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Chip McFarlane has worked as an Executive Coach in over 27 countries spanning three decades. To say he brings vast experience to the conversation is an understatement!
We discuss;
  • Early mistakes as an expat leader
  • Why learning how to pronounce someone’s name pays huge dividends
  • When global politics enter an organisation, how can mediation help
  • Co owning a private business that then lists on the stock market and the impact that has!
  • Leading in Asia
  • His ‘alternate’ life as a Shaman and what that means


Chip: intended at least is sometimes frowned upon.

Yeah. in the beginning stages until they get a chance to know you. And so for me, there was the learning of almost being a chameleon in moving across borders and learning. Okay. What part of myself do I express here? How much do I express there and what do I pull back? Who am I friendlier with at this moment?

And those sorts of things to know, to just to get a sense of

Pod: that requires a lot of, Cultural dexterity, I suppose if there’s such a phrase to be it’s to be able to be mindful of that whilst you’re doing your role in your role, a lot of negotiation, a lot of operational logistical type input. So that’s a very cognitive load in itself.


Chip: And it is, you. I think the way that I would put it is that you learn by bumping into walls sometimes. And at least for me, that was my journey as a going across that I do something to do something work for it, for work, and then bang hit until woke go. Oh, alright. That didn’t go too.

Pod: I think in my case, I had bottled those walls quite a few times.

Chip: It’s something that is in the previous decades. That wasn’t explored dramatically by most organizations. What do you do as you cross here? You would just expect it to be able to go in and sometimes depending on where head office is, that sets the flavor for the expectation of how you will show up.

That’s right. In those various locations. So are you flying the flag for us there or have you was the phrase before God

Pod: native, Canadian localized for culture? And of course you originally from the Bronx and there, right from the Brooklyn, excuse me. Oh, no dear. A long day. So how did that background.

Show up.

Chip: I grew up in Brooklyn and I was actually born in Panama. So the first language that I learned as my parents described many years ago, the Spanish as my first language didn’t know that. And then wired English because the, I think we moved to the U S the day before my second birthday.

So was that transition to my father, wanted to make sure for him speaking articulately, it was actually very important. And he didn’t want a slang or anything else speak properly. And that way people won’t make fun of you. So took you to Brooklyn. Yeah, that’s right. That’s where the immigrants who are coming in and particularly from Panama, from Trinidad, from Jamaica, from Barbados, all around the neighborhood that we were in crown Heights.

So that you had that sort of melting pot of a variety of different even Caribbean. personalities and families and cultures coming together. And then we were right next door to that. The in crown Heights part of crown Heights also has a very strong Hasidic community. And so you have a, that. That branch of the Judaism, which sits right next to you and still is still very strongly there in crown Heights.

And so there’s the influence of, Jewish flavor in the neighborhood as we were growing up. And as it went in further into the seventies, it dropped off. But as it turned out, I ended up learning Hebrew as a result of it. So it’s, or are beginning to learn elements of Hebrew. And as a result of that,

Pod: So it’s a real melting pot of culture in your streets, in your, in your neighborhood.

So that could have served you really well. If you’re mindful of that, how do you think it served you when you took on the leadership roles and started bumping into those walls? As you said,

Chip: One is learning the importance of,  as we were doing a little bit earlier, how to pronounce someone’s name,  how they prefer their name to be said. Because that bridges an incredible chasm for people when you can, you either care enough to take the time or you may work your way through it. But for me, I’ll say a lot of times in my head just to get it right. And I’ll ask them again and just hear how it said.

Yeah. Cause for me that was a bridge that if you do that small things like that, Make a difference in terms of relationship building.

Pod: Yeah. People remember the sound of their name intimately. So when someone else says it, particularly someone who doesn’t know them well or shouldn’t know them well, it rings true.

Chip: Yes. And also knowing the difference. You don’t want to say their name, that they’re all my mother would call me that. That’s probably not the one you want to go up against

Pod: too. I remember being in trouble when my name was,

Chip: seems so formal.

Pod: You said something a few minutes ago and it struck a chord because in a previous episode, Paul Byrne, who’s from Boston originally.

Now there’s an Amsterdam. He had a similar notion. He talked about his view of leadership. Is all about returning to wholeness at you? You said something similar a few minutes ago. So what does that mean for you that the notion of being whole or returning to whole

Chip: very strongly in, let’s say my beliefs around life, that have developed further and further along as I went through spirituality on one side of things.

I see coaching. Conversations and engaging with people as a catalyst for helping us to be more whole, to become more whole understand more of ourselves, the breadth of who we are and what we’re capable of and relationships, our engagement through relationships are the key vehicle for that. So I find that.

The purpose around things has been there for throughout as a through theme throughout a lot that I do. and that wholeness, I say that we’re continuously learning. What does it actually mean to be whole, to be more whole, to be more of as in our case, a husband and a father and, and a manager or director or CEO of something.

So in the aspects of our lives, how do we show up and what. How can we be more holes in how we approach what we do?

Pod: And if with that means letting go of stuff, doesn’t it. In terms of letting go of beliefs or patterns or our headbutting, the wall isn’t in my case,

Chip: I’m learning on there is that part of you’ve grown up in a particular way and or something.

And when I say grow up, it’s actually within organizations within a generation of an organization, how. Whatever the leadership was vibrating at is what you learned in. Yeah. And so sometimes you reach a point where I think it was Marshall Goldsmith’s book. What got you here?

Pod: Won’t get you there.

Chip: the recognize that, Whoa.

Okay. That was useful for getting me to this stage. Those who are more open to things open to learning, then recognize this is no longer going to be useful. Yeah. Those sometimes we can get stuck though, in a space where we just doubled down on it and double down on that

Pod: one. Yeah. Yeah. Funny you say that I was in a conversation only few hours ago with a CEO and a whole board who are looking at this organization and.

10 years ago, the organization went through a crisis and almost didn’t survive, but have, and in an industry that’s gone through some tough times, but they have survived and in many people’s eyes have done really well. But the notion of how do we survive is inherent in the DNA, which leads to leadership of micromanaged control and everything.

Yeah. Don’t be scared not to spend stuff. And so the conversation today was all around. That has served us really well. It no longer is we can’t lose sight of it because we need to be financially prudent, but it’s actually preventing our growth so hard to be led. How do we let it go without being dismissive of our pastors is a conversation that group’s trying to grapple with right there.

Chip: It’s an incredible sense of both and as opposed to either, or yeah, if we leave that Do we include enough in the spectrum of how we approach our future. So we don’t let it go fully. We just expand the spectrum of behaviors and expect from, of approaches that we would use to be successful so that it allows for that other end of the scale, as well as keeping an eye on those other things.

Pod: Yeah. You’ve had over 13,000 hours of a one on one coaching now, the big number. And that either happens because you’ve done lots of it very fast, over many weekends, or you get out of for a while. And am I right in saying you’ve been in the executive coaching space since 1989 or thereabouts?

Yeah. So it was a lot of experience and I know you to be one of the most experienced executive coaches in the Asia PAC region, not just in Sydney. first of all, before we jump into all the experience and what you’ve gleaned from that, how did you fall into this? What was then an emerging industry?

it wasn’t even an industry back then.

Chip: Yeah. It’s interesting. It’s through a, seems a confluence of events. I was successful in one of the roles that I was in at that time and began to realize that the better I got at growing. The guys who reported into, because it was all men at that time, the better I got a growing them, the easier my job became.

And the, so the focus then became on less being, getting my, getting the spark. Yeah. From hitting the deal. Then it was on growing. Like eyes. So when I saw them grow, then I got a different feel for that over a period of time. And I realized that what I was doing more was I was doing less of telling them about things and asking them questions about it.

Particularly places where I didn’t know, I wasn’t quite sure what was going on or how they were doing that. And there’s some people who were very successful with doing some things that I thought, Ooh, that’s interesting. Wow. what’s he doing? And so that actually took me down the road at beginning to ask more questions rather than question things.

And that questioning I found was the easiest way to draw things out of people and for them to feel more engaged in what was going on. So that style that approached them rolled its way into, Working with beginning to work with people development on the other side of the corporate curtain.

Okay. And it’s interesting. Bye bye. My sister had, she knew what I was doing and I was trying to describe what I was doing. And, she knew what I was doing. And she said, here’s an article that describes the same thing that you’re doing. And it was in time magazine. and it was a cover of executive coaches.

And the, describe the center for creative leadership. They, it, at that time, it was called the jump school. It was in North Carolina. And all kinds of other things and they highlighted different types of coaches. And I was, and she said, you notice, this is the stuff that you do right now. I’ve got a name.

Pod: Okay. I know what I am.

Chip: it’s like the Jim Croce song, I’ve got a name.

Pod: What have you noticed it’s around leadership development or developing leaders in that time period that you’ve been involved with it? What have been some of the patterns of some of the evolutions that you’ve experienced?

Chip: I’ve noticed that there, like with coaching, when I initially came to Australia and talk to people about coaching at that time, it really wasn’t on the radar screen at all.

And the early nineties. Late eighties, early nineties and having discussions with different organizations. And usually the relationship would be hidden in one way or another behind a, an advisor, Here’s my consultants. And they’d be fulfilling the role in a way, but not being. Given credit as the explicit relationship.

And so what I’ve seen over the years is that right? That one’s interesting. The multinationals are the ones who typically bring coaching into a new market. And that’s because back at head office it’s being used, the marketplace has reached a sophistication level where it’s being used to develop talented people.

Cool. And when you’re. Posted out in the antibody, in regions, on the other side of the world underneath, do you sometimes with some organizations who are left high and dry, they forget that you’re down there. As long as you’re delivering, they forget that you’re down there within the marketplace.

Usually what you found is that the multinationals would send coaches to work with their people who were there and let’s start giving credibility to coaching because people around other companies. Oh, there. They’re doing that type of development and they’re big multinational. So there must be something to that.

Yeah. So then again, credibility over a period of time here. So it’s interesting seeing how it went from the usual sheep dip approach to development, whether it was leadership development or not. You never mentioned anyone. You never really, because you didn’t want any everyone else to be. We become angry or disenfranchised.

So you never highlighted who you really wanted. You just put everyone through and then you just kept an eye on that person. Oh, yes. Yeah. Yeah. And now it, things have moved to where the development is more personalized, a much more specific both to the role. And the expectations of that role and the individual demand, the woman or the person who’s fulfilling that role.

Pod: Yeah. Yeah. I know in your career, as an, the most recent career, there’s this process is you working one on one with leaders and their teams, is you running programs in organizations to help develop the overall capability in the organization to be done externally? What would coaches who want to be certified and then.

Let’s say before me, you’re regarded in the echelon in that regard, in this part of the world, you also have a mediation practice where you work in a mediation type space. Now the skills are similar, but I suspect there’s also nuances of right. Different in the mediation space. Can you tell us more about what you’ve done there in the corporate setting?

Chip: it’s doing mediation in the, in that space or, it is funny because, Sometimes where they don’t want to win when it’s broke media, she’s not brought up in, I’m usually asked about it. It’s because they don’t want to go down a legal route around it or being in industrial relations in one way or another.

And so that space has been an interesting one for me, where I find that. As a coach, it lends to certain skills that are there and I had to learn to pull myself back even further. Okay. So the styler approach for a mediation that I have a preference four is transformative mediation. And, and it’s about the, not to getting a list of outcomes at the end anymore.

Okay. The end of this week negotiated this through, which is more of a negotiation. It’s more, how do we transform the quality? We have our conversation. So that the relationship then moves then out of that, a whole bunch of things may fall out as a result of that. So the emphasis more on the transformation of the quality of the relating.

Okay. And so that for me is when I’m usually brought into something or a wonderful example of that is working for a bank in the region, very large bank, a multilateral bank, and, Got there within two divisions, the two divisions were, had a large team of people from particular countries. And these countries on a geopolitical level were escalating in terms of their aggressive language and actions towards each other.

That was beginning to play itself out in how the divisions were actually interacting and mostly led by the people who were leading. That division. Okay. And so it started there, but it wrote cascades. It certainly does. Yeah. And what I was brought in to do is actually it was, I was doing some coaching work with another of the heads of the division and they said, would you mind having a discussion with these two?

And so warfare, it was unofficial to begin with where I met with one and I met with the other. And, because I was there for about seven days on that occasion and I met with one and I met with the other and then had a talk to them and said, would you mind just catching up together for a few minutes, just for a few minutes, and then spent an hour of us, the three of us beginning to have this conversation.

And at the end of it, they both said, we’d like to continue this conversation. And so from there, then it became more official than the organization acknowledged the, what the relationship was going to be. Cause it wasn’t coaching. It had to bring in a whole different set of things and different outcomes that were expected from it.

And yeah, it was, that was when that sort of began, which was very interesting.

Pod: I’m interested in that aspect is way beyond the organization’s remit. This is, as you said, as a geopolitical, is this cultural it’s different countries, et cetera. I think Peter Hawkins talks about how do you transform the white space between relationships, which is what you think you were talking about as well.

How do you start with a leader who has a business remit? But also has a very strong cross-cultural Rebbe. That’s bigger than them and help them to understand

Chip: both beginning with something personal motivations in a way, and finding out what is important to them. So as we do, as coaches at times, it’ll start with that individual.

Then I like taking the conversation too. Not just how they are, but how the environment and the culture around them actually influences them or has influenced them. And then talking about some of the impacts of the greater systems that are around them. So taking the conversation out at a variety of different, layers, Further and further out too.

And then what happens is that through that, and as we do with our counterparts in, when we coach them, we get them to spend time in reflecting on the conversation, reflecting on life, on influences and those sorts of things. And so the progressive conversation then takes in the systems. Various ways that the systems actually show up in geopolitics is one element that will come into that at a time.

Pod: I would imagine that’s a, it’s not a fast process. Automatically

Chip: not necessarily. It’s. It doesn’t take a long time. once someone establishes a sense of a level of with you, then even if they feel not even it trust in a way that there’s a sense of comfort of being able to just say, okay, yeah, say this, whatever it is.

That’s right. That’s there and not have to hide it. Yeah. and that it’s actually okay with the person that they’re speaking with. So that being able to contain that space that allow someone to do that then very quickly allows them to say, yeah, I noticed that. Wow. I hadn’t thought about that before. And yes, this does affect me and that’s playing out very interesting here.

And, even to the point where with, within, with those two gentlemen that I’d mentioned before, in that example, After three meetings with them over a period of it was about two and a half months. At the end of it, they were concerned in a way they were very, they’re working better with each other, giving each other a greater amount of leeway and, and.

Compassion for where the other person was. They’re also really concerned because they said, when I speak to people who haven’t been part of this process, who come from my culture, yeah. They don’t understand w my way of thinking about this now, my way of talking about it. Now, my metaphors I described as their metaphors have changed and other people with in, within that system, notice it.

So they’re going, Oh, It’s you know, are you still a part of

Pod: us call the dark side?

Chip: You’re the ingroup or you’re the part of the outgroup now?

Pod: Yeah, but we’re recording this in August, 2020. And in, I grew up in Ireland and then host the whole Northern Ireland peace process happened. during my time there recently, Jerry whom just passed away, he was one of the famous, peace leaders there.

It was a great movie to come out a few months. About two years ago called the journey. And it’s Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness who were absolute, enemies drew my whole childhood one day, the arch Republican army, and one led the to Socratic union party and sworn enemies who ended up being called leaders of the first Northern Irish assembly.

So extraordinary unification and arguably have done a fabulous job as they started leaning in. And. Giving each other compassion and giving each other permission. Our role there, I will let that part of you go, I won’t get caught up as much as I used to. They found a space to live, but their followers took a lot longer.

Okay. Know, they were leading the way. And then these folks had to, if you crossed the dark side and how do we lean in, over time it was, it’s quite extorting for the whole country in terms of those two men and or what they did. Yes. So I would imagine is really satisfying work.

Chip: that day it is, I enjoy quite a bit.

And. the thing that, that stands out to it is that it has such an effect years later, where people have contacted me, because of an experience they had during that time. Yeah. And they said, Oh, we remember you from this. And this happened to that person. It really just, they talk about how they were they’ve described where the, the quality of their workplace changed.

And the relationships between different parts of the organization shifted for the better. it was more whole, as we say, as a more whole more of a whole sentence,

Pod: it sounds really simple as if we can amplify the quality of dialogue. We naturally amplify the quality of relationships and it sounds simple, but it’s actually not at all.

it’s quite profound. Isn’t it to get to that stage. Yeah, we hope you’re enjoying this episode of the leadership diet. Feel free to hit the subscribe button on whatever podcast player you are listening to this on. We’ve used an iTunes and Spotify. I greatly appreciate it. Let’s jump to patterns. Then if you think about all the leaders, honestly, think about all the leaders.

Cause we’ll be here for hours while you think about them. But over the years of you working one woman leaders across a range of countries, Australia, Japan, the Philippines, China, Berlin, and UK, et cetera. U S as well, of course, it’s restarted and go back to regularly. What patterns do you notice about leaders who are consistently effective and in terms of what are they doing or thinking about that allows them to be consistently effective.

Chip: One is that there is a focus they’re willing to grow themselves. They’re willing to allow for the idea that I’m not perfect right now and that I can do something differently.  I think of the women and the men whom I coach or the people who I coach, to be like the Olympic level athletes of the business world. And so with Olympic level athletes, you find that they’re not working on gross motor movements quite so much as the small things that actually make an enormous difference for them. Yeah. And even when they’re highly successful, they know that if I want to continue high levels of sales sustained performance, I have to continue to grow is I can’t just rely on last year’s performance or those things before it actually is entailed in this that I continue to.

Sharpen. What I do is strengthened when I do a ultra, what I do in some way. So there’s that openness to continuous growth. And for, in a business sense, I find that the people who have been more, Successful in a way, in transitioning, there was a willingness itself point to say, Ooh, Maybe I can grow private.

That’s been a key part of it. Another part of that is also that they’re, they look beyond. More than just the structure of what they’re with him. So they have plans somewhere inside of their vision. As we discuss it over a period of time, their vision moves to a place where it’s more than just did I deliver on those numbers and then becomes about the environment that they create and how they.

Grow the talent underneath them. And when they start thinking there, I notice also the, when they start with many today, I’m working with a woman right now. Who’s running a, an NGO in Ethiopia and, her thoughts are about Ethiopia now, right? It’s not just our organization. It’s not our group is not, it’s not even our beneficiaries.

Ultimately it’s the broader world around Ethiopia. And so her thoughts are okay, we’re putting this together for that. And her plans are bigger than, so what I noticed is that there, they successfully make leaps into bigger and bigger pieces of things that it’s not small. It’s not about them personally, any longer it’s only becomes about.

And as I say, morphs to service being in service of something greater,

Pod: which may sound like a cliche of servant leadership, but actually in reality is living that whole notion to the full I’m. Sure a bit like you I’ve been involved in many conversations over the last four to five months in terms of what I’ve been noticing with covert and therefore our leaders showing up and how do we help those froze?

Cause you know, we’re in the, world’s never been here. All at once like this in our lifetime. And I know that you have a very clear view that leaders who have a well-defined or they’re close to their sense of purpose, seem to be leading differently during this sense of pandemic. Can you tell us more?

Chip: Sure. I have noticed that as, just as you mentioned there. With a sense of purpose is it gives them, a harness to hold them in the midst of a maelstrom. When you think of the story of Odysseus and going past the Island of the sirens. And, and in order to listen to the song of the sirens, where if you’ve heard that you dashed yourself against a rock, you drawn yourself to get to her.

he had his men bind him to the mast. And so that sense of a harness that allows you to hear the siren song and not get pulled off, because there are so many things that could. Caused you to crash in the midst of this fear of the one element of it. you have, isolation being another part cause we are social creatures.

And with this in forced, sense of distancing where it’s a physical distance, but with the what’s been included in the word is. Social distance and which makes it a really interesting for creatures who were social creatures. And so the people who are able to acknowledge even there, their fears that they’ve gone through, I found that their communications to their teams, to their organizations, we worked on it a little bit.

We work on it. And when they began including their own journey through that, how did they come through that? What is still. Present for them. Yeah. When able to translate that and use that as a part of their communications, the organization’s moved a lot faster to move through those who, typically wanted to continue new appearing Bulletproof.

Yeah. cause sometimes as a coach, remember you, they make commitments at the end of a coaching session and then you have to step back and as an adult or adult. So you have to let them go and see what happens. And for some, it takes a little longer to get a sense of. Can I show that sense of vulnerability to others or culturally, is it expected to me as a leader?

I don’t show that. I need to show these people that I’m Bulletproof. Yeah. And so I’ve noticed often with the leaders who, with that Bulletproof persona. Yeah. It takes longer for the organization to move because there’s still things that aren’t being acknowledged.

Pod: Yeah. That’s yeah, I think that’s a profound insight.

Do you have. What is the tension or the balance between being open for honorable sharing, what’s going on for me as your leader and the peering that I have no idea what to do next is the concern of course, and yet the leaders who are able to balance, I am very. I’m okay. I may not be happy, but I’m very okay to share with what’s going on for me and in doing so we will figure out the way forward is the, the paradox of this, all it isn’t that you may not know the answer front, but by having the conversation, it allows the answer to emerge or at least an answer to emerge.


Chip: Yeah. There’s also that willingness, that the type of system that they’re in has to be in an open enough system, because if it’s very hierarchical, then everyone’s going to be looking at one direction anyway. Yeah. so if they’re used to that and all the, processes within the system, we enforce them.

Yeah. So you have the, these, the processes within the system that are reinforcing, that you have the cultural elements from outside, from the stories of that particular culture, where leaders do X, all of those things that placing pressure on this individual. And for some, they. They’re able to hold that at Bay long enough, enough to be able to include others, other voices, other individuals.

And that’s what helps with the movement because then people have a greater sense of commitment, engagement, and ownership of what comes out of the conversation.

Pod: If I listen to your story about the bank that you mentioned a little while ago, and again, this story here, it feels like there’s a similarity in terms of how do leaders acknowledge for themselves?

There is a part of me that gets in the way and how do I hold that at Bay long enough to allow a different conversation to emerge, trusting that it will emerge? Yes, that’s the hard part. Isn’t it?

Chip: It’s the courageous part. Yeah. That’s how I should say. I should say, I say, this is the scary part. It’s going to get really scary because you’re going to notice some very interesting things and really inside of you, you’re going to be feeling some things that’ll put that may have pulled you down a particular road in the past.

So that, yeah, there’s a courageous element to doing any of this, to really stepping into any part of that.

Pod: Everyone I’m speaking to as part of this whole series and indeed, the work I do anyway, the word courage keeps coming up as how do I, as a leader, either amplify, honestly, amplify the poster, superficially amplify my courage when I don’t feel courageous.

and again, this there’s a paradox in that part of it is the role requires that. But to you, as a human being, there’s a lot more capability and resources within you than you might’ve known. How do you reach into that?

Chip: Yes. that’s, this is like a big moment for, and that’s what coaches is. and it is the.

There’ve been research in the past of what helps someone to develop in their role that, I think it came down to the 70, 2010, that idea. So is it real? No, that, isn’t a, is an idea, an interesting idea around development. Yeah. That’s an interesting thing to step into 70% of someone’s development is on the job doing it.

20% of it is the, or are the relationships around them? That they engage in to help them to grow. And then 10% of the training programs with programs that they attend, the academic elements of them, the pedagogic elements of things. So that 20% inside of there having someone to be able to talk to. So as a mentor, As a good friend, as an advisor, as a coach, whatever someone to be able to bounce that talk that through is actually very important for someone’s development, for anyone’s development.

And so that’s, I’d say that’s a critical piece that rather than being, in the past where people would typically say, if it’s to be. It’s up to me. And that was one Rebecca in personal development back in, in the eighties, into the nineties, the personal development movement. that was one of the key phrases that was bandied around at that time.

And so it’s important that we engage on the personal level and we are social creatures. So there is more than just myself. I can’t be a servant leader to myself. I can. but that also becomes very lonely after a while.

Pod: I’m an Island

Chip: unto myself. Yes. And so the, that piece of the relationship, I find this is a very important element of.

Development. So having someone to talk to someone importantly that supports you and can challenge you because without the challenge, then you’ve got a wonderful fan club. But,

Pod: and again, I’ve been like you’ve been in this role for a while and now, not as long as you have in terms of I’m younger or a slow developer, one of the two just younger.

But I think what I’ve appreciated more and more about the industry that you and I are in. And indeed the leaders that we have the privilege to work with is the more senior you get the, the less honesty about your impact as leader is fed to you. And yet it’s probably one of the most important things you need.

Yeah. You mentioned walked has athletes. they are fed feedback every single day in many formats lion inherently to improve to me. I think it leaders don’t get the privilege of that helpful feedback is often. Yes. And so I’ve realized more and more balancing the. I am compassionate for you in your role, because it’s, you might be well paid.

That’s a relevant, it’s a tough role and you’re in it and you’re in the role. Yes. You’re in it. And both got together. Yes.

Chip: Yeah. Yeah. It’s a both. And it’s both. Yes, because it is. And the more senior you become, the more things are. edited bowdlerized and cleaned up before it lands on your desk. Yeah.

And, then traditionally it’s been that way because you always want to show the bus. Any direct report is always going to want to show their boss their best hand. Yep. And so what will get fed up are the things that are going to, in a way it showed that I’m showing you my best hand and the cards that I don’t.

Like Hudson, March. There’ll be it’s often the corner somewhere. Yeah. And so it is hard. It becomes hard. And. They don’t get a chance to understand the true impact of, or the greater impact of their decisions. Because even if things aren’t going very well, people still smile at them and say, hi, it’s not that bad, but it’s usually means no, something’s really wrong here.

Pod: Why don’t you have the conversation complete to a two different topics, in, for those folks who are in the Asia pack region, listening to this episode, how many would have heard of the Institute of exact coaching and leadership, which you are one of the original founders and the business is now part of a larger organization, which is listed on the stock market.


Chip: the ASX what’s that

Pod: as a founder of a, a baby organization and growing it up and ultimately releasing onto the big, bad world, if you will,

Chip: it’s it’s a process of growth. So over years, and this is the ground where you learn about a lot about yourself along the way. whatever it is that you’re teaching, does that mirror.

Mirror your practice. and so for me, I learned a lot about myself over the years of what is, what’s the value that I could add within what we do. So at the beginning stages, we came together and we had to, we, each of us had, A different area of specialization, which made it complementary and a lot of fun.

so we have, one of the directors who’s really good. She was our editor and the heart of the company, the engine for business development and attracting things. another director, he was exceptional in terms of structuring what we do so that we could go from a really tiny organization to a very big one.

It’s nice, shiny, bright. Engine and car. and there were two of us who were, so who were the out there doing stuff, directors. And, and so that complementarity actually made a difference for, weathering some of the storms that came up, going through the stages of after a while of being against things, what do we announce them for and how do we grow on from that?

And then at what point do we recognize where. Who’s heard of topped out. we need some fresh blood to come into push us again, give us different flavor to this. And that’s the stage where we actually brought in a CEO and then that’s year to the organization even further from there. And in ways that, because, for me personally, I arrived to the point where I realized the value that I added was more along the lines of ensuring that as we entered a new market, They’d see the quality of what coaching is and the perception of that it’s not a fluffy relationship of everyone being nice all the time.

And it was that phrase, hold hands and sing kumbaya. Yeah. Yeah. We get that. And there’s a hard edge to this, so yeah. Helping to establish the perception and the recognition that coaching. Does its job in hard places. Yeah. and and that’s where I found that I was able to dance the best insulate

Pod: your lead into the Philippines and to China and some places you guys went into.

Yes. Yeah. Yeah. And then they had the notion of going into the big bet and I say the big battle, right? that metaphor. In the sense of you give ownership over to other people by going to be becoming listed. Yes. What’s that as a, I’m imagining this a degree of excitement and maybe a bit of grief at the same time, but I’m imagining that

Chip: you left out the trepidation.

Pod: It was a family show. You don’t want to say that

Chip: there’s that element of the excitement of the possibility, because always wanting. To create an organization that would go beyond us. Yeah. And that was always part of how we were operating. We wanted to ultimately know that we could step away and it’ll go beyond us.

So we were always structuring things in a way towards the end. We were always structuring things in that way to ensure that, because we saw that was a key part of anything that was going to be coming. Yeah. And so there’s the excitement of seeing that. Yeah. Add it branches out into touching into.

A way, a partnership within a larger organization in sectors that we have no idea about. Yeah. And the weak and add value in a way because of who we are and how we do what we do. There’s the excitement of that part. There’s also the part on the other side of F after you’ve been growing something for so many years.

And as you’ve mentioned before, the metaphor used was like a baby and it is it’s now growing up and hold, handing off your baby to someone else. There’s that sense of will they care for it as much as I do? Do they love it as much as I do. Do they see the way. I see it, had they dried as tears?

Will they dry? Will they stand and hold it when it needs that? And also get it out of the nest when it needs to go. In addition to that. So all of those things that, are going through internally around that, and then having to also discover, probably for the past, cause that was March, 2018, when we IPO.

Successfully, blah, blah, blah. On the part of the ASX. Yeah. And, and from there then I had to begin discovering no longer being an owner. I’m now just a shareholder. Yeah. So there’s that? There’s a, okay. I’m not a director as an owner now I’m a shareholder. Okay. Then transitioning from that to over or to who is chip.

Back far lane, aside from that, that identity that I’d grown into over a series of years. So the past year and a half has been really me saying, okay, this is me separate from that. And, and yeah, I just didn’t, my wife was yesterday. I did an intranet. So they’re trying to say, okay, Put your name into the internet and what pops up.

She said, there’s nothing showing what you’re doing now. It’s all your history. It’s all tied to it. I said, yeah, algorithms, search engine, another set up this way. It’s going to be until people begin to discover that.

Pod: And there’s a whole lot of, part of you that a lot of other world may not know about. And I noticed you have a section on your new website about that, and you and I have had conversations in the past about this, but shamanism or being a shaman is our shaman. As some people say is a part of who you are a part of your identity, part of your background, and probably not something that corporate America, Australia regularly talks about snow.

Tell us more about that and how, what. That part of you about, and how does that influence you?

Chip: Oh, probably so being a shaman for me has been the template of how I become more whole. How I discover and recognize that there is more to exist in small to the world out there. There’s more to establishing a sense of presence.

and so it’s interesting in being a shaman, People will seek you out for healing and for a variety of things, and you become known for your successes. And that for me is a very similar thing that happens as a coach. So as a coach, if you’re not successful, you get a reputation for that, and people don’t seek you out.

and in both of those things, I also see that my job is to bridge the two worlds. So for the person or the people of the team, when I’m doing team coaching, I bridge two worlds in their current and their future world, and I stand strongly to help them to make those transitions as a shaman. My life is one where I bridge.

the world that people see everything that’s around us right now and the spirit world. And so an understanding of that and being able to take what I noticed, what I see, what I learn in one space being on that side of the threshold is like standing at the threshold, and then bring that into how I work with people.

And that’s also shows up, Incidentally. When I run a training program, when I’m working with a team, I call it a journey because literally shaman are known for journeying. So the attorney to the spirit world together, information, knowledge, understanding, energy allies. Whatever’s important, useful, or enabling for the situation at hand.

And so that for me has always influenced them how I show up with an organization or with a person. And they don’t always know what I said at the energetics around the situation so that it can be a space that allows them to be more of them, to contain the fires that are going to be burning like a wonderful crucible, the heat’s going to be turned on.

But yeah. For the transformation to take place, they have to have a sense that the crucible is there to support them. And so what I work with is creating that sense of that crucible around there. And that sort of comes from my work on that side of being Charmin

Pod: fantastic, fits to meet as a whole.

Another podcast interview with you on just that topic. It’s such a, it’s such an unusual, it can be seen to be unusual. Yes. I know many folks who work in it’s called a transfer formative spaces for the want of a better word who bring a lot of energetics to the conversation without talking about. Yes, they do allow the, A good vibe to the car.

Yes. That then enables everything else. It sounds like a similar to what you’re describing.

Chip: Yes. it’s not a case of having to proselytize and say, Oh, I need to convert you to this. Or let me tell you what I do, because it’s what people get is what they experience over you. And when that wa I find that.

When people enjoy the space with me, they feel challenged. When I say enjoy, it’s not just, they’re happy all the time. They’re going to be, yeah. The appropriate type of challenge, like a good sparring partner in the boxing ring. Just before you have the big match, you want a good sparring partner to be able to help you to get into match fitness.

Yeah. To be able to go in there and do what you’d like to do. Yeah. And so I, in being able to do that, There’s the creation of that space of being able to bring them through and to challenge them in the right way without injuring them. Yeah. but there’s still that support and that’s okay. All right, let’s go.

So they have something to go up against before the big,

Pod: I was sharing with the fiasco when we caught up for coffee, that, one of my earliest memories of being in a program with you, I’m not even sure when it was, but I had this very. Loud memory, my head in an accident that I can’t do, but chip saying to me, it felt like this to me personally, I’m sure it wasn’t switched to the whole group.

You may want to be many things as an executive coach, but you never want to be ineffective and it doesn’t do you justice the way he said it, but it was like this rumbling through my body. Never be ineffective. You’re about to go on to another journey in your life, in that you’re about to become a grandfather. Oh

Chip: yes.

Pod: Yes. You’re heading over to France. Where soon to be, around for your daughter when she’s giving birth, is that right?

Chip: Yep.

Pod: We’re very excited for you and for the family, but also you’re able to make time for us today before you head off in a few weeks before we bring this to an end, there’s two questions that I like to ask you, which I ask everybody in this whole series.

First I’m being given. All of the wisdom that you’ve accumulated or indeed that you generate, what would you now tell the 35 year old version of you?

Chip: Oh, it’s likely that I would say breathe and trust yourself. Just breathe and trust yourself. And yeah, we have a, for me, those are there’s. I think that it’s at the times when I went into shallow breathing, when I knew that it was an indicator of me, Oh, there go the rails and I just derail things.

So yeah. Breathe and trust you and trust yourself. Yes.

Pod: My last question. I am nothing. If I’m not a music, man. What’s your favorite song or what’s your favorite band? Oh,

Chip: let’s see. favorite song. Probably be depends on that. Oh, that’s a difficult one. That’s a D because I can just thinking across a variety of things. Somebody who stands out to me, I was watching a Mike Nichols film the other night, ah, the graduate and, and the sounds of silence, Simon and Garfunkel sound and silence stood out to me.

And that’s, they’re one of my favorite bands has been The electric light orchestra,

Pod: ELO…

Chip: yeah. Yeah. For many years ago, there are early words around Eldorado and, let’s see, there’s a new world record and just a variety of them out of the blue. It’s just the progression of things from way back when they were still using violins and all kinds of other stuff.

So their instruments.

Pod: Fantastic. I got to dig into my Spotify collection. Find that again. I know memory chip has been fantastic talking to it’s been a while coming that this catch up and I’m so glad that we were able to make time

Chip: or

Pod: congrats on all of this. you and the colleagues have achieved.

We’re able to bring to the markets and then to the market, as an ASX market, where can we find you for anyone who’s interested in finding out more about you?

Chip: Two places right now. so That’d be one part. And then the other thing is on YouTube. there’s the, I have the YouTube channel and you can join me for Chip’s Tips.

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