» Principal Consultant » Jason Harding ~ Consulting Services & Workshop Facilitator
Co-founder and Co-creator
A seer of the big picture and the small steps. Steven serves others by joining the dots for questers to light-up their own unique life journey and pathway.
DoorWay Strength: A big picture person who can also focus on setting detailed strategies that generate success. Steven is an innovative forward-thinker that puts people first. His background as a change agent has seen him work with a diverse range of companies; helping industry professionals ascertain pain points and delivering transformational solutions. A techie at heart, Steven has a highly developed, unique set of skills and the ability to articulate and share his knowledge with others. This combination makes him an exceptional Doorway community member. Steven has a unique ability to combine business with heart, along with creative style and flair to his work making him a dynamic co-founder and co-creator of The DoorWay vision. His work and life experience brings a varied and valuable skillset creating a solid and creative structure for The DoorWay to impact on a global level. A keen sense of intelligent humour and a natural love of life exploration gives all who connect with The DoorWay an understanding of how innovative and expansive The DoorWay is becoming.
Background and Bio: Yes, it is clear now that I spent way longer in the traditional education system than I intended. As the first of my relatives to go to university, I just kept going for some reason .... Lifelong learning started with a BCom business degree and LLB (Hons) law degree. Rote learning was not my style, so I got others to take lecture notes. Somehow I passed with a senior prize in law and as a Law Review Author and Business Manager. Another year getting admitted to the bar and I was fully prepped to live the life as a lawyer. My family were proud of me.
I vividly recall standing in the office of a partner at New Zealand's largest law firm. As a young commercial lawyer, I was asking for the document folder for issuing a prospectus. The partner with a double-barrel name said "Mr Vincent, that does not exist, and your job is to draft the documents from scratch." I was to collect each precedent document, get them word processed and bill the client. We charged each six-minute unit to clients, so the longer it took, the better, within reason. I left his office and walked around all the other offices, to collect and compile the necessary documents; I identified the common terms and created them as variables in an "automated" word processing document. This was not appreciated. It did though take a lot less time to complete the next prospectus. This was also not appreciated*. For years I "turned the handle" and pumped out more documents. I got bored and noted that all the interesting people were leaving. My supervising partner, who went on to become chairman of the stock exchange, sat down with me and we discussed options. I left the firm and New Zealand on the very good advice of a friend and partner of the Law School Dean. I had joined enough legal dots and it was time to explore further afield she told me.
In London, I was fascinated with Artificial Intelligence and learning systems, and almost signed on for a PhD in AI; though elected to do a more pragmatic MSc degree. I was interested in accelerating the rate of change. Could we change and get things done more quickly? That led to a transformation role working for Clifford Chance - one of the largest law firms in the world (it now has a revenue in excess of US$2 billion). My challenge was to bring lawyers into the new era. What a fascinating ride that was. As the biggest firm in Europe, it attracted the attention of major world players. I was able to get Microsoft to the table and introduce MS Windows, set up the first OJ Simpson style court room, the first ever major law firm website and many other transformations. It also involved my becoming the chairman on the Internet Group for The Society For Computers & Law. Another pivot. I then lived and loved the pioneering era of the Internet and the world wide web; how fascinating and exciting that was. A favourite role was online marketing manager at Addleshaw Goddard just off London Wall. Traversing the web, growing professional firms and businesses whilst surfing the internet era saw rapid and evolutionary changes - that surfing session lasted years.
As fascinating and and fast as the ride was - just like an adult theme park - there was something missing. And really all these years spent getting degrees, working in the law, and mixing at the top of the game, somehow felt hollow or shallow. So one son and a move back to Auckland, New Zealand, saw a search for a 100% pure lifestyle. The air was cleaner, the food was healthier and people were just friendly. In search of meaning and purpose I attended classes at the amazing School of Philosophy at the Ficino School. I was looking for “something” but wasn’t quite sure what. After two years of study and thoughtful conversation they let us learn meditation and following the ceremony I have practiced meditation for years. The deep conversation and meditation marked a move to a different side of life for me. Like the monkey's hand in the food pot (with a narrow opening .... The Shankaracharya) I slowly learnt to let go and find some freedom. Though as much as I loved the approach to philosophy I was interested in a modern approach to it. And from left brain thinking to right brain thinking. How could we speed up the journey and make it less convoluted for the regular person, I wondered? So much patience was required since every conversation involved traversing from one rabbit hole to another. And I have to admit that meditation without a method is deeply prone to mind-wandering. Mine did at times. Then as senior school members we were asked to learn Sanskrit, the language of ancient India. As committed as I was I simply did not have time. I was ready for a change and the outside forces were about to nudge me in that direction.
Then one day my sister in-law told me to go on a workshop with the energy practitioner Jane Gruebner. Jane has conducted sessions and workshops for hundreds and thousands of people internationally. I found her authentic and humorous, with a wealth of knowledge and wisdom. You could tell that everything she said came from her heart and that profound things were about to happen. At the end of the workshop I literally felt I walked out through the doorway to a feeling of freedom. Something that had eluded me for decades since my early childhood. The glass walls and ceiling I had erroneously constructed disappeared. After the workshop I went up to Jane to thank her and said ... one day we will work together. She just smiled. A year later we were both attending a presentation on the brain - that 3 pound mass of moist biological matter that is not yet optimised for today's age ... "Let's work together" I said, and let's take all this mind-blowing and life-changing wisdom to the world. Jane smiled and later said yes. Together we then set out to create a world wide open university of life-long learning - one that is very different from a traditional university. Find out more in About The DoorWay.
How wonderful my life mission was revealed via The DoorWay. I can see my purpose is to love and serve by joining the dots for others so they live their own life to full potentiality. So I am living my own dream life so others can lives theirs. Wonderful.
* It is still a instructive that decades later the amazing Clifford Chance uses a 'Global M&A Toolkit' as a strategic asset; an approach that decades earlier another Big Three law firm rejected. It is a reminder that traditional "sophisticated" hierarchy-based organisations are often mired in tradition and not substantive results ... at a micro and macro levels.
What People Say
What can I say ..... pure, raw genius and talent. Steven as a change agent, has this amazing ability to drive change through an unrelenting and strategic focus on the Customer. This focus and vision is really changing the perception of the brand. Great guy to be working with.