10 Lessons Learned On the Way to Helping Ten Million Children
It takes a bold leader to publicly declare his intention to reach 10 million children with the lifelong gift of education. Especially when he is a newly unemployed former Microsoft executive without an organization behind him, or a single day of fundraising experience.
But based on his belief that bold goals attract bold people, John Wood set out to build a global movement. His rallying cry was that no child should be told “You were born in the wrong place at the wrong time, and you will therefore not gain an education.” The initial deadline for his ambitious goal was 2020. But Room to Read has scaled beyond his wildest dreams, and in 2015 the organization will reach their 10 million student.
John is often asked what lessons on leadership he has learned while building a global team and movement. In celebration of this year’s milestone, John has looked back and written a new presentation. Audiences will be inspired and motivated as they learn lessons from John’s journey, including:
- Get Outside Your Comfort Zone
- Think Creatively
- Optimize Cause-Related Marketing
- What Gets Measured, Gets Done
- Don’t Forget (Or Disempower) the Women
- Never Be Afraid to Ask for the Order
- Make Cost Cutting Fun
- Embrace Social Media and Use It as a Competitive Weapon
Wood’s stories, metrics and examples will inspire every audience to think creatively and to motivate their teams to take their business to the next level. This is not a charity speech. It is instead a distillation of the lessons learned from Room to Read’s growth that for-profit businesses can take and use right away. The priority is to inspire business audiences with lessons they can utilize to build, retain and motivate high performance global teams.
John’s speeches to business audiences usually result in thunderous standing ovations, with employees buzzing for days afterwards with inspiration and immediate plans to implement new ideas.
Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone
Wood first delivered this speech at a Microsoft sales conference. With sales reps facing an increasingly competitive and ever-changing economy, Microsoft’s sales leadership team requested that Wood speak about “what’s possible when a committed person dares to take risks and leave their comfort zone.” At the conclusion of the talk, Woods will lead audience members through a short exercise with a big impact. As a result, hundreds will leave the room with a commitment to breaking old habits, innovating, and taking risks in a way that will drive progress in their teams, their divisions, and their company.
Eager to implement his own vision at age 35, John Wood left an executive career track at Microsoft to build a new kind of non-profit – one founded on the principles of ROI maximization, massive scalability and absolute uncompromis-ing transparency. The result is one of the fastest-growing non-profits in history.
Now, Wood teaches managerial courage in classrooms and business conferences around the globe. Speaking to MBA students and executives alike, he inspires audiences to think differently and more boldly about what they can accomplish as leaders. He insists that audacious goals attract audacious people, and that when they work together in an organization that inspires and recognizes innovation, there are no problems they can’t solve.
In this presentation, Wood shares his model for massively scalable growth with business, university, and non-profit audiences around the world. His experience has made him an authority on overcoming the obstacles of culture, language, geography, and technology. Wood’s insights on the promises and pitfalls of rapid expansion – gleaned through experience, intuition, and trial and error – are sought by leaders everywhere. Key points in this talk include bold goals attract bold people, the war for talent, and doing more with less.