Interview with Nick Craig, President of the Core Leadership Institute
We caught up with Nick to hear more about his journey and experience guiding executives to discovery and leading with purpose, working with organizations including Ben & Jerry’s, Heineken, ING Bank, LEGO®, Unilever and the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Who are your biggest influences?
There are people in our lives who see in us what we don’t yet see in ourselves. They help us to uncover our true gifts. I have been fortunate to have had several people who have done this for me.
In college, I had a professor, Hayden Porter, who demanded a level of performance from me that no one ever had before. It was through this relationship I discovered that I thrive in high-demand situations for which failure is not an option.
In my 30’s, I was blessed with the gift of learning from Ben Fordham and Bob Neiman how to transform systems within organizations and help leaders find the courage to do the hard right versus the easy wrong. Masters of their craft, they were both at the end of their careers and for some reason saw that I was worth investing in.
More recently, Bill George and Scott Snook, who as my co-authors in the area of Authentic Leadership, helped me to find my own voice and bring it fully to the organizations I work with.
I believe one of the most profound ways for each of us to access our life’s impact is the number of people that are touched and changed because we show up in their life. I hope to give to others what has been so generously been given to me.
What drove you to start your company or firm?
When Bill George and I created The Discover Your True North Fieldbook on Authentic Leadership in 2006, we realized we had to bring the work not only to the MBA programs at Harvard Business School, but also to the corporate leaders who were running organizations as well. Bill focused on the MBA programs and I created the organization to focus on senior leaders—the Authentic Leadership Institute (now the Core Leadership Institute). Our first client was GE and we ran a version of our program with their top 300 leaders. The pace of our work hasn’t slowed down since!
Here at Boston Private we understand that wealth rarely has to do with money. What is your wealth really for? Tell us a little bit about what motivates you – the Why behind your passion and Why you work so hard to achieve your goals?
Our purpose is to wake up those who will wake up the many. What motivates me is to work with groups of senior leaders to help them lead successfully in times of great uncertainty, paradox and ambiguity. If you help those in leadership roles access their deeper wisdom, then the multiplier effect is enormous. Through this approach we have had a powerful impact with organizations like Ben & Jerry’s, Dove, LEGO® and Unilever. We are currently working with the faculty at West Point. I cannot imagine a more important group of leaders to work with and who embody the ability to wake up the many.
Now, more than any time in my life, the level of uncertainty in the world continues to increase. We need to find a deeper level of certainty within ourselves. My work is about helping each of us find that certainty and to lead from it.
As a business person, what has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge is never knowing were the next big opportunity will show up and when. Most of our clients have a global footprint. Having the right team, in the right place, at the right time is a constant challenge. Add to that our sales cycle for large engagements (working with 1,000’s of leaders) can take 18-24 months. One reason we really value Boston Private is we have a relationship with them that isn’t transactional. They help us smooth out the highs and lows, allowing me the room to consistently invest in and grow the business.
What are some of the things you have learned about yourself that surprised you most?
- I am at my best when the stakes are high. When I think it will be no-big-deal is when I get myself into trouble.
- I enjoy writing and thinking as much as presenting and speaking. For most of my life I thought I was an extravert, but the reality is that I am equally an extravert and an introvert. I do not think that fits into any personality profile.
- I dislike transactional relationships and would prefer working with a select group of clients where we have deep, long-term relationships. Client organizations in which whenever I visit, everyone says hello.
- I am an average business leader, but gifted at helping others step into their gifts as leaders.
“If I could spend 30 minutes with a person of import, it would be….
Howard Schultz. He is one of the most iconic, purpose driven leaders and about to jump into the presidential election. To understand what makes this man tick would be great fun.
My favorite part of the day is?
Morning run because I use that time each day to think about how I can more fully lead from my purpose.
The Purpose to Impact™ Program is a transformative experience that helps leaders and their teams to uncover the unique gift they bring to the world—their purpose. Participants walk away with a deeper understanding of their individual characteristics that evoke confidence and inspire others to follow them when dealing with the unexpected.
PURPOSE TO IMPACT™ PROGRAM
To learn more:
As a client of Boston Private, you are eligible to receive a 25% discount off the tuition fee. Please register using code BP25 to receive this offer.
Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor | Boston, MA
April 15-16, 2020
In a world of dramatic uncertainty, leaders connected to their purpose see clearly, act decisively and create real impact.
About Core Leadership Institute
We are a global leadership development firm with a focus on leading from purpose and authenticity. Working alongside our clients such as Ben & Jerry’s, LEGO® and Unilever as a trusted adviser, we uncover the human creativity, impact and purpose that lays the foundation for significant market growth.
The Core Leadership Institute, formerly the Authentic Leadership Institute, brings the latest applied and theoretical knowledge to our mission. We have done so since our founding, in collaborating with Bill George on the pioneering research, publication and teaching of authentic leadership at Harvard Business School.
From top team interventions to company-wide rollouts, our transformational leadership development programs engage individuals and organizations, inviting them to unlock their purpose and lead from it. Participants collaborate, explore and define their purpose, allowing them to be more authentic and effective in supporting organizational impact and change. coreleader.com