Richard Telleria, the 379th person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers, asked me for three big lessons I’d learnt from my previous 378 lunches.

One of them, I told Rich, was that most people are reluctant to lead, because they’re worried about other people’s judgements; it feels safer to be positioned in the middle of the herd.

Rich, though, is not like most people. “I feel uncomfortable if I’m part of the herd,” he replied.

Rich is very energetic, both physically and intellectually. He yearns to meet new people, savour new experiences, embrace new ideas. You can’t live that kind of life unless you’re willing to leave the herd and be a leader.

Rich was born and raised in Spain, and has since worked in England, Canada and Australia. He specialises in digital transformation and was lured to Sydney in 2015 to take on the role of head of transformation at Macquarie Group.

In 2022, Rich founded a global consultancy, TEAL Consulting, which implements digital transformations for clients in Australia, Europe, Asia and America.

The thing Rich loves most about his job is being able to drive massive improvements in organisations – often from a series of relatively small but strategic enhancements, rather than sweeping changes.

Given his intellect and mindset, I know Rich is going to do many remarkable things in the years ahead. I don’t know what they will be – or in which countries they will occur – but I look forward to watching the show.

P.S. Two of the other big lessons I’ve learned are that the key to being a good conversationalist is to do more listening than talking; and that all of us, irrespective of our background, wealth and status, yearn for love and validation.