Creating Global Strategies
Interview with Brigitte Lawler , CEO of Legend SA | By Darie Nani
Brigitte Lawler is an international speaker, best-selling author, founder and CEO of LEGEND SA. She is on a mission to bring inspired ideas to life by building businesses that matter and thrive in this new economy. The need for innovation in business is more important than ever, and LEGEND ensures your business remains relevant in today’s modern landscape.
In the past year alone, both onstage and off, you’ve impacted thousands of people with your innovative business insights. When it comes to launching a business that is fit and prepared for today’s new economy, what do you believe to be most important? Can you share some of your biggest lessons
with our readers?
The most important lesson for me was when I realized that being in business is easily possible. I have not had an entrepreneurial background and in the past, I never thought of myself as a “business-person”, but I realized that my perception of what it means to be a business person was wrong. This is the easiest and least costly time in history to start a business and that is because we are in a new economy. Thanks to this technological
era, anyone can open a business without having to have massive capital investments for office space, large teams of people and the usual overheads that the traditional approach required. And thanks to digitalization, we have the global market at our fingertips. There is no limit to who you can reach, as long as you have a product or service that is irresistible to the market, because you solve a relevant problem for someone or ideally for the masses of ‘someones’. What is needed to start a business is a good idea, a compelling story, a strategic mind, a determined spirit and access to coaches and experts to guide you on the right path.
From your experience, what do you believe separates those who succeed with their goals from those who don’t?
Those who succeed have a clear vision, so clear that it is unwavering. The goals they set are fully aligned with that vision and they have laser focus on getting it done. That’s the first sign, and it is usually very apparent when you meet someone because they exude a strength of purpose. They draw you into their story and get you excited even if it is not naturally your area of interest. Those who are successful are people who invest in their own learning, who have great coaches and mentors and who actively surround themselves with positive, likeminded individuals. Successful people build great teams or ecosystems from the very start and leverage on the collective strengths of the ecosystems to grow.
What made you take the leap from a successful corporate career to launching your own business?
I have to say that my decision to leave my corporate career was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. I was in a good place – I had a global role in a multinational group with influence and impact, and I worked together with amazing people. There was no reason for me to leave other than that I was curious to explore what else I could create, and I wanted to design a more flexible lifestyle. At the time, I did not have plans to create a
business. I actually thought I would enjoy some leisure time, but in doing that, I fell in love with the concept of our new economy world. I became fascinated by how this era of exponential innovation is bringing new opportunities and possibilities to shape the way in which we interact, the way we work, the way we live and the environment around us. I even wrote a book about that, which hit the best seller list on Amazon within
its first week of launch (Humanity through Technology: A Simplified Understanding of Social, Environmental and Economic Change in a Digital, Decentralized World). At the same time, I saw how many people in business struggle to innovate and accelerate their company growth. I saw how many people who like the idea of starting a business are often held back by a lack of clarity as to what those crucial first steps should be. I saw how many established businesses struggle to find the steps that will take them to the next level of results, and to implement what is needed to stay relevant as the market changes. That’s when I realized that because of my knowledge, insights and experiences, I have solutions for them, and then I decided to start my own business.
How has your experience in the corporate world influenced the work you do now?
One major influence is that I always worked on a global scale in the corporate world, so it is natural for me to have my own business with global reach. I have worked on projects in 34 countries across all continents in my corporate life and I have lived in Africa, Asia and Europe. I understand various markets and cultures and I make sure that my business extends to people in the world wherever they are. I believe that working on a global scale means that I am used to thinking big, creating global strategies and executing with ease. Another major influence is that I am experienced in working in business transformation programs. The services that we offer at LEGEND are not the same topics that I was involved with in my corporate career, but the skills of communication, engagement, strategy, future design and action focus are the same.
Having accelerated your growth with the help of some of the world’s top coaches, how do you believe coaching can impact a business’s growth?
I strongly believe that without coaching, business growth is severely compromised. It is essential to work with people who are objective to your business yet who are invested in your success. As a business owner, I appreciate being challenged by my own business coaches (I have 3 at the moment). I appreciate having them as a sounding board and as someone who looks at situations with a different perspective. Most importantly, a coach holds you accountable to your goals and is there to step in if you hit a bump in the road. If you don’t have a coach, you are left to figure it out on your own but most people will seek advice from friends or family who are usually not best placed to provide it. Seeking out people with the right experience, who are where you want to be, is the fastest way to get yourself the result you’re striving for.
Since launching, LEGEND has quickly become quite a name internationally, with clients and partners around the world. When did you realise you had a passion for entrepreneurship enough that you thought about building a business out of it?
I had surrounded myself by other entrepreneurs in various business networks and I loved the energy, passion and drive of entrepreneurs.
I saw myself mirrored in them. I knew I had found my place. Strategizing comes easy to me and seeing my ideas come to life as I imagine them is simply amazing. Almost as soon as I got started, I could see the potential of this business and I decided to make it happen and create a business that makes a difference and WOW’s our customers.
With many events in the pipeline, what can one expect to take away when they attend LEGEND’s events?
We have various types of events at LEGEND with different topics related to Business Acceleration and a schedule for the rest of 2019 including major cities in 4 countries. Whatever the topic and whether you attend a seminar, a workshop or a mastermind event, you can expect to leave with a greater understanding of the possibilities in front of you. You will always be taken through methodologies that work to save you time and frustration of not knowing what to do or how to do it. You will always be given practical tools and techniques to take away and implement, and you will find yourself part of a community of progressive thinkers with inspired ideas and determination to succeed by supporting each other.