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Tim JohnPress is based in Texas, USA and has studied and taught both martial arts and leader development for over twenty years.
We talk about:
  • Developing courage as a leader in order to be able to speak out,
  • How to foster conversations that lead to insight and better outcomes,
  • We also delve into the notion of somatic awareness,
  • How to tune into your body for somatic based clues or directions


The Leadership Diet with Tim JohnPress

Welcome Tim from Texas to the latest episode of the leadership diet. Great to see you pod, thank you for the opportunity to visit with you and your audience. Tim, I’m going to start with an unusual topic in terms of leadership, and that is the topic of martial arts. I know you’re a lifelong practice. I know you’re you operate at a very high grade.

I know you post to Facebook regularly. Some of these really extraordinary moves that are a 20 year old man would find difficult to find a man of my age. Tell me how you got started into that and how that influences the work that you do. I started helping a little late in my martial arts career started at the age of 18, and I was always pretty athletic in school, basketball, things like that.

And, When I went off to college, I realized that I wasn’t doing anything to just work out and I really enjoy being active. And so literally hanging out with some of my buddies one night, we noticed this martial arts school. Next to a parking lot where we were hanging out as 18 year olds. And so I decided to check it out and, I visited the instructor signed up for class.

I’d always been fascinated by martial arts, even as a small boy. he, and probably by my second or third belt, I think I would in Greenville, I had an awareness that actually, I might have some talents around doing this thing called Marshall and probably halfway to black belt. I realized it was so much more than just kicking and punching.

And I started feeling more confident. I’m feeling better about who I was as a person, even at those at a pretty young age. So I stuck with it. And, what was fascinating, the connection between martial arts and coaching was I was 21 and I received my black dog. And I was given the, kind of the instruction saying, great, you’re a white belt, and now you have to start teaching.

You’re assigned like junior students to help progress and work one on one with, and, I was pretty nervous because I wasn’t quite sure I was relatively shy guy. And my instructor gave me this, young lady. Her name was Suzy and Suzy was. Very nice, very enthusiastic, a bit awkward. She had big thick Coke bottle glasses, and probably not the most gifted, student, but

what was so compelling about her is her enthusiasm. And she was determined to get her black belt. And so I worked for her. It was just a joy working with her and actually seeing her grow through the different ranks. When she got her black girls, I’ll never forget the day. she came up and gave me a big hug after she was awarded her belt.

And that feeling still lives with today, the joy and seeing somebody accomplish something that they weren’t quite sure. And knowing that I had a small part. And so that was the

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beginning of my coaching career. I still I’ve went on to teach so many years. I still teach from time to time. but I’ve transferred.

All that I’ve learned in those years of teaching. And I started applying and that was beginning of my coaching career. And what start, or what philosophy of martial arts do you practice? My initial style was take window, pretty mobile, popular style, martial arts on South Korea. And then I started another style in addition to that called to calm salt, which is another South Korean style.

The reason I was really drawn to Kong. Is, it was I think a great evolutionary step because it blended mindfulness meditation, the softer arts of Tai Chi, and more importantly, mass, you used to call it to action philosophy. He was as dedicated to teaching us to become better people in addition to becoming better martial arts.

And that was very appealing to me. It was a guy who kinda got at the time, I got my first black belt, but I realized there was something almost spiritual about the training to me. And so my, as my practice grew and I continued training, I started developing into more of the inner game, as we say, of martial arts in addition to all the outer game.

And, it’s become. Literally my religion. It’s a way of life and a philosophy of development and learning. And what’s fascinating is, having gone through a lot of tough lessons, being able to bring that to clients. When I say, have you ever been through something like this? Sure. I have. And I’ve just got a few ideas on how we can work through those.

I can really understand that the notion of the physicality keeping you fit and healthy and agile, but the philosophy is what drives you as a human being. Yeah, absolutely. And even to this day, people say, what’s it like to be, what’s the secret to becoming a master. And I said, I’ll tell you what, it’s not about kicking in her punching.

And it’s really about the mindfulness, the philosophy in a consciousness of your pension. You put into your practice. W we were chatting in a head of our conversation, and indeed, we’ve had this chat many times in different parts of the world when you and I have met. And that’s the notion of sematic development in the sense of knowing your body and sensing your body and giving you a background in martial arts.

It’s no surprise that you are, you’re a big believer in sematic awareness. T tell us more about. You know what it is and I, and I’m really intrigued, you’re in Texas, right? that’s renowned for oil, men and ranchers. It’s not renowned for ballerinas per se. And I say that with a degree of cynicism, but how do you use somatic development in your work?

So early on in working with some of the masters, when we would be training, they would ask the question. What are you noticing about your body as you do the different forms or the techniques? How does it feel. What are you noticing about foot position or hand position, or even just the stance? I remember early I’m here.

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Take stances of strength. Big energy is master you, call it or playing small. And so I really use that and use my body as a, Almost like a temperature gauge to check in on how I’m doing on the inside, because there’s a, the body reflects what’s going on internally in your focus, attention, your consciousness, the body reflects that.

And when did you start developing that practice and get some, a heightened degree of somatic awareness? One unexpectedly. What I learned is that I was able to start sensing. What was going on with people that I was either working with in martial arts even more so now today and the coach, there’s a connection.

I believe I call it working the unit of field. We’re all connected. And when I started observing things within my own form, there’s a pretty good chance when I’m working with somebody, I got a sense of what’s going on for them. So I’ve really, probably leveraged that to a great degree and just being able to connect with people.

And then most powerfully is being able to start teaching some of that somatic awareness. To my clients, one of my early coaches, he had this really great question and nobody ever asked me, he goes, what’s going on for you right now? Just tell me what you’re experiencing. then the dots connected and I had some huge awakenings and it called me to the moment.

And in the moment there was a treasure of learning things to explore. Just by saying, what are you noticing right now? Whether it’s a group and an audience or yourself, getting them to just stop running the monkey mind and drop into their form and pay attention for many people, it’s surprising to me how little they do that, but when you get them to go inward, the amazing amount of new possibilities or perspective.

That becomes available to them, but it’s just double down there a little bit, because what you said could be perceived as being a, one hand relatively flippant and the other hand, very profound and having done the work that you do. I know it’s more towards the profound side of that equation.

W what did you, what do you notice when you’re in a room with folks who may not be a aware of mindfulness or may not practice that are maybe less used to. Stopping to pause and notice what’s in their body. And then out of the blue incomes, Tim, John press he’s in the room and says, what do you notice now?

What are you noticing in your body? What’s the reaction you find in every or in every group? There’s always what I call one or two people that are looking at you. very skeptically. And what I find for the most part, people want to participate. People want to have some kind of success, whether they believe in me or not.

what I learned is I sensed that and I immediately can tune into the people that are all land or the people that might be giving me a bit of a critical eye, the way I translate it, particular professionals, speaking into their hearing, asking them, okay, let’s just think about this. You don’t have to buy into mindfulness as the leader.

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Is it important for you to know about what’s going on in your organization having a sense or a pulse. Oh, yeah. How about the marketplace? Yeah, I said, does it make sense then to pay attention to yourself and just do a check in on how your system is working? That seems to break the ice with them a little bit.

And that’s the challenge is with some of these more touchy, feely concepts, mindfulness consciousness, you gotta be able to make it meaningful and accessible to somebody who’s never done anything like that. Or who may, not even believe in things like that. And you just gotta find a way to connect the dots in your experience team, or when you bring this into this concept and this awareness into a group aren’t are individuals who have not exposed to before.

What kind of insight do they get from having to answer that question or from having to start noticing that? And then therefore, probably the biggest insight. When they decide to participate, check in with them afterwards is being able to give voice and expression to what’s going on inside. It’s very liberating.

And when they can do that with peers or even in a coaching session, they now have more, a more grasp. On something, they didn’t have any grasp or awareness of. So it’s a pretty liberating moment for most people. I’m not saying it’s easy, but what they find is wow, I didn’t even know all that was going on inside of me.

And now I can start to see how that’s impacting, how I’m showing up or what, the types of practices or things that I’m doing as a leader or in my work. So it’s a very liberating moment. And it empowers them to say, okay, there’s something to this. And here are some specific, actionable things that we can do to shifts to keep you in a better place.

To be more effective as a leader from experience a couple of years ago now where I was working with one chief executive. And unlike you, I started using that question, what are you noticing wearing your body? Is it, can you give it a name or et cetera? And initially it was re it was received with a fair degree of skepticism.

I have to say. And maybe. Wasn’t as artful as you and how we introduced it. But over time, this particular lady developed a real sense of what was going on for herself to the degree that she then started sensing what’s going on into the room far more than she’d ever noticed before started sensing where people were buying into are not buying into the conversation and where the concerns were and was even at one stage able to pinpoint.

The exact concerns people are having before anyone had ever articulated this, which made her in the eyes, everybody else extraordinary in tune with them. And therefore in their eyes, very authentic. Now authentic was the wrong word. She was just in tune, right? It’s just listening to what’s going on, but it made her far more able to lead change and to sense change and to have the conversation that needed to be had.

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So you brought up a great point when people get a sense of the leader tuning in. What’s that experience of now. They care. They’re having empathy. They have the understanding. We can see me. What happens to me. I’m more receptive to that leader. I’m my trust level goes up a little bit. How that works.

Let’s jump from somatic into this whole notion of courage, which again is another. in some sense is an emotional trait, but certainly it’s once on display, it’s perceived by everybody or the lack of results or perceived by everybody I know in your own career, noted for being someone who stands with courage and in yourself, and they’re there for you.

You bring that to the conversation and in our pre. Meeting before we got to get it today. You told me a fantastic story about you as a 31 year old, and you’re not sure was your first client or your second client where you really were tested and your own courage came out. Can you tell us more about that?

One of the gifts of my father growing up with them and, he always had a sense of what was just right. He wasn’t very sophisticated. when he had a strong kind of. Ethics or values, you just knew Eddie. He honored what was right. Even if it was difficult, he always did the right thing. And so that was instilled and it was a pretty profound gift.

And I’ve been able to leverage that, in my career, the incident, I have a sense of what’s going on and even if something doesn’t look right, I have a keen sense of what’s right. And. Again, based on just proven out with my dad to give that voice and to act on that. And I think that’s been one of the gifts of my coaching.

It’s one thing that stands out in my clients tell me is you’re absolutely relentless. You’ll go anywhere. We need to go. You’re fearless about it. So it was my second client. It was a bank in West Texas, and this is the bank, Cattle ranchers, farmers, oil guys, some pretty rough guys, very well, very sturdy.

And they called me in for an emergency board meeting. the CEO and the president were having, some significant disagreements and they were worried about the business. And so they asked me to just come in and facilitate facilitated, observe the board and the interaction and see if we can figure out a way to make it work better.

I said, sure. And so I probably spent the first half of the meeting, just listening and probably because I was a little terrified because these, most of the guys were 40 years older than me, probably a collective net worth of half a billion dollars. young 31 year old guy, what’s. So I’m watching the dance, getting to notice all the players were started feeling a little more comfortable and then latter part of the meeting, they started grilling the CEO and the president, the board members did.

And I could see the CEO and president, both getting very uncomfortable. Something just didn’t make sense to me. And they were concerned about the performance of the business, the relationships, all that thing. And I said, Hey guys, can I ask just a simple question? And

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they said, sure, Tim. I said, I know I’m only 31 years old and I don’t have a lot of business experience, but true.

Isn’t it. The job of a board for support guide the president and the CEO. And I said, you guys are attacking them for all these things that are going on in the business. And yet I don’t understand how you guys could let this happen. And now you’re holding them accountable.

I don’t think anybody to talk to them like that after a moment or two of silence. And I was literally terrified, like they were going to throw me out of the room. the chairman of the board, he was probably 80 years old. Very frail, man. He looked over the table and he said, you’re right, Tim, we screwed up and you weren’t really,

I’ll never get it done. He’s such a great guy. And what happened after that is everybody settled down. We all started just telling the truth about what was really going on, what wanted to happen and, What was fascinating is the president of that business. He said, you know what, I’m 65.

I’m tired. I don’t want to do this anymore. And that’s the honest truth. I love you guys when I’m just tired. So we have your leadership in place and that business is still in you 25, 30 years ago. It’s still in business today. That’s a great story. what I find interesting about it? as well as a, what is the risky took, but it wasn’t, It wasn’t like you were being critical of our judging of, you were noticing what was going on and you wrote it artfully pointed out.

He’s what I’m observing. And then you ask the question and I think that’s really important that technique you use because as you and I both know, there’s a thin line between being courageously authentic or just courageous and being critical and the difference is the arc, the way you do it.

How do you help leaders develop their own sense of courage or their own sense of speaking out? Because it is one of the derailers to grant leadership is the ability to artfully speak out what needs to be said. So how do you help you to develop that? there’s, there’s a lot of things that we do, but I would say initially upfront is as the coach, I have to be willing to model courageous authenticity with the leader.

And just by coaching with them and, creating a safe space for them to start being more authentic with me and quite honestly, themselves, that’s where it begins. And then the authenticity begins with maybe a three 60 assessment where they get a complete snapshot and just owning it and being able to handle the results, whether they’re great results or lots of great results.

So that’s where it starts. And it creates a. a bubble of safety for them with the coaching relationship. Then when we start expanding and working with the team, we’ll set some guidelines for how we’re going to work together. And then I can actually work with the leader and their team members drawing people out, or just creating even a safer container

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for more of a courageous and authentic and honest conversations and then coaching and guiding people.

Again, it’s it’s teaching and then modeling the way even in some of those meetings. so that’s the external beam or the outer game. The inner game is, some of the deeper inner work exploring beliefs, experiences, inner narratives that keep them from being encouraged to be authentic. So there’s a short game, some specific practices.

And then the longer game, which is more of the deeper inner work. Mindset work consciousness work. And you actually, I work in both simultaneous. so it feels like you’re giving them some techniques to get some early wins or to fake it till you make a type thing. And then the same token that lets do the deep work.

So you don’t revert backwards later on. You actually set in a whole foundation for growth and courageous. That’s exactly right. That’s exactly right. It really does work hand in hand, but again, busy professionals. They want to see some results. They need to see something that could work right away. So you’ve got to give them that.

I’ve I found them in my own career. I’m specifically talking about courage now. Cause it is one of those traits that is contagious when it works really well. And it’s, it’s really obvious when it’s absence, found that some of the beliefs that you refer to, can be as simple as, they won’t like me if I stand out or they want me to fit in.

Therefore I dare not do this or in some cases, which is obviously a reality, my career might be at risk. If I voiced this, how have you found those belief patterns or similar belief patterns to be true? And then how do you help someone to reformat some belief patterns in that space? Yeah, so there’s just probably what I call the top three or four, three, five common patterns.

The biggest one is I’m not good enough. the second one is I don’t fit in or I don’t belong here or big one with professionals, and this is a big one. I’m afraid people find out that I might not know what I do. I’m doing, I’m a fraud, right? I’m an, the imposter syndrome. So sure. Some of the work that I use in my APA coaching process, we get that and whatever those core beliefs are, and then using a very simple technique from an NLP neurolinguistic programming, I just do very simple reframing and anchoring.

So the first thing I do before we get to the front of Erie and curious, Has an adult, can you absolutely. 100% all the time. No, you’re not good enough. Yes or no. Is that true? when they think about it, no. So just by asking that question, is it always true? I’m not good enough competent. I’m an imposter, blah, blah, blah.

What that does it unhooks them from the ground with that deep, so deeply then? I asked them to just say, what is the hundred percent, what is another truth that, that is, was it this one I imagine enough might become, I’m pretty amazing. Great. And then I’ll ask him, can

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you give me one real life experience where you had a moment and you knew you were amazing personally, professionally, it doesn’t matter.

Even if it’s just a second where you had a sense of being amazing and I’ll have, and I’ll have them just start telling me the stories. And then I might be doing little things like anchoring it or making a noise, or have them take a deep breath as they just sit in that and soak in that for a minute. And depending upon what I’m sensing with the client, I may only have to do two or three, or I may have to do 20.

To the point where they go, this is ridiculous. And they start laughing when they start having some humor about it. That’s when I know we’ve shifted something inside. we haven’t, we did shift something inside and it’s that moment of liberation throats. So this connecting, is that true? Yes or no?

Give me an example of something completely opposite and then give me a real life. I could do that in five to 10 minutes, used to take me weeks and months to do, to get the relationship, but that nice, simple little reframing process. And there’s hundreds of them out there to do it. I just use the simple one is the one that’s really, Oh, gets people and they go, what’s interesting is then you see their whole face transform.

Your whole body just opens up. They relax a little bit more. You used the word Liberty there, that there’s a liberation with this. And I completely agree with you because all of us are held captive to our beliefs oper to the point that we actually understand what the belief is. And then we can go, okay, hold on.

I believe this for quite a while now, lets me look at this. Let me look at this in a different light to see if it still helps me. it’s a phrase I love using, which causes the name of a famous book. What got you here? Won’t get you there. And I believe pattern clearly has helped you, but it may not.

Continue to do And I think that the notion of courage is one of those leadership traits that if you’re being held back by a buddy pattern, it’s time to change the belief pattern. That’s exactly right. And it does require a great focus and courage and do that deeper work. As a coach, you’ve got to be able to have the courage and the presence to be able to stand toe to toe with these people and just hold the space and.

I learned it from early on, from fighting in the rain, just to be able to stay centered and calm and strong. And it’s just can we practice any codes? We have

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 are greatly appreciated. The whole notion of, the world we’re in right now. We’re in a really interesting, strange time.

We’re recording this in August, 2020. what are you noticing in your own career with the teams that you’re working with in terms of the kind of help that they need, the kind of

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overwhelms that they might be in or not in, and then therefore, what are you doing to help them? What I am completely still amazed at is.

when you’re in business working, we’re always focusing on solving problems. We’re always in this fixing, solving, creating, designing, which is great and necessary. But if we don’t take a break for a moment to celebrate and anchor the things that we’ve done well, It’s just like we’re continually beating the dog.

The dog is never going to throw up. And I would say a big piece of my work with Jeeves is getting them to just take ownership and appreciation for what they’ve done. That’s worked well. And giving that a little bit of time to breathe, not just with me, but with themselves as a team. So the celebrating the successes, imagine a football team.

If we didn’t have any chances to celebrate it or any kind of team, or even acknowledge your win. Not very motivating. So that’s probably the biggest one where I spend extra time making sure that I’m building them up so we can have the energy and motivation to go tackle these big, hairy things that we’ve got to do.

I can piece some teams is always the, it’s being able to bring voice to what’s really in your heart. And a lot of people have the ability to do, but he’s space. The team awareness of the team container, whatever you wanna call it, there’s a perception. It’s not safe. It’s risky to be able to speak openly and honest.

And the challenge in today’s market is things are moving so fast and the complexity is so extreme. And now with COVID or doing everything virtually. We can’t afford to not be speaking completely authentically and honestly, with, as long as our inventions, Nolan honorable, she afforded that, do that because there’s just so much at stake and it’s so moving so fast and so quickly and rapidly.

As a coach with a team, we can become an accelerant and just clear the air so that they can just start getting down to things that are most important that will drive themselves in the business forward. Those are probably the two biggest things. And are you finding you’re spending more frequent time or less frequent time, or is there any specific thing to doing with your individual, chief exec level leaders to help them manage their sense of stress or overwhelmed?

Cause. I’m imagining a Texas is no different than the rest of the world, where there is that there’s a lot happening with little information to help guide people going forward. Yeah. So all my individual clients, I do more frequent touches, touch bases than we did, and I’m getting more almond spot calls saying, Hey, how do you do this?

Or what do you think? Or what is it, everybody else doing communication and messaging. So we let people in come back to work. So we do keep them all at home. We do a hybrid. Nobody really knows because they’ll figuring this out. So my coaching that has been more

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frequent communication, and probably advocating a position more frequently than I would do in coaching.

as we talked about earlier, when you’ve got a pandemic, Asking them what they think they should do may not be the most effective coaching. Okay. Here’s what you need to do. One, two, three, got to give them a, an avid, would you work through this plan together? So helping them quick thing fast, think strategically.

How do we get the communications? How do we get work for workplace virtual? A lot of conversations around that. So that’s immediately just how we keep the business going. Then once we’ve put those plans in place, more frequent touches on what are you doing to take care of yourself? What are you doing that you have your culture alive now that we’re not all dancing with each other in the office or interacting or meeting with colleagues and we’ve had.

Do implement some different things, whether it’s virtual happy hours or just increased communication and updates, which has actually been really good because people are getting more information. They’ve got a closer sense of the pulse of what’s going on, which is a laying their fears and worries and concerns.

The third thing, and I had to do this with a large tech executive he’s I don’t know what to do. There’s so much. And I said, You just need to keep holding the vision of what’s possible. People are scared. People are afraid. People are worried. You got to keep acknowledging what it is and keep encouraging saying, listen, this is where we’re going.

We’re still on plan. We’re still on course. This is what we need you to do to step up. You’ve got to show up just in the way of confidence, because we’re not getting that from anywhere else with that kind of conviction and resolution. That’s probably the biggest thing that my coaching has been for leaders.

you can’t waiver, not when you’re in front of your team because their word, and I’ve talked with people they’re scared, so be this icon of strength and focus. You don’t have to have all the answers you can admit when we don’t know what’s going on. But Joel was conviction. There’s a few things you said there that I think everybody important.

and it brings back a conversation in mind. I had in, I’m going to say early April of 2020, with his exec team and the, the HR director of this particular team, absolutely struggling with holes going on. in the world in general. And I was brought into running virtual team session with the exec team cause they were spread out across the Asia Pacific region and they typically would have got together face to face at least four times a year.

And now we’re running. A three day meeting virtually for the first time. And the leader in question said to me, or can you bring all the evidence space information you have on how we should be handling this? And the chief exec turned around to look at the, this director. And I could see the chief of exec.

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I was imagine that have exact thinking. Evidence-based con is, it’s just hit us like six weeks ago. My reaction was like, at this stage, there’s not a lot of evidence space, but there’s a lot of people experimenting and learning. How about we move into what can we experiment and learn with insight and in line with the vision that we have always held, knowing that we’ve been thrown this extraordinary carvable.

But we still got to stay on track quad dealing with that carved bowl, which I think is what you’d be talking about. And that team up the communication enormously, particularly using homemade videos had great impact. And I would say dial up the connection across the organization, tenfold compared to where they were two weeks earlier.

Yeah. Yeah, and I’ve had to have done it I’d have done well. but it’s amazing. During times of stress like this, we do want to reach for the expert view and sometimes, the executive coaches can help provide a view. but helping people to ramp up their learning and experimenting is probably the, the most useful technique that they can deploy as a group.

I would imagine. Yeah, I want to jump over to the eight gate process. This is a, a framework, if you will. that I know you’ve been developing and testing for over 10 years and, I’ve, I’ve seen the impact this can have, can you talk us through, the framework and how it can be useful for a leader and may maybe share us, share with us a story to illustrate the impact it can have.

Okay. When I got into coaching, I was just back in the mid nineties, I was really fascinated by even back then, the amount of things you could learn and absorb about how to coach and teach and mentor. And as you could imagine, internet now, 25 years later, there is an infinite stream of experts, techniques, practices, program certifications, and how to be a great couch.

So much so that it can be exhausting and overwhelming at times saying, what’s the best approach to use with clients? Is it this model? Is it that practice? And I found myself literally jumping from book to book, time to time pulling all these different things. And as a former electrical engineer, it was frustrating.

Where’s the platform, where’s the unified operating system. How does this all come together? And so the last thing I wanted to do was put another piece of coaching content out in the marketplace. Here’s tons of good stuff and it’s all excellent. But the one thing that’s missing is how do we make all this great material work together one and how do we make it applicable to you have a client based on your context, your timing, and what your needs are.

And This was around the time of the Apple iPhone when it came out. And I saw the brilliance of that thing is Apple created a platform with the iPhone and then subsequently they opened up the operating system to create cuts of you. Anybody can make any custom application they could dream of, and it were worked beautifully on this platform.

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And it got me thinking where’s the unifying platform, an operating system for coaching. There’s tons of great models, but it’s still a bit fragmented. And again, me thinking, how can I honor everything that’s out there, make it comprehensive and complete and make it completely scalable, agile as necessary to meet the needs of my client, because bottom line is what does the client need.

Most of them will and how can I deliver the most impact? In the shortest amount of time. So that’s our work with this thing started tinkering with it, locked it in about 10 years ago and I’ve been testing it with my wife and my partner. And it’s, it works as beautifully as in coaching as the iPhone. So we initially began our work with, the eight Gates.

Helping to unpack three 60 assessments. And again, it was very much driven by the customer’s needs. We said, okay, Jim, here are my results. What do I have to do to change? I don’t need theory. I don’t need to know the tool I get. And I said, there’s a short game and a long game, and we’re going to take you through both.

So we took them through, we developed this process to really help unpack a leader’s specific results. What are they doing to create these current levels, the results from their minds, to their choices, to their practices. And then in the same 90 minutes to two hours helping them upgrade so that they can get a better outcome as a leader.

And we can work the process. The process is taught and we’re very linearly, but it has the complete flexibility to, go wherever the client needs to go. What we found is in about 90 minutes, we can create immediate visual transformations with somebody. Like they will have a deep experience of becoming something new as a leader in the coaching session.

They get a, he liberated from their old operating system. And with that becomes a surge of energy, new possibilities to use your language there from one operating system to a newer, more freer or more capable operating system. So what are some of the Gates or some of the questions you bring people through to help them realize that?

Yeah, so there’s probably a couple of big ones. I call it what’s the payoff. So they, they go, okay, the, they take ownership that maybe they yell at people or maybe they just check out and that creates a certain impact on their team. And I asked them the question, what’s the payoff, what’s the payoff for yelling at people.

What’s the payoff for just completely checking out and then look at me funny. there is no payoff. While there’s a payoff behind everything we do because otherwise we wouldn’t do it. You want me doing this? That’s right. When we get to the big payoff, I’m committed to being in control. I’m committed to proving my worth.

I’m committed to proving you wrong. I’m committed to not getting hurt. I’m committed to being safe. That’s a really. Deeply illuminating and liberating conversation. The situation you just explained as leader, I’m yelling at my team or to an external supplier or to somebody

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because I’m committed to something else such as being right, or such as being in charge of such as not looking stupid or whatever.

Okay, cool. And I get an energetic boost. I get a significant pay off. So that’s gate number four, something we call the subconscious pay off or they didn’t pay off. And then. We asked them very, it’s a tricky question. And this is where it gets into a little bit of the more complex aspects of the APA work what’s at risk for you as a leader, or what inner story do you tell yourself about yourself?

If you’re not proving to others that you’re smart, right? All the above they go. What do you mean Tim? If you’re not proving to people that you’re right. If you’re not doing that. What are you afraid might happen? Or what do you think it means? it means I’m no good. I’m not valuable. I don’t belong here.

So we get to that condition mindset or that core belief, we call it condition mindset, because we learned it somewhere in our training education or work history. And then we go into and say, is it true? Is that mindset helping you achieve anything that you want? What else could be possible. And then we get up into the other Gates and start upgrading the operating system.

It sounds like the question you’ve just asked there around what’s at risk. I would imagine that leads to a pretty small number of recurring passions. And mean maybe the other ones that you mentioned are you on today in terms of, I don’t fit in here, I’m concerned about, but there’s a regular passion because humans are humans.

We haven’t changed that much in the centuries. We’ve been around our way. Our recurring patterns are always the same. It’s exactly right. Like I said, there’s probably about 10 of them that I see. And every now and then there’s a little outlier because everybody’s wired themselves differently, but there is that powder is pretty predominant.

And what I find fascinating is that even with coven. On a global level, humanity is starting to work through some of it starting to awaken these core beliefs and fears, which is a really one of the gifts. Because we can actually work through these and realize we can do something else other than walk around in fear or hate or blame or be victims.

This process called the gay process. And for anyone interested, we’re gonna have a link in the show notes to a, an article and a white paper that you’ve written about this team. but so talk us through an example of a team or a leader where you. Brought this through and, the kind of rapid impact it can have for them and what they do with it.

One of the case studies in a white paper guy named lane, very sophisticated, executive leader. I’ve worked with him in a couple of different companies and he was a, a CFO of $140 million retail. online retailer and business was an, a. No organization affiliated with home Depot and the use up for succession to be the CEO is that I really want to become CEO.

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So we did a three 60 and, unpacked as results. It was pretty humbling for him. What came out of the eight gate work was that he was. Here’s a Harvard grad, well educated, I believe education, very smart, very sophisticated financial and technical. he was over leveraging those skills, the whole people side of the court.

And so we worked once you realized that, and then we realized why did he over leverage those skills to fit in, to belong, to prove his worth? And when do you realize he didn’t have to do that anymore? You relaxed started connecting with people. he didn’t get the CEO position, so we took another position and he went all in as the new lane, we call them and he was able to turn around a business in less than two years in a row, in an industry, oil and gas that was struggling at the time.

And he just, and then he was recruited by another company to be CEO of a large, which, and I checked in with him recently and he’s like, all the wheels are balancing work and lifestyle business. And this is Eva during coven family health and wellness. When he is able to shed that baggage of, trying to fit in or prove his worth and just know that he’s loved.

Simple and It was life changing for him. How often have we seen in our respective careers? a leader or indeed, our sales may be where we strive so hard for our particular outcome. And some along the way someone said to us, let go of that striving and just relax into. Serving the people who need to be served.

And what happens is you don’t get the role you’re striving for you actually get the outcome that the role would have wanted. And then you ended up getting the role at square because of that, you’ve learned the big lesson, it’s a bit like the dark of the night type lesson. Yeah. you bring up a great point.

Particularly in the West in America, we’ve gotta be doing something to prove value. We’ve got to make things happen, which I completely agree with. leaders get sober as a leader and I’m talking in a leader context, they forget the whole outside of the equation, which is focused attention, intention, and relationship.

As a leader, you probably have to leverage more of those. And those are more effective than. Getting things done. That’s what he missed. And so I work a lot and this is all the inner game of leadership. And I find that it has a huge, profound leverage. And the leaders are finding out, said, you mean I don’t have to do more.

I remember one, no. And he said, me and I don’t have to do all this stuff as a leader. I can just show up with my people the same way I do with my clients, my, my patients. I said, yeah, the weight of the world was lifted off his shoulders. I said, just to have a good bedside manner. I started using a terminology around different levels of doing and cause you know, that notion of being an action man or action oriented or getting stuff done, huge, kudos to all of us who were able to do that.

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And indeed you don’t get promoted on the, she gets stuff done. But to your point, if that’s all you’re focusing on you, I’m planning to be doing stuff. How do you reframe. Doing. And I think there’s a different types of doing as you get more senior. And certainly, I’m leaning away from always being busy and leaning into what’s the conversation I need to be having with people I’m not having, it’s a different type of doing and it liberates.

and the amount of execs I’ve met over the years and helped figure out what kind of doing is needed for this new role. That’s different from what I’ve done before. It just liberates and allows expansion. So to that point in the AK process, based on who I am and where my business is at, or where I’m at a leader, we can get really dialed into specific, have the, what level of doing that leader needs to be doing.

And it’s going to be different for him than her or somebody else. That’s the beauty of that process is that you help them when you run a leader through it. You can get so granular and specific based on their context needs development. And they have a runway to completely continue to scale from that.

And they, they blueprint specific blueprint, not theory, not models, not five. G’s a specific blueprint. For me, this is what I need to do. And not I’ve read your white paper. I’ve used it on myself and I can attest to the wisdom that’s inherent within the frameworks for anybody who wants to learn more.

And the links are in our show notes for Tim’s white paper on his AK process.

Tim we’re coming to the end, but I want to come to maybe a profound question. I’m not sure, but I know something, it comes back to something you and I talked about recently and this notion of, in the world that we’re in today, it is changing. People are asking big questions. The world is asking big questions and you, and I pose a question to each other around, what is it requiring of?

Also as coaches in terms of what are we being called to do now that the world is asking of folks? And as you and I were chatting about that notion, so what are we even called to do here? Share with me a story where you asked almost the exact same question of a tech executive, in light of, some of the social changes in America where black lives matters, et cetera.

Yeah, Jay, do you want to share that? And then, and the notion of the, when you ask someone a powerful question, what are you being called to do? It opens up opportunities that they may not have even thought about. Yeah. And this was, again, one of those, it’s probably one of the riskiest moves I’ve ever made as a coach in this session.

This was in the midst of a pandemic about a month ago? No, I guess junior year, it was in June. And, got on the zoom chat with this particular leader and, runs a large global organization in the tech space. I’ll solve Liberty to say. And he said, Jim, how do we manage our people through this?

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what are you seeing? Not only just Kelvin. But the whole race and diversity conversation, he said, I’m in a place where I can actually do something about it. And I’m not sure how to go about doing driving change through the position that I met. And I was like, wow, I really admire your willingness to take on and actually do something with this, And they said, here’s the things we’re doing, systems, hiring, processes, structures, things like that. even little things right down to how they wear their badges. And I said, I think those are great. But if I may be candid, I said, it’s not gonna, I think you should do them, get your mouth.

And he sat back and he said, what do you mean? And I said, listen, you’ve got all these talking heads on TV and talking heads and leaders, all they’re doing is talking about the problems or blaming or being victims to something on all sides of the aisle. I said, if I could just hear somebody stand up and say, this is where we’re going, this is what we want to see.

This is what we’re committed to helping build. I said, I would write a check. I’d get on a plane. I’d do whatever I had to do to work with LVT. And I said, so here’s my suggestion. If you’re open. He goes on, listen. And I said, what I would like to see from you first and foremost, and envision all those, kind of tactical things and important phase.

I’d like to see you come up with an NLP. I have a dream speech and I said, I liked you have to write it and then deliver it to your team. Globally. Many thousands of people. And make it so compelling and so inviting, and I want to know what you want to see happen and what you can do to help make that happen.

And this was all around uniting, respect, racial equality, honoring the diversity. I said, just give us some really great vision of what you want us to see and, what you can do to support us in doing that. And he sat back in his chair and he said, wow. So I’m still going to follow up with him probably in a few weeks and see our goals, but this is an organization that can actually do something about it.

And, it’s the same message I’m giving to. A lot of my leaders is yes, let’s take care of our people. Where do you want to go? And what do you want to be cold? What do you want to do? And beyond just making money and having a great business, give me something greater. We as coaches, you have the ability to have their conversation with their client.

We have a modicum of influence with them. We get them in touch with their heart, and what’s really important to them. We can help guide that and sharpen that with them. That’s why I get excited about this as a coach is because I think there is literally a battalion of coaches globally. All I’ve never met a bad coach.

They’re all wonderful people who are really committed to surgery while the world needs us to step forward and serve. And we have the ability to, tons of resources available to do it. The fact that right now the world is in a pause and it isn’t a, in a question of, what if, and what’s happening, and it’s an opportunity.

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And a, this is so rare to get, to be able to get an executive tension when the whole world is on pause to go, you now have a potential to make it a big decision or. Big vision. And he is he’s the opportunity because the world is looking for a difference. no one wants to go back to whatever normal was and no one quite knows what the new normal quiet is yet.

So here’s the opportunity to every leader has an opportunity to put forth something. Let’s say, this is what else is possible. And this is what I like to do. How does that sound to you versus just the grinding that’s going on? Tim has been fascinating as always talking to you. I’ve got two questions, which I ask everybody as we’re finishing up a conversation.

the first one is given all of the wisdom you’ve accumulated, in your life. How would you now tell the 35 year old version of yourself based on what you now know? Yeah, that’s a great question. knowing what I know now at 56, I would tell that, young man stop playing so small. It’s all there.

You can do it. It’s available, but you gotta be willing to play a bigger game and put yourself out there to play a bigger game. So stop playing small. That’s great. And last question is, I’m a music man. What’s your favorite band or your favorite song? So you’ll love this coming from Australia.

And I get a lot of grief about this. My favorite rock stars, Rick Springfield. I feel like I grew up a guy back in high school, listening to Jessie’s girl and listening to his music and, from a teeny bopper where he’s matured to even where, he was on the spiritual quest and still is, and he still has his youthfulness about, it’s just, I feel like I’ve been on this journey with him through his music.

And, I guess the favorite song it’s meaningful and it’s powerful. It’s a fare of the heart. you’re a man full of heart. Tim always, I was a pleasure to connect with yours, a pleasure to visit and have a chat. Appreciate your time this morning. And, where can people find you? What websites can people find you on there when they want to look up what you do?

John And then, we’ve also just joined forces with a few other consultants in the Washington DC area called Longwave partners. And if you want to email me directly, just email Thank you everybody for listening.

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