Q&A: An Interview with Lynda Folan

1. Describe your personality
I think if I were to ask others they would describe me as an outgoing, energetic person who generally has an opinion about most things. The person that I have become has been hugely influenced by the fact that I have lived on three different continents and have travelled to over 85 countries. Personally I would describe myself as someone with a love of life and a strong belief that we make our own success.

2. What are your strengths as a consultant?
Having spent most of my career in international executive roles I believe that I have the ability to offer broad based strategic thinking coupled with pragmatic realism of what works and does not work in business. As a consultant my strength lies in energising and enthusing individuals, teams and organisations to go beyond their own expectations and to look for new possibilities. With an academic background in Organisational Psychology I have a strong leaning towards a deeper psychological perspective on business issues.

3. What's the most memorable workshop you've conducted and why?
I guess the most memorable workshop I can recall was one that was conducted on an ocean liner out to sea. The workshop happened to take place in the middle of a massive storm. Delegates were turning green and running from the conference room at regular intervals. This was rather off putting to say the least. We were asked to continue with the workshop through the storm so it was just as well that I did not give in to sea sickness. The final straw was when someone did not make it out the room in time, at which point I called it a day.

4. Where do you see Integral Development in 5 years time?
My vision for the business would be for it to be unique in the market place providing leading edge development that enhances business outcomes for its clients. I also personally value being part of a strong united community of people who are leading the way in relation to holistic business and individual development.

5. What are your thoughts on Leadership for the future?
The more I work with leaders, from diverse cultures across a range of organisations, the more I realise that the issues that they face are fundamentally the same. The message that is loud and clear is that leadership comes from within and the future of leadership will be more and more focused on the internal aspects of leadership. As people across the world awake to the knowledge that they are the owners of their future ,they will start to focus on what really makes a difference, the ‘I’ underneath the job title or the label that they are know by.

6. If you could invite 5 people to dinner who would they be?
Nelson Mandela for his ability to forgive unconditionally and inspire a whole nation.
Charles Handy for his incredible insight into organisations and the people within them.
Steven Covey because he has managed to capture a whole generation with his teachings on Leadership.
Maharishi Mahesh for his gift of Transcendental Mediation.
My five year old son Matthew because he keeps me grounded and has the amazing ability of a child to say it as it is.

7. Who is a leader that inspires you, and why?
Richard Branson is a leader who I admire immensely. He is a massively successful entrepreneur and business man with an energetic and inspirational style. The reason that I think he is inspirational is that alongside this huge success he is down to earth and exudes a genuineness and respect for all. Having been lucky enough to meet him on a number of occasions I have had the opportunity to observe his natural ability to enthuse others and draws people with him.

8. If you were stranded on a desert island, what book and 2 items would you like with you?
My journal to help me stay sane, a surf board to enjoy the waves and my camera to capture the beauty of the island.

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