your spark? Yeah, I mean, the thing that jumped into my mind as you were talking about this was when we moved to Singapore 2001, few months later, my wife’s younger sister went missing in Australia and she just finished her high school, and she was on a gap year, she was 18, went fruit picking in remote part of Southern New South Wales, was supposed to be going up to Sydney to visit other family at a public, you know, I think it was Easter 2002, and has never been seen since. And, you know, we’re stuck in Singapore, you know, in a bit of a bubble while, you know, the usual searches and media things are going on you know, my parents-in-law and extended family. It took a long time to work out, okay, how do we process this because you’ve got this ambiguous loss, you know, is the body ever going to be found, you know, what really happened, all that stuff? But it was through this idea of stories are more important than facts if you don’t write them down, they didn’t happen. That idea sort of ended up prompting me to write or to capture some of her artwork and her poetry and her stories and to self publish that into a book, just to make sure that, you know, future children, grandchildren know what happened to their Auntie Niamh. And you know, that whole journey led to, again, unexpected sort of serendipity, because there were some of her school friends who by the time I was writing this, it was probably 2014, around there. Some of her school friends had gone on to become musicians, poets, etc. One was in Melbourne, Jess Ribeiro, who had a band Jess Ribeiro and The Bone Collectors, she’d written a song about Niamh and she said, “Look, we’ve been waiting for an opportunity to contribute to a project like this, where we can express what happened,” and where they’re camping with her and everyone else. And over time it turned out, Jess said, “my father was born in Macau, I’ve got relatives over in Hong Kong, I’ve never been there.” And I’m like, well, that’s ridiculous, let me think about how we can collaborate. By that stage, through the TEDx community I’d met the curators of a music festival here called Clockenflap, it’s kind of like The Big Day out kind of thing here. And I reached out to them and said, “Hey, we’ve got this musician in Melbourne, she’s got an album, it’s pretty good, would you be interested in having her perform?” And six months later they said, yes. So to me that took something that wasn’t fun into something slightly more positive, and since then we’ve been, you know, helping Jess, wherever we can. We were in New York a few years later, she’d released her second CD and I’m on the board of this charity over there called Music For Life, we were doing a concert at Carnegie Hall. I don’t perform, I just organise people, 100 piece orchestra, and the theme was for United Nations and the efforts to end violence against women and girls. And she just happened to be in New York at that time, and obviously she came to the concert and I had my mother, you know, my parents-in-law and two of our daughters, but, you know, over time, there’s about 15 things that have happened because I ended up writing that book. New connections, new collaborations, and you know, you’re sort of trying to work how do you turn something really bad into something almost getting towards back to zero or net positive, you know, if we can, right? So, you know, to me, you know, that took a fair while to come to that realisation, that that was something I could do. But being alert to different ways of doing things. Even more recently our son at boarding school in Sydney, in just just a week ago, someone in grade 12, two years above our son committed suicide. And I’m like, how do we process that? You know, it’s impossible, and, you know, it’s such a tragedy that someone gets to that point and not be willing to have a conversation. So yeah, that’s what I’m trying to think about at the moment how do we help, you know, prevent that. Hong Kong has been terrible, you know, over the years they’ve had some of the highest suicide rates anywhere. So anyway, so there are some of the things that maybe collectively we could start to brainstorm on, but I don’t know the answer, obviously no one, if we did, we’d have it sorted, but it’s something that I’m sort of… It’s on top of my mind right now. Yeah, and with your, you know, that propensity for you to say yes to things, I think is going to be the saving grace of being able to open the door to so many opportunities and so many different processes or ways in which you can get different forms of help, or guidance, advice, support, you know, whatever can come through that will support you and your son, and also that project with Jess to continue and live on. And underpinning all of that what I’m hearing is a sense of purpose, you know? Sure, for sure, you know, eventually it’s like, okay, the probably the biggest asset that I can contribute to anyone is I’ve really deliberately have a really diverse network, I grew up on a BMX bike and a skateboard, I still ride both of those, I was captain of the tennis team that led to building going on our first snowboarding trip in Niseko, fast-forward it led to a summer camp for our children and an opportunity to be like, you know, camp coordinators for our eldest daughter. Fast forward, we bought land and built a house there, and now we reverse engineer this amazing summer, pre-COVID, where my wife can work out of Japan for a month and a half, I can go in for a week, we both go and work out of Tokyo, and then we end up at the Fuji Rock Festival, you know, front row for The Cure and The Chemical Brothers with my two teenage daughters and so on. And so all of that has just become this innovation engine. And going back to what you just mentioned, one of the best questions I’ve heard is from a guy I helped prepare for his TEDx talk, his name’s Patrick Ip, he’s got grandparents in Hong Kong that have restaurants dating back to 1860, so straight away, I wanted to get to know him, and he’s become a lifelong friend, and he’s created a global dinner series where the idea is you have two hosts, so you bring in five of your most interesting contacts, I’ll bring in five of mine, they don’t have to know each other, in fact, it’s better if they don’t, and we’ll come together and we’ll talk about how to solve the world’s problems. That was the original idea, and you know, tongue in cheek a little bit, but it’s evolved into three questions, what is your story? What projects you’re working on? You know, in other words, you know, what do you care about? And the final question which sets the whole scene for this dinner group is, how can I help? And to me, that how can I help is the best question you can ask literally to people, colleagues, family, anyone, and to yourself, it’s like, okay, here I am in Hong Kong and I’ve got some skills and a network, how can I help have an impact on things that matter? So yeah, questions are really useful. Absolutely, I love that. And how can I help get you out of your own head? And I think, you know, tying it back to reigniting your spark, that when we stand in that sense of asking that question and staying in that sense of being willing to serve in whatever way we can, helps us to get out of our own way and that, you know, in and of itself connects back to purpose and helps us to reignite, and get on track with our confidence, and our influence, and our courage, and our willingness, I think, is the other thing and eagerness and, you know, lends itself to productive accidents, you know. It just provides the perspective that you need. And one of the best things that happened for us when we were living in Singapore, my parents brought a book by Gemma Sisia, or Gemma Rice, She’s an Australian who grew up close to where I grew up, my father’s from Guyra, just 30 minutes North, and this woman Gemma grew up around Guyra, when she finished high school she decided to go off to Africa and volunteer in orphanages and things like that. Fast forward, someone donated some land and she went and built a school that fights poverty through education. And I read about her book, I read her story and I went, you know what, that’s amazing, I want to write to her and congratulate her, and like, you know, there was an email at the back. And I said, “By the way, we had some mutual friends that you wrote about in your book, you know, small world keep it up”. And I didn’t think she would read my email, see it even, or reply, and it was like I just sent you a WhatsApp, she came instantly back, we started this conversation, the next trip that they went back to Australia, I said, come by Singapore, stay with us, and I’ll organise a bunch of events. And that’s led to a whole series of those, whenever they travel back to Australia, we’ve had Maasai tribal guy stay with us, who was the guest speaker. And, you know, I’ve been off to Tanzania eventually climbed Kilimanjaro, you know, all of these adventures just keep on evolving because you care about something. And she said the best thing in her book that she said, look, “we don’t have any marketing budget, it’s all word of mouth”. And I said, “Well, I’ve got a pretty good network, I’ll be a spokesperson for you whenever I’ve got an opportunity.” And you know, now they’ve gone from two kids or three kids in 2002 up to 1800 now. And amazing. And off the back of that, I discovered to read, you know, and John Wood, who’s the founder, he ended up writing the foreword to my book because he’s based in Hong Kong and we’ve been collaborating, and like these things just keep on, these collaborations, compounds. So compound interest is a cool concept in finance, to me, I’m more interested in compound collaboration. Yeah, definitely. I mean, yes, the money is great, but I do get when you’re talking about, and you just listening to the knock-on effect of one thing to the next and it’s like accidental leverage as well, you know. So I think that the opportunities are there is one, and two, are you looking for them? And I think that’s the thing, is it’s like we said right at the beginning of this episode, it’s saying yes. You know, I said yes to something many, many years ago and ended out being in a whole lot of trouble because I didn’t know how to execute what I said yes to, and at the 11th hour it was all resolved, and I’d still to this day don’t regret because I said, and it was for the right reasons, and I think… And lots of things come into play and help you resolve whatever it is you’re doing. But when we don’t say yes, what are we missing out on? But also what have we missed out on for so many other people? Yeah. I think some of the stuff you mentioned before was around perspective, right? And the gateway for me into that was just discovering how useful gratitude is. And suddenly you’re thinking about what you have, not what you don’t have you know, and everything else. And if it wasn’t for that discovery, you know, I wouldn’t have done that first book, because I ended up creating a project to write 10,000 thank yous. And if you do one a day, it’s like a 27 year project. And, after starting with my wife and children and my parents and everyone else, I eventually realised I had to recognise my siblings, including my wife’s siblings, including missing Niamh. And if it wasn’t for that, it forced me into a corner that like, I need to acknowledge these people within the first 100, otherwise it just seemed wrong. So she was number 100 out of 10,000, and that’s where I suggested the idea of writing the book. And then it’s all gone from that to now we’re up to 1300 or something. I’m not doing it every day because whatever things get in the way, but it’s just a good reminder to be alert to something interesting and worthwhile that you should acknowledge every day. So, yeah, that’s been useful. So I love that. So tell me about the… connect that for me and share what has that done for your own self leadership? Well, I just put it out there. I do it straight to Facebook. You know, people are going, what the hell is this 1300 out of 10,000, what does that mean? Now, I actually, sometimes I’ll just do the post and then I’ll reflect on whatever that thing I was a game of golf game of tennis or whatever it was, and I’ll go back later and okay you know what, that was a really cool day, and then I’ll insert the 1,301 out of 10,000 and people don’t have to think I don’t know what that is, but if they really want to know they can always ask. But you know, over time, it’s led to so many, you know, good things that it’s hard to describe, I’d have to go back and document. You can almost do a study on, you know, what are the recurring themes, you know, is it people, places, music, whatever those things are that has happened, but it’s actually made me more alert to other people that are interested in gratitude. So for instance, there’s a guy in New York called Chris Schembra and he hosts a dinner called Gratitude and Pasta. Normally he does it physically in Greenwich, or, you know, no, where is he? He’s in Chelsea, but because of COVID, he had to go online and it’s called or something I think 7:47 PM must be the time he starts to boil the water for the pasta or something. And I was like, you do dinner, that’s 7:47 AM, my time I’ll do breakfast. And I joined this amazing curated conversation around gratitude and off the back of that, he introduced me to another guy, Chris Palmore, is based in Kentucky, who has a thing called Gratitude Space Radio. When I finished my book, Chris and I are started collaborating on a series of podcasts, and we’re up to episode 15 or something, and he does the production, I bring the people. So perfect partnership where we’re just iterating and playing in real time. So, being playful and experimental, and the whole idea of the lean startup I found really useful as well. And if you’ve read Eric Ries book, but the main message from that is that it gives you permission not to be perfect. Yes. Someone that wants to do really high quality work, that is such a relief because, you know, it’s okay to do, you know, a beta version 0.0, and just get better over time. And that’s something that I’d really recommend, you know, just put it out there, some people don’t like it, but no big deal. Yeah, that’s really interesting, thank you. So I want to have one last question with you because we’ve got a little bit of time left. What is the one thing you wish you knew about self-leadership before you on some of these senior leader roles that you’ve had in your career? Yeah, I don’t know. I think my career surprisingly has been very linear. You know, I did start in economics, switched to commerce, got a scholarship at KPMG, worked there for a few years and I went, you know what, this whole audit thing, what the hell is that, that sucks. You know, so I got rid of that. I wish I had probably not accepted the offer to do that role because I went in there after one summer of internship and said this auditing thing is kind of boring, I think I’d rather do private business services where I get to engage with the client and do end to end. But I guess they’re used to having nine out of 10 people going in and saying, hey, this sucks. And they pretty good at deflecting you, and keeping you on that track even though eventually, you know, if you’re not meant to be there, you’re not meant to be there. So I wish I’d probably probably shopped around, you know, once you’ve got an offer it’s like accelerated due diligence, I could’ve gone to other banks or companies and they would’ve said, oh, someone already wants you therefore, you know, we’d better take a closer look, I might’ve got some other offers, I might’ve been at doing a totally different thing. It looks very linear, but around the edge, I’m doing all of these different things, you know, not for profit stuff, you know, Niseko things. I’ve got a lot of interests and I think that’s the main message is.. I find it frustrating when people say, oh yeah, I used to skateboard too, and say, well, if you liked it, when you’re a teenager, why aren’t you still doing it? Like what happened? You know, why would you want to stop? And today I actually found an article that I shared on LinkedIn, where there’s a guy in the U.S. 73 year old, he’s still racing BMX. So yeah, I still ride an electric skateboard, and a regular skateboard, and I play tennis and golf and you know, so whatever interests you’ve got follow, you know, you should do energy management not just time management, I think energy management is actually almost more important. Thank you, I can’t stand the phrase time management, thank you. You know, when you’re not productive. Thank you, Peter, Thank you so much for your time. Do you have any final words before we close out this episode? I guess let’s stick with that phrase that the professor had, right? So put yourself at risk of productive accidents, and my extension to that is just trust that process because to me it’s become a predictable and repeatable ingredient or engine for serendipity. Sharing your insights and sharing your perspective on self-leadership and expanding that in ways that I hadn’t really thought of before. I love that, you know, connect, care and collaborate, I think those three C’s are just a fantastic and really helpful way to look at networking and therefore, and the phrase I came out with was that accidental collaboration where we can leverage and be open, and I think when we put ourselves into that situation of understanding ourselves and our self awareness, and we’re able to be more open and more prepared, and have that a little bit more courage and confidence to say yes. And who knows what can come when we say yes. So thank you, thank you, thank you. You’re welcome, thanks Sally. Thank you. So that was another episode of the Spark Self-leadership series with Sally Foley-Lewis. We’ll see you again, next time. Bye for now.