This is a true story. Two camels, mother and son, stand chatting to each other.
The son is a little confused.
He is a precocious young camel on the verge of his teenage years. Despite everything his mother has tried to instil in him, he is difficult, always asking questions, never content.
One evening over dinner, our young camel corners his mother.
“None of it makes sense. Why do we have such big, ugly feet?”
“It’s so we can walk through the desert sands and our feet won’t sink or get stuck.”
Sticking out his lips, “and what about these massive, rubbery lips - have your tried to get a girl with these things hanging at the end of your nose?”
“Darling, we love to eat the leaves from Acacia trees - they have huge, sharp needles that would cause damage if we didn’t have protection.”
“And this ugly hump - no one else has it?”
“There is very little water in the desert - so we have to store it for long periods. That’s why we have a hump. Son we may not be the most beautiful animals in God’s creation but we are a designed for a specific way of life and we have to accept it.”
“Ok, so I can live with that - but why then am I stuck in a zoo?”
I used to live with with an inextricable level of fear.
Throughout my early life I was plagued with a sense of fear, never quite fitting in and never actually being good enough. If there were ‘special’ lessons for a subject at school - I would have to take them. I really was the last one picked for anything - especially sports. My results were never surprising: at best mediocre. I felt like I never belonged, never excelled and was never quite good enough.
To be mentally and emotionally trapped is a crippling and disempowering feeling. To feel you do not belong or are not good enough to belong, takes all the joy out of life.
Since leaving my last two businesses I have focussed on supporting people to step out of their cages and in to freedom and choice. To be their courageous and authentic selves.
It goes beyond just people though - organisations are trapped in old mindsets, past traumas and fear.
I believe shaping who you are, who you want to be and why you exist comes from deep inside yourself and deep inside the organisation – it is not a window sticker.
I believe individuals and organisations have everything they need in order to make the most of the opportunities and challenges that exist in the world.
I believe it is time to escape the zoo.
In 2018 I took that passion one step further and founded FORTY - an organisation that has one purpose, and one alone, to support organisations in unleashing their people.
We think of ourselves as the Avengers, a group of talented, big-hearted, passionate individuals that have come together for a greater purpose.