Grant Wattie was raised in Hawkes Bay, the fruit and wine growing district of New Zealand. He graduated from Massey University in Palmerston North where he met his wife Christine. They moved to Hamilton then Auckland in corporate roles and eventually settled in Wellington the capital of NZ to raise three children. Grant and Christine later migrated to Melbourne Australia. Grant enjoys playing competition squash, is a life-long student of leadership development, and loves to travel and spend time (that often involves cooking) with family and friends.
Fun Fact: Grant had the experience of a lifetime sailing on the ‘Esmeralda’ the Chilean Officer Naval training vessel, the world’s 2nd largest 4 mast sailing ship with 300 officers of the Chilean Navy. He also found out he is prone to sea sickness.
What you probably don’t know about Grant: Grant trained later in life as a professional counsellor and spent five (very satisfying) years of his life working with under-privileged individuals and families.
WHAT DO YOU DO AT N2GROWTH?
I am the President of N2Growth in Australia, where I oversee all operations including leadership development, executive search and organisational design practise. I am privileged to advise and coach leaders throughout Asia/Pacific. My passion and purpose in life is to help others live more satisfying lives through coaching and leadership development.
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?
Whenever I think about my life’s passion, top of mind is the meaningful conversations with life-long friends. This is why I love my work as a CEO and Executive Coach that brings together my passion and vocation. I resonate strongly with Victor Frankl the author of the classic book, Man’s Search for meaning who said “My purpose in life is to help others find their purpose”.
WHO ARE YOUR GREATEST INFLUENCES?
My Mother and Father for their positive words affirming our sense of identity and confidence to be able to be, or do, anything we wanted. They would encourage us with words such as “you can do it” and “you can be anything you want to be”. Years later my sister Brigid, was dying of a slow kidney failure. Time with her taught me what really matters in life – “The most important things in life are family and friends – and being happy.” This helped me with perspective to spend the rest of my life doing what I was passionate about, and helping others live life better.
WHY DID YOU BECOME AN EXECUTIVE COACH?
Funnily enough I was at a barbecue and was introduced to an executive coach and was fascinated to discover there was actually a profession doing what I loved to do anyway – that is have meaningful conversations that make a difference in people’s lives. Later when my wife studied to become a counsellor I joined her and we embarked on a journey together to become counsellors then later leadership advisors and executive coaches. I am extremely fortunate Christine is in the same field and we both share the same interests.
WHY ARE YOU INTERESTED IN TRANSFORMATION?
I believe personal transformation is an important pre-requisite to being a great leader. Leadership begins with an inward journey of awareness that involves freeing ourselves first from the constraints that have resulted in a way we have ended-up being by default as a result of societal and other influences. Once aware of these constraints we are free to discover the person we are as our natural self-expression – our authentic selves.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHERS ABOUT LEADERSHIP?
True leadership in my view, is founded on an awareness of our blind spots and constraints, authenticity, a commitment to a higher purpose and living with integrity. Ultimately this is a lifelong work, a quest that moves us from being ordinary to extraordinary and from ‘knowing about’ to actually ‘being’ a leader. It is from strengths forged through challenges and failure that we can effectively take those we lead on a journey towards a brighter purposeful future that serves our organizations, communities and humanity.
ANY FINAL THOUGHTS?
It has taken me a long time to understand my vocation that has often been masked in roles, careers and ways of being that probably best belonged to someone else. Parker Palmer in his book “Let your life speak” said – “How much dissolving and shaking of ego we must endure before we discover our deep identity – the true self within every human being that is the seed of authentic vocation”. I am always grateful to work with my clients in helping solve their greatest challenges, mysteries, issues and dilemmas. I approach this work with a sense of privilege for the wonderful talented people I work with and the shared journey towards mastery.