A giant among pygmies

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For the last few weeks I’ve been bemoaning the lack of a positive vision of wealth creation from our political leaders.


Today I’ve just listened to an inspiring BBC Radio 4 interview with Ailie Macadam, a senior Vice President of Bechtel and the woman behind CrossRail, St Pancras Station’s redevelopment, and now a huge new metro modernisation in Sydney.


Ailie Macadam embodies everything good about long term wealth creation. She is relentlessly positive and inventive. She is self-critical, accusing herself in the interview of suffering from unconscious bias that previously stood in the way of recruiting more women engineers to CrossRail. And the result of that self-awareness? An increase of 30% in women engineers at CrossRail. Her focus is on the task, and the needs of her stakeholders. The provison of financial capital is simply the means by which she gets important work done.


She helps me understand what my friends in The Purposeful Company project and Blueprint for Better Business really mean when they talk about the importance of placing intrinsic purpose at the heart of wealth creation.


Listening to Ailie Macadam after hearing endless coverage of minute ups and downs in company share prices, is like meeting a giant after a day spent with pygmies.