Welcome to our interview with Andrew Bennett. Andrew is a leadership consultant and executive coach partnering with leaders building cultures where people can thrive. Andrew Bennett began his career as Ross Perot’s personal assistant, and for over three decades he has been a leadership consultant and coach to organizations of all shapes and sizes around the world.
For almost 50 years Andrew has been a magician and is a member of London’s Magic Circle, the highest honor in magic. Founder of EDS and former US Presidential Candidate Ross Perot encouraged Andrew to use magic in his business presentations, and he has been wowing audiences for the last 35 years. Magic is the art of transformation, and Andrew uses it to teach people how to rethink possibilities and obstacles, opening the door to new ways of thinking and acting. Watch Andrew demonstrate his magic and the power of our words to create in The magic of words – what we speak is what we create presented at TEDx.
Welcome Andrew, and thank you for contributing to the questions that are at the heart of Exploring Forward Thinking Workplaces 2.0.
How can we create workplaces where every voice matters, everyone thrives and finds meaning, and change and innovation happen naturally?
First, what you described in your question has to be valued by leaders as a basic starting point. We credit Milton Friedman with saying the sole purpose of business is profitability and return on investment to shareholders. In his opinon, that’s the only obligation that a business has. I think his idea has been a prevailing focus for most businesses, but there’s a growing number of people and leaders who believe business can be so much more than that. It’s a shame when it’s not.
I’m very encouraged by the growing number of leaders and organizations that are creating the environment you’re describing. But it begins with a leader who values people and the human spirit. A leader who feels that it’s not enough just to have a profitable business. Someone who believes that business can be a place where people can become more of who they fully are. A place where people can bring their gifts and pursue what they care about – fulfilling that fundamental drive to make your life matter, and to have meaning.