Taking Stock engagingly toggles back and forth between de Silva’s highly successful business career and his quiet battle with CMT
ATLANTA (March 23, 2023) Peter de Silva, a nationally recognized and highly accomplished financial industry executive whose career included roles such as former retail president for TDAmeritrade, president of Scottrade Financial Services and UMB Financial Corporation as well as a senior leader at Fidelity Investments, today publishes Taking Stock. The memoir discusses how his experience in business as a national financial services executive, with a seat at the table, shaped him into the leader he became and how those experiences can give individuals the opportunity to test the essential decisions they make.
Mr. de Silva also reveals his decades long battle with Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT), a little known, little understood disease. CMT patients suffer from progressive muscle atrophy of legs and arms, causing walking, running and balance problems as well as abnormal functioning of hands and feet. CMT affects one in 2,500 people including 150,000 Americans and nearly 3 million people worldwide. In some respects, the challenges of having CMT may have stimulated Mr. deSilva’s career success.
Taking Stock, says Mr. de Silva, “is an invitation to take time to reflect on what got you to this point, and where you might be headed. Taking the time to take stock of your career, your relationships, and your life’s purpose is a worthwhile endeavor.” Mr. de Silva encourages the reader to reflect on one’s ever-evolving personal mosaic as he shares his story and the key lessons it imparts.
The reader follows Mr. de Silva through his personal and professional leadership development journey and a unique style of learning to be successful in business and in life. During his 35-year business career, Mr. de Silva was a leadership practitioner. He captured 10 time-tested essential leadership principles for aspiring leaders. He discusses those principles in Taking Stock with the hopes that his experiences will help all leaders accelerate their professional development.
De Silva hid his CMT most of his life.
“There’s no easy way to be partially open about CMT, so I hid my condition from colleagues and friends, even close friends, for well over thirty years,” Mr. de Silva writes,” I used orthotics to help me walk, and when anyone noticed that I was having more difficulty ambulating than usual, I brushed it off by making up an excuse about an old injury.”
Taking Stock engagingly toggles back and forth between his CMT battle and de Silva’s highly successful business career.
“I never considered allowing my CMT and medical setbacks to define me as a person or leader. In large part, this is because my parents taught me not to, by word and example,” he also writes. “My father’s challenges with CMT came later in life for him, but those challenges were severe. Due to a confluence of different medical conditions, my father, in his fifties, was forced to have his left leg amputated below the knee. Both before and after that, he taught me to push through adversity and do all I could with what life gave me to work with.”
How Mr. de Silva ended his silence and became a nationally recognized leader in helping to fund research focused on finding a cure for CMT, is a compelling story and adds to the satisfaction readers will get from the book.
Mr. de Silva is a member of CMTRF’s Board and a former Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Advanced Leadership Initiative. But he is best known in the business world as the former retail president for TD Ameritrade, where he was responsible for all facets of the +$5 billion retail business segment, including strategy formulation, financial performance, sales, digital strategy, distribution, client experience, associate experience for the 5,000 employees, and compliance and risk management. He is also well known as a tireless community leader and champion, especially in his adopted community of Kansas City.
CMTRF has embarked on a three-year capital campaign to raise $10 million for CMT1A research, and thanks in large part to Mr. de Silva, has raised more than half of that figure in less than two years. Because we believe that the end of CMT1A is in sight, CMTRF calls the campaign “Endgame.” Moreover, CMTRF is confident that successes achieved by the research underwritten by Endgame will eventually benefit all types of CMT.
Talking Stock can be purchased here. Mr. de Silva is donating a percentage of the sales to CMTRF.
CMT Research Foundation (CMTRF) is a patient-led, non-profit focused on delivering treatments and cures for CMT. The foundation identifies significant obstacles or deficiencies impeding progress towards a cure and seeks out collaborators to address these issues. It’s their mission to raise funds to invest in promising science with high potential of leading to treatments and cures. Founded by two patients who are driven to expedite drug delivery to people who live with CMT, the 501(c)(3) federal tax-exempt organization is supported by personal and corporate financial gifts.