Gregor's Interview

Case Study: Gregor McInnes – From Tech Wiz to Strategic Project Lead

Gregor was chosen to lead a massive, high-visibility project modernizing a bank by bringing new capabilities and setting them up for the future.

There was a lot of trepidation in that uncertainty, a lot of areas that he wasn’t quite sure how to really tackle and nail down.

This was pushing myself out of my comfort zone and taking me into positions of leadership that I sought out, but knew that I wasn’t as well-equipped with as I should be.

I was suffering from a pretty heavy dose of imposter syndrome and that caused a lot of stress and even self-doubt.

Gregor McInnis

In high level meetings with senior execs, Gregor would often spout technical jargon to show how smart he was. After the meetings, he knew he wasn’t giving them what they were looking for.

This of course led to disastrous results. They looked at him like some technical guy that shouldn’t be in these key meetings.

He knew he had to change, and fast.

When he joined the course, we worked on several different areas right away, because the project started two weeks later and he had to put a whole new team together from scratch.

First he learned how to be strategic. He developed and implemented a strategic plan and vision.

Then he focused on learning how to delegate, empower, and manage the technical / tactical aspects.

I’ve implemented the leadership model where I’m there to empower and provide them with what they need to get things done rather than sitting, looking over their shoulder and telling them exactly how I want things to be accomplished.

I’ve built that respect and loyalty on both sidesThey trust me, because I’m giving them strategic vision, and they know why and how they need to accomplish things. And me being able to trust them enough to let them do what they do best – deliver the outcomes.

The tools Gregor learned to manage himself are just as important as the tools to lead his team.

He’s learned how to manage risk, make decisions, and keep cool under all sorts of pressure

There’s a lot of stress involved in what I’m now delivering, but now I know how to manage it. It’s the buzz of getting things done, it’s the deadlines and the deliveries that need to be made.

I guarantee you if we had this conversation before we started the course, and everything had hit, I’d be a drowning man looking for the lifebelt (life preserver) as opposed to coming from a position of strength.

Like almost all leaders, when you change things at work, life at home transforms.

The mindset shift into the strategic place has lifted the non-work parts of my life out of the minutia as well. We’ve joined the gym and now have that as a central part of our routine. Health results are very tangible.

I can see the changes in my mindset, health and well-being.

The amount of stress that has removed from my life is phenomenal and can’t be underestimated. Work doesn’t carry over into family life anymore and now I have a more balanced home life.

What’s Gregor’s life like now?

He’s currently been earmarked for Senior Management, he’s being sought after to join with several companies as a non-exec director, and he’s taken a position as a trustee for a charity.

I’ve had really positive feedback from senior stakeholders and people external to our team, about how well the team’s gelled, how it’s come together, how everyone’s working together, and how we’re just getting things done. I wouldn’t have been able to get to this position without having those tools and strategies.

Now that I have this toolset, there’s a whole suite of things that I’ve now got available to me that I can apply to lots of different situations and figure out what the right strategy is.

I’ve spent a long time in my career building up and selling myself and my technical ability. And if I want to be strategic, I need to get over that. That is not to say that that is no longer any use to me, but I need to know how to temper that and how to position that as a strategic outcome.


Interested in learning how you can achieve the same confidence, strategic leadership, and team inspiring gains that Gregor has?

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