Q&A with Dan Wallis
1. What motivates you?
Delivering high quality blended Lane4 products that truly do impact and change our clients’ lives. My high performing client team motivates me to practice what I preach and hold up the Lane4 values. I love the thought that I am living and breathing Lane4 foundations and products with everyone I interact with, it’s part of me.
2. How do you handle pressure?
I practice my pro-active resilience, I train, I sleep well, I eat well, I have supportive relationship conversations, I know when to switch off from work, I challenge my line manager, I listen to my thoughts, I put energy into the things I can influence and let go of what I can’t. In the moment I rhythmic breathe, I become present in the subject area and I listen.
3. What will change most about the world of work in the next few years?
I believe it will become more challenging in the sense that roles and formal leadership titles will become less rigid, and how we interact in companies will become more fluid. Being a specialist will have its place but an ability to keep learning and adapt at an individual level will be crucial. I also believe that daily technology will shift, probably prompted by big players, and standalone computes and laptops will become less utilized, hand held devices and other information sharing technologies will evolve shaping how we work on a day to day basis.
4. What’s your defining career moment so far?
Client facing, it has been working with an intact team on a ‘High Performing Teams’ journey that was so much more than that. Seeing the team transform from being a working group delivering a product that was not regarded highly to starting to get top 5 recognition and a place that other teams learn from was fascinating. Personally, it was being successfully coached through my transition out of the military into Lane4 by one of our leading consultants.
5. What book, film or tv show has really changed the way you thought about something?
‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ by Stephen Covey. It made me recognize the power of leadership accountability and how a leader behaves can make or break people and performance, leading self-first is crucial, only then can we truly then lead others.
6.What’s your favourite sport to business lesson or story?
Steven Bradbury, an Australian speed skater’s, story of personal resilience overcoming so much trauma and identity crisis to take his Olympic medal with pride. The story isn’t only a battle of being reactive to a situation and how we deal with it, it is how we pro-actively prepare ourselves to be at our best.
7. What makes you proud?
Working in an organisation where everyone wants to work for each other and cares about their performance, I couldn’t do what I do without the amazing people in Lane4! I am proud to be part of something that is growing, but that cares about how it grows and how we support each other.
8. What makes you angry?
I hold loyalty as one of my highest values. What makes me angry is a complete disregard for another human, whether this be not delivering on a promise, through to status getting the better of some people and the way they behave towards others.
9. Which leader do you most admire most and why?
Outside of Lane4 I admire Barrack Obama, a highly humble leader that truly listens, seeks to understand and has courage to stand by what he believes in. Inside Lane 4 I would say Paul Jewitt Harris. He lives and breathes our leadership model of providing vision, support and challenge. He really cares about Lane4 as a whole, how we operate and how we grow.
10.What are your best and worst characteristics?
Best: empathetic and humble, I am not afraid to not know something and I listen well to empathise with someone’s view point or belief.
Worst: I care about how everyone feels and helping everyone. I take on too much and allow my preferences at times to rule me. My brain and body can’t sustain this so I must regularly check in with myself.
11. What would you like to learn and why?
I would like to learn how to play the guitar and another language. Why: I bought a guitar 4 years ago and I have this long-term vision in my mind that I will make a large career change when I feel I need to slow down and take a step back, at this moment I will pick up my guitar and learn how to play it. I will commit to classes and it will be one of my main focuses at that moment in life.
12. If you could choose anybody, who would you be for a day?
I would be Sunny, my wife. I wish I had her view on life and things that happen, she inspires and amazes me with her constant optimistic view on life and all that happens around her.
13. Who would you like to invite for a dinner party, living or dead?
Barrack Obama, one of the most congruent leaders of my lifetime.
14. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t do for the team what the team can do for itself.
15. What would your motto be (if you haven’t already got one)?
16. What personal value would you never compromise?