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Jack Parsons invites the CEO of Aecom, Colin Wood for an insightful chat over a coffee

Jack Parsons sits down at his residence to speak with the CEO of Aecom, Colin Wood, who shares his exceptional journey to becoming CEO.



Colin humbly told Jack that he came from a simple household, who had hard working parents and he grew up on a council estate. However, Colin expressed that despite having a simple upbringing, he was brought up in a very happy and loving home, which is probably the biggest blessing to have.


The CEO of Aecom, described that his dream wasn't always to become CEO but it was to join the Royal Air Force and serve his country.


It’s nice to hear the experiences of a serviceman as many young men feel that there is a lack of real models for them to feel a sense of connection with. However, Colin is a real model as he came from a normal family and worked hard to get himself to the position he is at today.


The main message behind Colin’s story is that anyone from a Council Estate can become a CEO, despite what prejudice, stereotypes and labels people may brand you with… If you put your mind to it and work hard, you can be anything you want to be.


From the short time Jack spent with Colin, it was truly admirable that Colin spoke a lot about his family and his children. Jack asked Colin what he most regrets or finds as a teaching in his career, for which Colin responded saying “The time I missed my son's hospital appointment for a work appointment” as there would be plenty of opportunities to go for a work meeting but his son needed him at the hospital appointment.


This was really something that stuck out during the conversation. A leader that has that level of empathy, kindness and paternal instinct towards his kids, will resonate that with his employees too and have the level of understanding that other employees may be inclined to the same parental responsibilities as himself.


We surely need more employers who have this level of community sense and awareness that work isn’t the only life that we have to lead and be more accommodating towards employees, who are parents…


Colin went on to express that when he expressed his interest in joining the Air Force, his parents were not over the moon and preferred that he chose another career path. But he knew in his heart that this was the career he wanted and this is where he would feel fulfilled.


He told Jack that this was a great teaching moment for him in life, as it helped him understand that he should always be open to the opportunities his children chose in their own personal life, because if he had given up on his dreams and ambitions, he wouldn't be where he is today.


To the young people reading this article, follow your dreams because life is too short to look at the maybe's. Go out there and believe you will thrive and exceed!


Your limit is in your mind and your hands... Don't stop until you succeed!


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