STEP ONE: It Starts With Me – In Conversation with Ricardo Sookdeo


STEP ONE: It Starts With Me – In conversation with Ricardo Sookdeo

In a series of conversations with fellow transformers, leaders and influencers, we want to introduce you to the Ten Steps of Transformation. You’re getting a sneak peek into how The Heart Revolution can be your companion through transformation: helping you transforming your work and organization, by transforming yourself.

Our Ten Steps of Transformation capture the essence of what enables true transformation in you, your work, and your organization. They take you full circle – from building insights and meaning about yourself and your life, to making conscious choices around your mindset for you to manifest immediate and lasting impact.

In the first in the series which explores “Step One: It Starts with Me”, I had the pleasure of speaking to Ricardo Sookdeo, a globally experienced HR professional, coach, facilitator, and a fellow transformer.

Step One: It Starts with Me

Do you ever want people or situations to be different than they are? 

What is Step One?
One of life’s hardest lessons to learn is that we can only change ourselves. The good news is that when we change, things around us will change. Equally, we’re influenced by others. We’re always impacting and being impacted by the interactions and exchanges around us. Conditioned by norms and behaviors of society, colleagues, parents, friends. Becoming aware of what belongs to us and what belongs to other people is needed to take ownership for what is ours. When we fully embrace that our business will not transform unless we transform, we have taken the first big step of insight into the world of transformation.

As Ricardo shares in his story, often when we’re caught up in a situation with someone else, what can happen is our perception gets colored by what’s going on within us. We can all get caught in a mindset anchored in fear, blaming others for the situation. For Ricardo, this didn’t only affect his own experience working for this leader, working in the organization, and how he consequently led those around him. It also held back his relationship with his leader from progressing into a more value-creating partnership. However, Ricardo acknowledged his role in the situation – and acted on it. That is what ownership is about.

“I came across this quote – ‘You cannot change people; you cannot control circumstances. The only thing you can change and have control over is your own self.’ And that was a real lightbulb moment for me.”

Becoming aware of, and distinguishing between, what belongs to us and what belongs to others is so important in being able to take ownership for what’s ours to change.

When Ricardo did something about what was going on within himself, he was able to respond differently. And doing this also positively impacted his relationship with his leader. By showing up with more confidence and security in himself and his competencies, his leader responded with more trust as well. Ricardo didn’t need to directly try to change his leader (nor could he have, most likely!). Instead Ricardo took control of what was within his influence – himself! And the changes around him in turn flowed into the relationships around him – with his leader, his team, his colleagues.

His company also saw a positive effect. With his mind less preoccupied by the insecurity and conflict, he felt more resourceful to solve the business challenges that presented themselves. More brain capacity was afforded to problem solving and creative thinking – something needed in all organizations.

In the book, and through Ricardo’s story, we see how when we can all have huge potential to manifest great impact when we fully embrace that our business will not transform unless we transform. We see that it’s not always easy to do so – but also that once you have the right mindset, it’s actually simple and very possible to make the changes you’re longing for to actually happen.  

As Ricardo has taught and shown me, we can all start by being the change we want to see around us – just like the way his smile and warmth always managed to turn an elevator ride into a positive and enriching experience for those fortunate to join him.

How will you own that you are the perfect CEO of your life?


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Transformational Capacity is how you stay resourceful, relevant and resilient when facing change. It puts your transformation at the centre of your business transformation. Are you ready for the future?

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