1: To Dr Benjamin Palmer CEO and Founder of Genos on your 10 Year Anniversary. from your family, friends, colleagues, partners, associates, directors and shareholders. Enjoy!
6: As Genos’ 10th anniversary fast approached, and the expected reflections on the years that have passed (and passed so quickly) began to flitter across my cerebral cortex, two central themes kept emerging. The first theme was ‘destiny.’ Some people might not buy into an idea that life and people, and even organisations, have a destiny, or a pre-determined ‘fate’, something along the more spiritual realm of ‘The Universe’—(a higher order power that impacts us in its own mysterious and magical ways). I suspect that if you are a part of the history of Genos and you are reading this book right now, chances are you do believe in such things. And if not, bear with me for a few more paragraphs and see if I can make a believer out of you, too. The second theme I thought of as this milestone was approaching was the power of a single idea. How one idea, created by one person, has the ability to affect change. Sometimes, the idea and the resulting changes are small, and go relatively unnoticed. In other instances, an idea takes on more significance and has lasting impact.
7: When you combine these two seemingly random and disparate themes--that of destiny and the power of a single idea--I think that combination encapsulates the Genos story for the last 10 years. And even more importantly, what I believe will be the Genos story for the next 10 years and beyond. 2002--Ten years ago. To begin any story that is about destiny and the power of a single idea one must go back to the beginning. And it was in early 2002 that a young PhD student at Swinburne University in Melbourne was working on his doctoral thesis, the subject matter of which was the creation of a new model of Emotional Intelligence. This would not be just any model, but a model with a very specific intention--to take the construct of Emotional Intelligence, one that had largely escaped mainstream acceptance in the business community at that point, and make it relevant in the workplace. In creating this model, Emotional Intelligence would be applied for the betterment of workplace environmentsto create more effective leaders, managers, sales people, and entire cultures. To make ‘work’ a more satisfying experience.
8: The power of a single idea Unbeknownst to this 27-year old PhD student, working on his doctoral thesis in what I imagined was a cluttered university library cubical back in early 2002, an American expat—someone who had worked in the Learning & Development industry in the U.S. for the past decade--had just arrived in Sydney for what was intended to be a six-month holiday. He was disillusioned, burned out from a job in a company that did not live by its values. It was a company that had the antithesis of what I would come to know as an emotionally intelligent culture. And unbeknownst to this American expat as he first stepped onto Australian soil (yes, that American expat was me), a PhD student in Melbourne was working on an idea that would ultimately transform the lives of thousands of people, myself included. It would be five more years before Ben and I crossed paths and would begin working together, and another four years before we were ‘ready’ to take his model out to the world in a significant way, open a Genos office in another part of the world for the first time—in the United States, and in the heart of San Francisco and Silicon Valley. It is the very office from which I am writing this introduction today.
9: “Ahhh,” you might be surmising. “There’s the connection to the destiny theme.” And yes, while there is a ‘destiny’ quality to my connection to Genos and to Ben and to his single idea, it is alas just a small piece of the ‘destiny’ theme. For destiny is not made up of one or even a few people coming together. Destiny is created when many individuals come together around a shared intention, a shared purpose. And with them, they bring their energy and passion, their intelligence, their experience, and their commitment. And if that single idea and the intention of that idea has the power to affect positive change—then that single idea draws people and energy, and passion, and commitment around it, and those in turn draw in others. Like a pebble dropped into the center of still pond on a cold, windless morning, that energy radiates outward in ripples that are now touching the shores of people, and companies, and countries all around the world.
10: So, destiny and the power of a single idea Ten years ago at Swinburne University in Melbourne, Ben Palmer had an idea. And out of that idea, he created a model. And from that model, he built an intention, and a community of like-minded consultants, coaches, and people who would be positively impacted from that idea. And in doing so, Genos’ destiny was set in motion. And today, ten years later, in a classroom in Tel Aviv, six consultants are learning about the skill of Emotional Self Control, in Hebrew; and in San Diego, California, 60 sales people are learning how to use the skills of Genos EI to be more effective in their client relationships; and in Antwerp, Belgium, dozens of customer service reps are learning how to use EI to create greater levels of customer satisfaction; and in Shanghai, managers are learning how to have powerful conversations with their employees to create a more motivating work environment; and in Australia, hundreds of leaders in one of the country’s largest banks are creating a more inspiring, more motivating, and more engaging workplace culture through the power of EI development.
11: Ten years ago, Ben, as you worked on your doctoral thesis, could you have imagined the impact that your idea, your single idea, would have on people around the world? Genos’ story is about destiny, and the power of a single idea. And it’s also very much about you. Congratulations on the first ten years, Ben. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next ten have in store. Matthew Galik Managing Director Genos Americas
13: I can’t remember a really good school report of Ben’s right up until Year 10 when he was thinking about being a Motor Mechanic, following a keen interest in cars. He did work experience at Courtenay and Patterson. They offered him to start with them but Ben said to us, “If that’s a Motor mechanic’s job I don’t want it! I want to be an academic”. I didn’t know what to what to think about that statement but from then on Ben obviously began to shift his focus from school social life to achieving good school results. So at the end of year 12 Ben amazed everyone with his good VCE score. Ben went to Swinburne to study Psychology - I think he thought there would be a lot of girls in the class! After a turbulent 1st semester overcoming distractions but needing to repeat and carry one subject into beginning again the next year! After that he never looked back. Bens study room was a little “Cave” under our house behind the garage. He stayed up long hours and worked extremely hard making us very proud of his excellent results and constant, persistent efforts to gain an Honors Degree. He remained highly motivated and wanted to study Emotional Intelligence. This again confused us because Ben was the only one of our three boys who played basketball together who had to front the Tribunal twice for not being able to control his emotions. But he also showed us many strong positive emotions throughout his upbringing so it was fitting for him to study EI. We were extremely proud of Ben when he received a Richard Pratt Scholarship.
14: Ben was keen for us to see where he worked at Swinburne and introduce us to Con and other work colleagues. We were proud of him and also gained more understanding as to why his PHD was taking so long to complete with such a small untidy desk and lots of fun happening nearby! I thought it would be a good idea for Ben to get a well paid job with his qualifications and make an easy life for himself. Ben had other aspirations - to work at creating his own business, which I thought was risky. Well look where he is now – ten years on and heading a great company that he has driven to success! This has come from hard work and determination. He is an inspiration to his parents and siblings, Tim, Luke and Brooke as well as our wider family. But the great thing about all this success is that he cares about people. He shows appreciation towards his parents and people who have been part of his life. When he asks me how I am he really wants to know if I am happy - just as much as if I’m well. He just checks up on my emotions. Have a great celebration of the First Decade Son,. Love From
15: Ben it has been amazing to watch your career develop but from a young age I realized how friendly and outgoing you were! In Rabaul, from a toddler to 3 and a half years of age, you wanted to play with anyone who was nearby. You would gather up kids and love playing together. You would wander into the middle of a Sing Sing, dancing livelier as the evening progressed. Your Kinder teach told me you were a leader who could round up 25 children getting them all to follow you and pretend to be firemen putting out fires. A sign of the future! You always had confidence in your own ability. You had never learnt to do gymnastics but somehow pulled off an excellent cartwheel across the school stage and ending in a Star Shape Finale centre stage! And that was in Prep. I remember Mr Little, your grade 3 Teacher, telling me how you actually took over the class and became the teacher as you presented a project on Papua New Guinea. You had great aspirations - although not all were achieved – like when you told me you had Ball Boyed on Centre Court at the Australian Open but later you told me it was only the outside courts. Still you did get your photo in the Herald Sun, sweeping the rain off the courts in a large group of kids. We still have it! You made me so surprised and proud when you were about 14 and you sang a solo of a modern arrangement of “Jesus Loves Me” solo at Church.
16: We didn’t know you had been rehearsing and you blew us out of the water as you sang sincerely but like a professional! (Mums are allowed to say that.) You had the teachers tricked about who was leading the class astray at St Helena Secondary College for several years but once that was sorted you then managed to gain amazing support from them as you focused on getting high grades in VCE. You were not afraid to approach teachers when you needed assistance. Neither were you afraid to ask me for help when your Essays were just about due and you were struggling to get them in on time. Very resourceful Ben! When you completed your PHD you won an ..Award for . All that work and amazing motivation and effort to extend yourself has resulted in creating a successful young/ man who enjoys and contributes so much to others and his own well being in life. I want to thank you for being a very fine Son, Partner to Georgia and Dad to our little grandsons, Lachie and Louis. I am grateful to many “Significant Others” amongst your friends and our friends, church members and employers like Peter Morabito from Eltham Fruit Shop, who supported you at different stages. Congratulations to you and all your Genos Colleagues on your tremendous achievements over the last ten years. Love from mum.
18: Congratulations! Your passion and hard work have certainly endured the test of time! Who would have thought when I first met you at your Swinburne office all those years ago... Well ten years on and two beautiful boys later I guess it would have been hard to predict a lot of things. We know how much you like to be the loudest and the biggest and the strongest, so deeply respect that you can also take a step back and act with integrity first and foremost. Your sincerity and compassion for other people has been central to the success of Genos and is of course why we love you!
19: Thank you for always giving us endless emotional and practical support over the years! We are proud of the strong foundations you have built for Genos and look forward to seeing it continue to grow in the future. Love Always Lachie, Louis and Georgia | Our boys have learned many important life skills as they see all the amazing things that their Dad does each day... | "Just making some phone calls..." | "Getting water..." | "Making coffee..."
22: Wow, so its been ten years since we all started GENOS, wow its been a great ride Ben. Its been your baby for such a long time its probably worth thinking about how we got there from the day in Brisbane designing questions that would ultimately find their way into the measure, to the standardisation studies with large corporates, CEO, Executives to all of the characters we worked with to get data to start the test-back in the old days: Ramesh, Ray Elliott, people from SACS, presentations at conferences up in Queensland with Ashkanazy-can you ever forget the presentation by Susan David in Melbourne! Do you remember all the people who wanted to be part of the test before GENOS. Do you remember the old centre for Neuropsychology and the students working on different aspects of EI from Lisa to Steph to Gilleswow what an amazing history punctuated by difficulties and rewards in scholarships, grants and publications.I have so many stories from those days, my favourite is the lift story at the IO conference in Brisbane but that is perhaps better retold over a drink on another day
23: At the end of the day mate you have been the main driver in GENOS and deserve all the success that it has and hopefully will bring you. Most people don’t realise what you actually gave up to keep GENOS going, no doubt you could have made more money as an EI consultant without all of usso well done and hope the next ten years is even better Cheers Con
24: Ben and I go way back to the early days (circa 2001) when Genos and its flagship product, Genos EI (back then known as the SUEIT), were just being conceived and developed. Over the years, Ben and I have published a number of academic papers together and developed several other assessments for Genos. We have always managed to work very productively together. More memorable and valuable to me, though, have been the more personal interactions with Ben, many of which have resulted in a substantial amount of laughter. I can remember when the global financial crisis was in full swing, and the stock market was crashing particularly violently in 2008. We were discussing the effects of the GFC, and, at one point, I mentioned that one of the reasons the stock market was falling so substantially was that many people were getting margin calls.
25: Ben wasn’t sure what a margin call was, so I explained it to him. Not twenty minutes later, while we were sitting at our respective desks in front of our computers, Ben shouted out: “Oh my god, those motherfuckers at Macquarie just sent me a fucking margin call!” Oh my, how we laughed. Actually, perhaps I was the only one laughing, but it’s a good story all the same. The story above is, in part, representative of working with Ben. He wears his heart on his sleeve (he will no doubt cry several times on this occasion celebrating his 10 years at Genos) and is tremendously forthright (he’ll tell me to ‘get fucked’ for saying that he is going to cry) and genuine (he’ll mean it). I don’t know if this is the most effective way to behave at work on standard metrics, but Ben’s presence and leadership at Geno has certainly made it a more pleasurable, rewarding, engaging, and interesting experience for me. Ben, you’ve been a great colleague and friend over the years, and I wish you and Genos all the best into the future. Gilles
27: Dear Ben There are so many amazing stories of our time together at Genos I could write a book myself! When Rebekka asked if I could write something for your book, I must admit I struggled to identify those stories that rose above the others as ‘defining’ of our time together. Should I share the story of the first time we met (upon the recommendation of Bruce Findlay at Swinburne); the first promotional event I organised for you (a dinner with HRD and L&D Directors to talk about the future of leadership – and the role of EI in cultivating leaders with heart); the first ‘deal’ we negotiated (which went south and needed my boss at the time and Con to get us out of the mess); the first consulting project we delivered together (a lucrative little project that allowed me to travel Europe for 6-months); me becoming an employee of Genos (and us fitting into the sardine can of an office in South Melbourne); the first Genos office in Melbourne (and us needing to hire some employees to fill it); our first large scale consulting and coaching product that utilised all of the products we had in our portfolio (and the Red Bull cans we both sculled before the sales call just to be awake and alert for the meeting); you taking on the role of CEO at Genos (now what a ride period that was for us and the business!); the extended overseas sales trip that had me (and Belinda and a 6-month old Charlie) travel across the US twice in just over three weeks, including a stop off in Puerto Rico for one of the most amazing experiences of my life; the pride and effort of maintaining year-on-year double digit growth for the company (a feat that had Genos recognised as one of Australia’s fastest growing companies); the numerous strategic pivots to try and find the best go to market strategy for Genos that best leveraged the business’ unique skills and assets (if I recall, Genos has been defined as an
28: assessment and development company, a strategic consulting company, an integrated product and services company, an online content distribution platform, and back to an assessment and development business maybe); the leader of an amazing team, both in Australia and internationally, who all go above and beyond because they believe in the vision you created; a confidant and sounding board as I started my family (and I for you); or the understanding business owner as I decided that it was time for me to exit the business to pursue a different direction (a very tough decision for both of us). So what to write? As I reminisce on these stories (and the thousands of others that flow from them!) I cannot help but think that although these stories have been important to our professional friendship, they are not the main story. Ben, I feel privileged to know you and to have had the opportunity to work with you, to play this wonderful game called ‘business’ with you, create something from nothing with you (so many times!), take risks for big rewards with you, literally changed people’s lives with you, and laughed and cried with you.
29: But, the main story for me is not Genos or Emotional Intelligence – I must admit to thinking the business might not make it during those ten amazing years (but with you running the show I should have never had any doubt!). In fact, I think the business chose us as it saw that there is a ‘magic in the middle’ between us – I truly feel that we bring out the best in each other. For me, the real story is how proud I am to call you ‘friend’. You have had a significant impact on my life and Genos was an amazing training ground for my life and leadership. And as I read through the other stories in this book I know now you have had a positive influence on so many people around you. Well done on guiding Genos successfully to its 10-year birthday. Take pause. Celebrate all you have accomplished and reflect on all of the lives you have touched by just being you. Love Rich | PS: One last thing – some wise advice from author Robert Fulgrum, “Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some (1993).“
31: For those who know Ben well – you would know that he has a secret passion –flying. How many hours in his BC (before children) days has he spent on the lounge playing “Flight Simulator”. So when I called Ben in December 2008- asking if he was interested in pitching for a contract to work with Air China –he was ready for another “take off”. Ben was the first of us to go up to Beijing and presented to a group of very senior Air China executives and naturally Genos won the contract. Working with the Chinese is all about maintaining the relationship.therefore Ben ensured that he kept up with the mandatory Peking Duck banquets with the endless rounds of Red Wine !! And yes.he has this model aircraft in his office. Ben and Genos has also left their mark on another airline- Qantas. Sue Jennings, Ben and I presented at the 2009 American Society of Training & Development (ASTD) conference in Washington DC – a great experience and obviously with Ben lots of fun ! Ben- your friendship, guidance and support have meant a lot to me –thank you Congratulations on your 10 year anniversary Genos. A BIG thank you to the whole Genos team –your warmth, professionalism and commitment to the Genos ideals / values are the reason you are a standout organisation. David Hales
33: Dear Ben Congratulations on a great 10 years, it has been a pleasure to work with you and Genos for the last 7 years or so Enjoy this milestone!! I look forward to continuing to work with you and the team Best wishes Sue Jennings
34: I can remember a time, many many moons ago when I was sitting in dark, cramped room at Swinburne University with Con and Ben talking about their hatred for a fax machine, which was the one and only way for them to distribute the assessment and if/how we could create a business around their EI assessment. We talked a lot about how to set up a business with no funding, build an online delivery mechanism on the smell of an oily rag, hire a team and manage the rollout of ANZ top 50 executives. It was very stressful, exciting and dynamic period of growth. Only through Ben's humility, drive and passion for the platform were we able to establish a company, build an online deliver mechanism and begin to accredit consultants with no funding. Its been an amazing journey with Ben and the team, though ups and downs, perseverance and passion have enable us to roll wit the punches and position the company as it stands today, ready to take on the world. The time for Genos is now, just in time to celebrate a decade of scar tissue. Phaedon
35: Congratulations Ben Ten years seems like a long time but like most ten year olds I suspect Genos' best is yet to come. To have successfully developed an International business, reputation and network is an outstanding achievment. To do so based entirely on intellectual property you originated yourself is truly remarkable. As an eleven year old business we might feel a little like an older brother yet we feel we still have much to learn from you. It has been a pleasure to share some of your journey both personally and professionally. We look forward to many happy and successful years ahead. Jon Tanner
36: Early days strategy offsite...
37: Early USA Trips
39: Congratulations Ben on Genos' 10th birthday!! An exceptional achievement and a great testament to your inspiration, commitment and work ethic. Your passion for the business has been a driving force for all of us in the Genos family. I personally am particularly grateful for the generosity, kindness and care you have shown throughout my time with Genos. Here's to the next 10!! Trish
40: Ben, From my vantage point over the last four years I’ve watched a collection of ideas and people grow into a respected business capable of competing in an overwhelmingly complex marketplace. And I believe that it has only been able to do so because of your singular focus on sharing your knowledge and wisdom. You’ve taken your research and created an approach that has the power to make the workplace a more humane experience. Our clients immediately get how the work we do not only shifts how they see each other, but also how they interact with their families. It has saved many personal relationships as well as professional ones. Knowing you throughout this time has been a gift to me. You’re an individual who loves his family and his work, and clearly understands the importance of having fun in the process. I appreciate your willingness to give me the opportunity to venture into a new field of work, and your patience as the U.S. market fell and the road got rough. I also appreciate your insistence that we go jet skiing when you visited last – I’d lived in South Florida for over 20 years, and it took a visit from you to finally get me on one! It was a rush, and your scream of terror while I was driving was quite invigorating May your next ten years be filled with great health and prosperity for you and your family, Hugs, Jackie
46: When I meet Ben I would never have guessed that our relationship would span well over a decade! I consider Ben both a friend and professional colleague and have the stories to match!... ...When I meet Ben it was immediately a meeting of the minds. Both similar ages, both dedicated to our field and both with entrepreneurial flair. What I didn't bank on was both with a love of good wine, a shared enjoyment of competition and winning and an appreciation of how to control a Blackjack table! Our relationship has seen OPRA back the company both as an investor and distributor. Together we have meet around the world, from the UK to NZ, to make this dream a reality. I'm so super impressed with what Ben has achieved and wish him all the best over the next 10 years. Paul Englert
47: Hi Ben I remember the first time we met at the Coffee Shop in MLC, must be almost 10 years ago, and how impressed I was with your personal and professional demeanor and your passion for your work in EI. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to part of the Genos growth and development journey, as a friend, colleague and consultant. I wish you and the team all of the love, joy, prosperity and abundance possible for the next 10 years as you continue to take the world by storm with your good intentions and fabulous products! With love and appreciation from Janet in the Holy Land!
48: I first started working with Ben in the early days of the emotional intelligence questionnaire at Swinburne and then as that progressed into Genos. I was at GM Holden and we wanted to include a focus on emotional intelligence in our new leadership programs. Emotional Intelligence was rather new in an engineering and manufacturing company so this was a challenge. Ben was great - really flexible, happy to work with us to include specific areas we wanted to in the questionnaire and a great support in bringing an understanding of emotional intelligence into our company. Years later we connected again at Ericsson. By now Ben had a fully fledged international company with a great range of tools and ideas and experiences. Ben has worked with us on coaching, on an emotional intelligence approach to developing a customer focused culture and on a motivation program for line managers across SE Asia. Even thought the company is much bigger Ben is the same to work with - full of ideas, committed, flexible, generous in sharing research and ideas and full of integrity. Ben seems to have lots of connections everywhere, (not bad for a quiet guy!) and everyone speaks highly of him. It has been a great 10 years and I am impressed with how Genos has grown and the credibility it has in a very competitive market. Congratulations Ben - feel proud of what you have achieved. I have enjoyed being a small part of the Genos journey. Gwyneth Graham
49: The Genos (Early) Years... I started at Genos in early 2006 as a young "grasshopper" - fresh out of 4th year uni, starting my Masters in Org Psych. Ben and Rich took me under their wing and showed me the ropes of consulting as their "Associate" - I look back on that time with fond memories, yet I look forward to the future with such excitement too as there is still so much more of the great Genos story to come! I fondly remember my time in the Little Collins St Melbourne office, sharing a creative space with two minds that I did, and still do, greatly respect. Ben and Rich formed the foundation stones of my practice today, and Genos will forever remain my first "proper" job. I look forward to seeing many more years of the growth of Genos, and I am so proud to know that I have been a part of this epic adventure! Cath Doocey (nee Lutton)
50: In 2006 we both presented at an Emotional Intelligence Conference in South Africa. Ben brought a guy from the streets and started his presentation getting everyone up and dancing. | Silvia Damiano | Ben Palmer
51: WH | His charms were so irresistible that all singers in the restaurant came to our table at dinner time and started singing to him... Ben stood up and dance all night with one of them!!
52: The best of our working relationship occurred in Whistler, Canada. We decided to go skiing with his brother and girlfriend for a few days before running an accreditation in Seattle. I had never skied before and after 2 days of taking group classes, Ben suggested to go up the mountain and while he did all sort of turns & swirls in his snowboard I was about to collapse by just looking at the 3km downhill run I had to do. Half way I had to stop and said: I am not doing this! Ben had to come back up and convinced the snow patrol to pick me up saying he is a psychologist and I was having a panic attack. It was hilarious!!
53: Ben Palmer snowboarding (above) and convincing the rescue patrol | Silvia Damiano
54: Our journey in South Africa with Ben and Genos in fact started in 2004 at the Quality of Life Conference in Stellenbosch. I met with Con Stough and really got excited about the prospect of finding a workplace based EI assessment. Over time this developed into us forming a relationship with Genos, but more importantly with Ben as a person. Ben trained the first group of South Africans to use the Genos EI tools and process in 2006 and then again in 2007. We took him to eat at typical African restaurants - where he also got exposure to African music. He loved it so much he stayed on longer than I could. He became an expert drummer at a drumming circle and a game watcher of note. Ben was instrumental in having me see the first Leopard in 18 years and then added to this with 3 more sitings, a record in the book of anyone I know who goes to game parks. At night he thought he heard Lions, but it was his roommate snoring away. I also remember well when he presented at the Nexus EQ conference in 2007 and brought in a musician, that got everyone dancing. His kindness was also reflected in my visit to Australia, where we not only spent time on work issues, but got to socialise as well. I share this because to me Ben represents flexibility and adaptability, fun and daring whilst being a sound businessman as well. His willingness to share his knowledge and expertise and to help with application has been tremendous. Albeit somewhat slower than anticipated, Genos is growing a solid client base in South Africa. The support we have received from Ben and his staff has always been of a high quality. The name of our company - Kitso-Khumo means "Wisdom Is Wealth" and I wish Ben both over the next decades Ollie Olwagen South Africa
55: "Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success." - Henry Ford Dear Ben, I am thrilled to be able to join the many well-wishers congratulating you on reaching this milestone in the life of Genos. The quality of the people who have joined you along this journey is a testament to your vision, skill and integrity. You can be rightly proud of what you - and they - have achieved in what is a very worthy goal to help people and organisations achieve their peak performance. It has been a privilege for myself, and Divergent Capital, to be a part of the Genos story and you deserve all of the success that is coming to you. Happy 10th Anniversary!! David Nelson
56: Hi Ben We have known each other for a few years now and it has been an interesting journey. I was honoured when you invited me to be a part of Genos and am still honoured to share in what you represent. I have a lot of time for you as a person and what you create and although we don't get much time to 'play' together, I value the time we have had. It would be nice to do more. With Genos keeping you busy and EIW keeping me busy it is hard to find the time together. I miss that. The partnership with Genos and EIW will no doubt continue to evolve. I wish you well in the future wherever your journey takes you. I wish you time for yourself and your family and living and breathing your dreams and goals. I hope you take time to pursue what is important to you and wish you every success! xx
57: I have known Ben for a relatively short while - but what I have learnt is that Ben is one of the most honest, straightforward and easy-going individuals I have met. I wish him the very best always. Pratap
58: Dear Ben, Working for Genos has been a truly life-changing experience. Regular exposure to your work has fundamentally changed the way I think about myself and those around me. What you have created and continue to create has immense value, both to the individuals who are privileged enough to experience it and to the corporations who are smart enough to implement it. You have made some enormous sacrifices to keep the wheels turning here at Genos and I know I speak for a number of people when I say that we are truly grateful. Although you may occasionally threaten to cut people's toes off, we all know you have a heart of gold and care deeply for all those around you. Thanks again for everything you have done and here's to the future! | Cheers! James. PS This book is also available in Spanish, Chinese and Hebrew.
59: An open door policy at Chatswood!
60: Excited to meet the Dr Ben Palmer, whose papers I have been studying for a year, I arrived at the office in Chatswood. I stumbled my way through the 'interview' with you and James, half jet-lagged and with total traveling brain! It must have been my good looks and charm (only kidding) that got me through as you offered me a job! I started the following week and here I am after 4.5 great years and now a permanent resident of Australia! To say I landed my dream job after uni would be an understatement! Working with you and the team over the years has been tremendous, you have given me the opportunity to grow into a role that has challenged me personally and professionally. I feel like I have almost grown up at Genos, with my Australian family. From advice on living arrangements, and getting my self set up here, visas, buying cars, dealing with landlords, friends, boyfriends (only one!)...you name it you guys have been there for me personally. I can't thank you all enough for this! | Dear Ben, My Story at Genos so far...In 2008 I completed my masters and wrote thesis on EI, Job satisfaction and Performance (using the Genos tool). After a short stint running assessment centres for the Fire Service in the UK I headed on my merry travels! When my best friend ran out of money after Asia we landed in Sydney and were looking for work. The day I arrived I emailed you to ask if you knew of any org psych jobs and you kindly invited me in for a coffee. Not sure whether it was an opportunity to meet after a year of correspondence, or whether there might be a job in it for me - I dressed in my newly tailored suit fresh out of Bangkok!
61: Ben, you have personally been there for me as a mentor, a leader, and a friend. You have trusted and believed in me, and had the courage to step back and let me come into my own. I know I mentioned this to you after delivering the Enduring Impact TTT (that project almost sent me over the edge - I certainly "endured the impact" of it), but I learned so much about myself, about you as a leader and about just how far I had come, and I have you to thank for empowering me, and giving me the opportunity to get to where I am today. You have given me the best start to a career that anyone could ask for, I have learned more than my little brain can even retain from you and I have learned the business from back to front, and its been an incredible journey! I have also watched you grow in the last 4.5 years, from a young academic and entrepreneur, to the CEO of a successful and growing global company. Not to forget becoming a daddy to two gorgeous boys with your partner Georgia! I have admired and respected you since I read your academic papers, to this very day. Your intelligence, depth of knowledge and experience in our industry astounds me, as does the speed at which you process concepts and ideas (much to the teams' concern at times - 'no more product'). You are absolutely an industry leader in the areas of EI, Motivation and Engagement - if only the rest of us could keep up with you and we had 100 more people doing sales! Ben, its has been an absolute pleasure to work for you and with you. I look forward to making the future of Genos a continued, and even greater success, with you and the team! Cheers to 10 years of Genos! Bek!
62: Hey Ben, we haven't had anywhere near as much opportunity to work together as I would like, but that hasn't stopped you having a massive impact on myself and those I work with. Thanks to your research and products I have been privileged to watch and facilitate people's personal transformations when it comes to better understanding and managing their own and others' emotions. While this work has occurred within an organisational context, the consequences of such growth have positively impacted on every individual that participants come into contact with. For example, I was recently working with a coachee who's temper had become a barrier to progression. As a function of progress checking he asked his wife for some honest feedback on whether she had noticed any improvement. She just gave him a hug and started crying, saying that it was like he was a new man. You weren't there for that Ben, but that outcome was directly facilitated by what you have discovered and created... Best regards, Paul Wood
64: “This place where you are right now, God circled on a map for you.” Hafiz Hello, Dear Ben – What strikes me the most, out of all the rich, interesting - and fun! - times we have had together over the years, was the moment you opened the session in San Francisco, in August, 2007, officially introducing the Genos business into the States. You began to talk about what this work means to you, the need that exists for us to access more of our humanity by claiming the power & wisdom of our emotions. You underscored the critical importance of creating new work environments that were healthier, calling for leaders to nurture this inspired, motivated, and engaged workplace that we talk of today. and a few words into your opening, you were moved to tears, realizing, I believe, perhaps for the first time, the significance and deep meaning that your work had in the world. I think you surprised even yourself, “My little idea that came to me years ago in my Ph.D. studies, is now being launched as a business into one of the biggest markets in the world – a market where so many more people, on a grander scale, can benefit from what we have to offer.” Emotional Intelligence-in-action, in-the-moment – The founder of Genos, moved to tears by this higher-order purpose he was inviting us to join in on with him. I was all yours, in love, with your ideas, and with you
65: “What we speak becomes the house we live in.” - Hafiz You spoke from the heart, words emboldened by the truer message of your tears, of an intention to do important, noble work. And here we are, years later, part of this growing, ever-impressive team of people called to live in alignment with those initial intentions, called to transform the world, and to improve the daily lives of people living and working in this world, even in the smallest, yet most significant ways. When we met, I was at a point where I had lost all passion for my work, and was no longer driven by any compelling sense of purpose. These 5 years later, my work has now been transformed. I have come back to life professionally. In part, because of the spark that you and your ideas ignited within me. Thank you for this precious gift. 10 years went fast, no? The next 10 and 20 will fly by even faster. As you go forward, My Friend, continue to live from that lovely heart of yours. It will never betray you. Live in alignment with your True Nature. Follow your Life Purpose. Make sure you are always living the life that is yours to live. Listen to the new call, perhaps now only a slight whisper, and follow wherever it may lead you. “For I have learned that every heart will get What it prays for Most.” – Hafiz Ron Sepielli
66: Genos Chatswood | AHRI Conference 2008
67: Genos Americas
68: and then Geno's....
69: Then came the babies!
70: Ben, you of all folks know that cleverness comes in so many forms. That does not explain you. Your extraordinary capacity to be clever in more traditional ways is magnified tenfold by your generosity, deep spirit, hint of naughty boy and authentic belief that the world is already beautiful and can be even more beautiful. You are a gift to us all. With love and profound regard Colin
71: Ben Palmer A rogue, a visionary, a friend, an expert, a great dad, and a loving man I met Ben almost 10 years ago, and have had the pleasure of partnering in projects, developing ideas, and sharing life’s ups and downs with him as we made our business decisions and developed our business models, models, models – and models! And, as we both went through the life changes that our time on this amazing planet – which he has traversed too many times – brings. Ben’s relentless pursuit of growth and development, of helping people to be happier and moreproductive at work, and his openness to new ideas and feedback are unique for a man of his education and accomplishment –even if he is still only 27 years old! We’ve worked, we’ve played. We’ve laughed (boy does he have a laugh!), we’ve fought. We’ve shared, and we dared. And through it all, I am enriched to count Ben Palmer as a colleague, coallborator, and mostly, a friend. Congrats, Ben! Stephen Garber
72: Wow Ben, what an fantastic achievement for Genos to reach 10 yrs from the initial concept to a fully fledged and now Global business . I can remember when Phaedon first spoke of Genos to me it must be 5 yrs ago now and my first meeting with you ( probably now 4 yrs ago) where you articulated your vision and how you wanted to build the company. If we look at even the last 4 yrs the journey and growth has been amazing and working through the tough economic climate, you have now successfully created a revenue base and a global interest in the Genos product suite. If you look at the people you have met along the journey, some now clients others advocates along with the networking contacts you have built successfully, I believe the next 5 -10 yrs will see Genos double in size and have a dramatic footprint across the world. Congrats on the first 10 yrs and now lets make the hard work and effort for these years really count as we continue to grow and strengthen Genos into a worldwide best practise organisation. Best wishes Alec
73: Congratulation on 10 years in Business! I’d like to say I have really enjoyed using the Genos products over the last few years and found the team to be easy to deal with and always helpful, even when I have had some silly questions. I look forward to many more years of working together! Love Lynora x
74: Hey Ben! Wow, who woulda thunkit ... 10 years huh? I still remember sitting on the sofa doodling one dot inside and one dot on top of an "O" for the first time. Hearts and Minds - what a cool calling. Then of course there was our first meeting with the Group Executive of HR at a top 10 Australian company ... She: We need to test our top 250 execs, when can you start? We: Umm, we've nearly finished our online solution [gulp ... not started] She: We need to start next month? We: Umm, how 'bout the month after? She: Well ... ... ... OK We: Um, there's just one other thing? She: What's that?
75: We: We need a little bit of money to finish it off She: How much? We: Umm [tick, tick, tick ... hmm ... perhaps $20K'll do it ... tick, tick, tick ... hmm, no, maybe $30K ... tick, tick, tick] ... umm ... $60K !!! She: OK, done, see you in 6 weeks We: Ah, OK, right, yes, thanks The rest is history. But you've made it all hum. You're a star, you're full of charisma, you're as sharp as a tack and as smooth as a baby's bum. We love you and you've done amazing things mate. Well done, all the very best and keep connecting, Cheers - Mike Schwartz
76: One of the foundational principles upon which Yellow Edge has been built is "Support for Australian Endeavour". We are pleased to have done our little bit in contributing to the success of Genos - a great Australian company!! It has been a pleasure working with a young and talented Australian leader in Ben and even more so is seeing the increasing international inroads he and the company have made in recent years. From all of us at Yellow Edge all the best for the next ten years. Onwards and upwards!!!! Andy Gregory and the Team at Yellow Edge
78: My introduction to Ben was when I was working for Yellow Edge and we were delivering to a joint client. He was presenting as part of a meeting with a large group of the client's program stakeholders. Except for a few points, he ditched his notes and powerpoint presentation and decided to address the group's questions directly. He did so with ease. His manner was relaxed, his focus clear, his approach was warm and collaborative, yet he held his authority and demonstrated his expertise effortlessly. I was impressed. The following year I moved from Yellow Edge to a role at Genos and got to know other dimensions of Ben. His 'thing' for tea towels - scrunched up bundles tucked into corners or obsessively left on benches, just so we know he's been there... I guess. Or dragging them up to his office, like Linus with his blanket, to hoard with cups and glasses until there are no more in the kitchen and someone needs to check he hasn't buried himself in. To the impulsive, party loving Ben who is always keen for everyone to participate, though with fatherly responsibilities now it is mostly just being keen on the idea of it. And the sensitive Ben, whose emotion is sincere, heartfelt and close to the surface. I greatly appreciate these qualities (well, not the annoying the tea towel thing). He has always been ready to laugh, articulate with his emotion (especially when pissed off :D) and always generous and intent on the team's success. He is a person I hope to know a long time. So a huge and hearty congratulations to Ben and all of the Genos team at reaching this 10 year milestone. I feel privileged to be a part of the Genos story and I'm sure there will be many more successes for them celebrate over many more years to come. Louise Mitchell
79: Hey Ben, what an outstanding achievement you have made. Genos is 10 but I think The larger contribution is to the emotional wellbeing of those in the workforce fortunate enough to have experienced Genos in its various guises. Thankyou for the opportunity to work with Genos through yellow edge at first, then directly with you. I grew immensely during that time and am hugely grateful for your generosity of spirit. Here's cheers with a lovely Peterson's Chardonnay to the next 10! John Raymond
80: Dear Ben Ten years is a long time in life let alone business. Use this time to check with your head that you are still doing what your heart wants. We have enjoyed building a fruitful and prosperous relationship with you and the Genos team over the last decade. And, we look forward to collaborating with any future direction, research and experimentation you undertake. All the very best from Steve and the gang at O2C
81: Dear Ben, congratulations on this huge milestone ... what an achievement!! Thank you for the opportunity to join your wonderful team and I look forward to supporting you in growing Genos over the next 10 years. Mary | Dear Ben, Thank you very much for giving me a chance to become a part of Genos. All the best for the next ten years! Anna
86: Two years ago was the first time I heard about Genos. I didn't know what Emotional Intelligence was, nor did I believe in being emotionally intelligent. My philosophy on life was to set myself targets and single-handedly achieve those targets. I didn't concern myself with people's emotions nor how my actions may impact others. Genos was going to be a stepping stone in achieving my ultimate target - I was here to work part time and gain experience as a Financial Controller of a global company whilst completing my MBA and then CPA. Once completed, I would have a year off to pursue some other interests and travel with my family; Genos was only part of my plan for 2 years, maybe 3 - no more. My first year with Genos was unremarkable. I did my job and went home at the end of the day. I didn't have personal attachments nor did I want them. I had would complete my Masters was well underway and at the rate I was going, I would have had it completed within 6 months. Then things changed... The business was restructured and I was left on my own, no mentor, a CEO (Ben Palmer) I barely knew and staff I'd intentionally didn't want to get to know. That was when Ben stepped in and spoke to me one on one. A very nerve raking experience as the first time I had met Ben and had a one on one meeting with him (my interview), it was a very uncomfortable meeting. Ben was open and honest in this meeting, which took me by surprise. He spoke to me as a person and an equal not a subordinate. I didn't respond very well as I was completely shocked and needed time to process the situation.
87: The next day I spoke to Ben again, and he was even more open, honest and genuine. I realised then that I made an error. How could one stay detached from a family that was willing to accept and appreciate them? How was one meant to stay detached when you are surrounded by some of the most beautiful, genuine, honest and giving group of people? More importantly, I realised that they were like that because of their leader and the qualities he himself portrays and lives on a daily basis? I couldn't. My plans fell apart that day - a first in my life and not surprisingly, my family was also shocked. I was the achiever, I set my goals and my time frame and I simply did it. Since the day Ben spoke to me and allowed me to get to know him, everything has changed. My views on work and life have changed; its not about setting goals and achieving those goals, its about the quality of life and the relationships you build along the way. The team at Genos is my family. They care for me and I care about them. I now look forward to a happy, long and fulfilling future with Genos. | Ben Palmer is not just the person that created an idea behind Genos, he is a great leader, CEO and visionary. He is what every CEO should be, honest, genuine, caring and most importantly patient. He is our leader, teacher, friend, colleague and family. Thank you... Marie-Jean Richmond
95: “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou