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Why leaders need humility & tolerance, lessons in life and leadership.

Better World Leaders Episode 23, with Dr. Tom Alan-Livernois

In this conversation we welcome the leader of 4i’s business in the USA, Dr. Tom Alan-Livernois. I am honoured to be able to call Tom a dear friend, as well as a colleague and business partner. His wisdom, experience and qualifications are vast, deep and contemporarily relevant in so many ways. I’m delighted to be sharing this conversation with you.

Dr. Tom’s career has spanned extensive experience in marketing, advertising, leadership and developing leaders. His early career was primarily focused on bringing new services and products to markets, working across numerous sectors and industries bringing ‘first in market’ offers to life. Having heard the call of purpose and pivoted to become a Leadership Educator, he first gained a Master’s in Digital Marketing, then a Master’s in Organisational Leadership and most recently a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis on development. His field of expertise in this are was focused on Virtual Work and Organisational Stress.

Today, Dr. Tom leads our business in the USA and applies his expertise with our clients across the globe.

Dr. Tom is a deeply compassionate student of the human condition and of the relationship between leadership and both human and organisational performance. His faculty for understanding causal Dr.ivers of behaviour and the specific developmental interventions required to enhance performance and outcomes lead him to be sought out by senior Executives and high performing organisations. He continues to break new ground in organizational outcomes and positive impact in the world.

This conversation covers many elements of our work and our shared philosophy of leadership, as well as taking deep dives into several crucial areas of leadership today. If you are seeking to understand the definitive leadership traits of humility, tolerance and respect, why they are vital for successful leadership now and in the future, this conversation is worth making time for.

If you are tight for time and want to tune in directly to the leadership segment, you can scroll forward to the 40-minute mark. I do highly recommend the whole conversation to fully appreciate Dr. Tom’s background and perspective.

Key out-takes from this episode;

– We are often taught “this is the way it has to be”. Learn to question “is it?”

– You have to name your part, what role you are playing in a system or context.

– Impatience is the most selfish act one can perform

– Humility is simply an admission that you’re human. That you don’t know everything, you can provide grace to somebody else and that you don’t have to be the centre of attention.

– A key tenant of servant leadership is altruism. Altruism is not simply about being and doing good but comes from evolutionary psychology of a member of the group being able to mediate anger or aggression to bring the group together to work towards a common goal.

– That the greatest leaders are able to inspire people to work towards a shared vision is commonly accepted. What must be appreciated is that the only way we can inspire somebody is to have developed trust, have mutual respect for each other, as well as understand what mutual dependencies you have for each other, our unspoken contract.

– Do you truly understand why you want to be a leader? What is successful leadership to you? Involves having a relationship with people. If you do reach successful leadership without having a relationship with people, it’s likely to be short-lived.

– To develop yourself and others as leaders, seek out learning that’s simple, practical and immediate in application.

– What we want to understand and help others to understand is what makes a better world leader

– How can you build leaders that can deal with today, whilst moving towards their vision for the future?

– Everything we do is built on purpose. That’s the foundation stone.

– When onboarding teams virtually, focus on aligning thinking, vision, values & purpose, and building a sense of trust quickly.

– Much more about leadership is teachable than innate. If you have the vision, purpose and drive to become a great leader, you can learn how to do so.

– Leading an organisation that is purpose-driven, values-led, resilient and adaptable is now a minimum requirement for success both now and moving into the future.

– Consider how do you want to give back to the world as a leader? Not necessarily the world at large, but also your own world, your family or your community.

Resources mentioned in this conversation;

How will you measure your life? by Clayton M. Christensen (Author), James Allworth (Author), Karen Dillon (Author)
Quiet Leadership, David Rock –
Greenleaf, R.K. (2013). The Institution as Servant. Retrieved from was introduced into an organizational context through Greenleaf’s threefoundational essays—The Servant as Leader (1970), The Institution as Servant (1972a), andTrustees as Servants (1972b)
The Master & His Emmisary, Andrew Gilchrist
Upcoming book from Adam Grant, Think Again – The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know, due for release 2 Feb 2020.

Get in touch with Dr. Tom via any of these points of contact;





Or right here via the Us Page, or via an article Dr Tom has written in the Insights area…

As always, great thanks and appreciation to the team who contributed to bringing Better World Leaders to you;To Brendan Ward for production of all audio recordings and composition and performance of original music throughout each episode.To Cooper and the team at RadioHub studios for technical support and creative guidance during the episodes that are recorded face-to-face. You can find out about Radio Hub’s services here – NokNok Studios for website design, hosting and advice. Find out about NokNok’s awesome services here Cirasa Design for logo and site graphics – Find our about Cirasa’s inspiring work here
You’ll find audio and video recordings for this episode, as well as links to any specific recommendations or related resources mentioned today in the podcast area of