Founder of The Living Leader
I started The Living Leader twenty years ago after a pretty traumatic time in my life, my marriage ending and my second son dying aged 26. Over the preceding ten years I had been involved with Leadership and Management Training and become obsessed with how many people went on really good programs and yet forgot 80% of all the learning within six weeks, and when asking the remaining 20% what behaviours they had changed they frequently struggled to answer.
I passionately believed that there had to be a different way and, after a one year ‘journey’ exploring possibilities and challenging my own thinking, launched my very first Personal Leadership Program. Amazingly it worked beyond my wildest expectations and, at the time of writing this tens of thousands of people have experienced this program. In the early days I delivered many, many programs and then trained others to do the same. Until I began to train another person I had no idea how challenging it could be to deliver this apparently simple program – definitely not as simple as it looked! Delivering the program was a blessing as it continually reminded me how I wanted to be as a leader, a parent, a friend, a colleague… a human being. Above all recognising that in each and every moment I have a choice and I am entirely responsible for creating my life – no excuses!
Since that day my company has grown considerably and we now work globally across a broad spectrum of industries and I am proud and happy that many of my clients have become close and valued friends. The team has expanded and includes some amazing suppliers who give tremendous support. I am now delighted to have handed over the entire running of the business to my younger daughter – Emma Littmoden – and a close colleague – Karen Hunter. I remain closely involved, writing, working with a few select clients, heading up the big events and public speaking.
Life is now even better as I have the time to see more of my children and grandchildren. I live in a small village outside Newbury – home for me, my collection of dogs and occasional visiting son. I am becoming more involved in dog training as with six dogs, two of whom I rescued from a horrid life in Turkey, it is probably a necessity! I am learning as much as they are from a fabulous dog trainer – Peter Branch – and enjoy it enormously. Writing about my experiences with my motley selection of dogs gives me great pleasure, especially when I see so much of what I am learning relates to leadership – my very great passion. I am also finding the time to do other things that have gone by the board in the last few years – spending fun time with friends, entertaining, trips to the cinema and theatre, sitting curled up with a good book in front of a log fire.
Penny has written two books: Transform Your Life and The Living Leader, published by Infinite Ideas and has contributed to “Madam CEO How to Think & Act Like a Chief Executive” , “Leaders in Pearls -How to Be a Change Architect”, “Tapping into your Inner CE) – Self Leadership” and Creating a Blueprint for Inner Change”. Published by Professional Woman Publishing.
To find out more about Penny please visit www.pennyferguson.com.