choice Magazine

Tipping Point: The opportunity for reinvention

May 10, 2022 Garry Schleifer
choice Magazine
Tipping Point: The opportunity for reinvention
Show Notes Transcript

In this interview, we talk with Paul Crick about his article "Tipping Point. The opportunity for reinvention."

We will discuss how our relationship to work is changing as a result of the pandemic.  The enforced pause has provided many of us with the opportunity to become more aware of how we spend out time and energy, to question the nature of our ingrained habits and routines, and to consider what is most important to us.  Many people are reconsidering how they will live life, what they want and what they are willing to tolerate. We are at a tipping point where there is opportunity for reinvention. 

Paul is the Founder and Managing Partner of his own leadership development consultancy, The Elevate Partnership. He specializes in helping leaders and leadership teams to expand their inner character and capacity to enable them to lead at their next level.

He also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for The Adagio College of Performing Arts and until recently served on the board of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council, UK as Professional Development Director.

Paul has been a management consultant, coach, educator, facilitator and trainer for over 20 years working around the world with Fortune 500 and Times 250 corporations, public sector institutions and voluntary organizations for PriceWaterhouseCoopers, CapGemini and IBM.

He has taught and coached leaders individually and in groups, across 22 countries up to and including C-Level Executives.

Find the full article here:  https://bit.ly/MTA-PaulCrick

The Elevate Partnership:  theelevatepartnership.com

Grab your free issue of choice Magazine here - https://choice-online.com/
In this episode, I talk with Paul about his article published in our March 2022  issue.

Speaker 1:

Hi, I'm Gary Schleifer . And this is beyond the page, brought to you by choice. The premier magazine and ultimate resource for professional coaches choice is more than a magazine. It's a community of people who use and share coaching tools, tips, and techniques to add value to their businesses. It's an institution of continuous learning built over the course of 20 years, dedicated to improving coaching and the lives of their clients. Today's episode. I talk with Paul Krick author of choice magazine feature, article tipping point the opportunity for reinvention in our most recent issue. Isn't that a fabulous cover? I just love it. Isn't that great . Our art director , Suzanne , um , Paul is the founder and managing partner of his own leadership development consultancy, the elevate partnership. I love that title, Paul. He specializes in helping leaders and leadership teams to expand their inner character and capacity to enable them to lead at their next level. He also serves as a member of the board of trustees for the AIO college of performing arts. And you'll notice he's got a keyboard in the background there, so he's, he's a performer. Um , and until recently served on the board of the European mentoring and coaching council, EMCC UK , as a professional development director, Paul's been a management consultant, coach educator, facilitator and trainer for over 20 years, working around the world with fortune 500 and times two 50 corporations, public sector institutions and voluntary organizations. For example, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, cap, Gemini, and IBM, just, you know, a couple of small, lesser known names, right? Uh , <laugh> uh , he's taught and coached leaders individually in groups across 22 countries up to and including C level executives. Paul holds an MBA from Henley business school, a BSC in management sciences from university of Manchester and is a seasoned accredited coach with certification spanning several domains of psychology. You're a deep man. Welcome Paul. Thanks so much for joining me today.

Speaker 2:

I think I'm an old man. Thank you for that very kind introduction.

Speaker 1:

<laugh> well, you know, you you've accomplished a lot. You're you're , uh , wise, you're a published author in choice and , uh, I'm really thankful to have you here today to , uh , carry on the conversation for our readers and our listeners. So thank you.

Speaker 2:

Thank you for the kind invitation.

Speaker 1:

I, I couldn't help, but grab some thoughts when I was reading this article before we get into our, our conversation, but , um, you know, the , the word tipping point it's, you know, we were dealing with disruption resilience and things like that. And you came up with the , the phrase tipping point, which it's been used a lot, but I'm just wondering why that came up for you when it came to what we're going through now and reinvention of coaching.

Speaker 2:

I think we're seeing A , an adjustment where, where people are realizing that the place that work took in their lives is not the place that it need needs to take going forwards mm-hmm <affirmative> . And I think ever since the beginning of the industrial revolution, we haven't necessarily seen that. We've seen, how do we go faster? How do we become more efficient? How do we become more productive? How do we make more profit? How do we satisfy short term needs of shareholders and doing that at the expense of , um , at times our values, our integrity and our, and our health, frankly. Uh , and I think what the pandemic gave us, if it gave us anything positive, was that opportunity to pause and think, and to really consider what is this life that we've been given for and why? And it fills my heart with a lot of joy to know that there are people considering that. Uh , and , and some of that is courageous because you're stepping out of , um, ingrained patterns of thinking, ingrained patterns of behavior that have become sort of autopilot. You know, we get up, we go to work, we do the job. We come home, we eat, sleep, repeat. Um , we parent our families and, you know, it's, it's just that thing. Whereas, you know, people, people certainly in the UK have been saying, why do I need to commute? I've got, I've got zoom. I get four hours in my day back.

Speaker 1:

<laugh> right .

Speaker 2:

It's great. I can roll outta bed. I , and I can turn up decent at my desk at eight 30 in the morning.

Speaker 1:

Decent. I can <laugh> yeah. From here up right. <laugh>

Speaker 2:

From here. Yeah. Just as long as it's visible on camera, you know, if you stand up. No ,

Speaker 1:

I wouldn't . Yeah, no standing, no ,

Speaker 2:

No standing. Um, so, so I think that's what was in my mind was this, this place of It's a real pause and therefore perhaps qualifies as a tipping point that it's actually our relationship to work and, and is changing. And , and I only think for the better, I think there are some difficulties in the short term is there always are when we, when we make a commitment to move from, you know, they say, they say that, you know, Taking action is a , a decision to think differently. Mm-hmm , <affirmative> making a commitment is a , is , is all about making a choice about how you're gonna be. Yeah . And that takes a lot more effort. Um, and therefore there's lots of uncertainty. Nobody knows what's happening. People are having to be courageous about saying actually I'm not prepared to go back to what was mm-hmm <affirmative> I want to create, I want to self author my life the way I want it, because mm-hmm <affirmative> this last two years has taught me that life is precious and fragile.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no kidding. You know , it , um, I believe it's a global term and great resignation. Um ,

Speaker 2:

I'm not sure. It certainly is in the UK.

Speaker 1:

Yeah . Over here

Speaker 2:

Too in north America.

Speaker 1:

So, yes. Yeah . And at first, when I first heard that, I thought it was a whole bunch of people resigning at the same time. What I realized is that they've, to your point, they've resigned themselves from having to do work the way it was. And perhaps that's the tipping point, right. What it was to what it can be. You know , one of the challenges I'm hearing though of this , um, you know, it's great that we realize what we want in our, in the , the workers, if you will realize what they want. Unfortunately, some of the management styles are , uh , managing by walking around and if you are there and busy, you're working. Whereas one of the things I've really found that the, the whole pandemic and working from home is it was more results oriented. You could work as little or as, as much as you wanted, as long as there , it was more fo EV results focused. So that was one of the things I'm working on with some of my clients, is that , uh , looking at that,

Speaker 2:

And I think that's important because , um, hanging your back, your jacket over the back of your chair, just to prove you there will , who does that benefit? It doesn't benefit your employer and it doesn't benefit you mm-hmm <affirmative> and , and , and time is the one thing we don't get back. So mm-hmm , <affirmative> , um, it's , it's , it's good that we're seeing this, this rethink and yeah . You know , some employers are ahead of the game and as always, some are behind <laugh> and they're having to play catch up . Um, but the consequences of playing catch up are very real, you know , people are not willing to accept what they used to accept. Younger generation is coming into the workforce and definitely isn't, doesn't see why they should accept what perhaps you and I accepted when we were new into the workforce. So, right . I , I see it as a , as a real, hopefully a big adjustment as to how we choose to lead and live our lives.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, no kidding. Um , so I want to ask you so gone , uh , the article itself, what had you write it?

Speaker 2:

I just think there was a need to , um, Go left when everyone else is going, right. It's, it's kind of, one of my idiosyncrasies is , is I try to step back and say, what's everyone saying, and, and , and there's a lot of noise about, well, you know , we need to automate coaching and, and , you know, it needs to include artificial intelligence. And I was

Speaker 1:

Thinking really <laugh>

Speaker 2:

Really, are you thinking about that? What , what that really means in , in terms of how that applies to practice and more importantly, the value that clients get from coaching. So I just, I just felt there was a real need to sort of say, well, hang on a minute. Let's let's really think, cause so when I write stuff, I , I try, I don't always succeed, but I try to make people think and say , is that a , so it was really a think piece . It , it was, you know, the basis of coaching isn't gonna change because with sentient being talking to sentient being, and, and the computer is always used as a really poor metaphor for how we as human beings work. And therefore we assume that, well, we can automate it. Now. There are certain things that computing can support in terms of admin test tasks. So having worked from admin , uh , for IBM mm-hmm , <affirmative> , I'm quite familiar with the idea of , um, you know , systems of record and they are extremely helpful, you know, and, you know , systems that give you prompts to, to help guide clients or remind clients, or keep, keep the momentum going between coaching engagements. That's good. Um , I can see even sort of the stuff that's called AI. Mm . We used to call it expert systems long, long ago, those of us enough old enough to know that. Um , and , and it's an updated view of that. Now. I know there's perhaps some listeners that might be tearing their hair out right now, as I say that. Um , but with 13 years at IBM, I think I've reasonably well placed to , um , to , to talk about that. Cuz we used obviously had Watson as a technology, which, you know , um, found its found its place , uh , in certain use cases and in certain places. So, but I think replacing, imagining that it will replace the, the, the , the coaching dialogue where essentially you are co-creating and evolving a conversation to help help a client explore their world and to rehearse things that you know, are new to them. Yeah. Then that was, that was the point behind it. Really?

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Well, one of the , um, you bring up a really good point. A lot of , uh , conversation I've been hearing are , are I guess, fears and what's fear , you know, what's , it's , uh , questioning the unknown , uh , about coaches being replaced by technology and robots. And you know, so in your conversation with yourself about left versus, right. Um, obviously you're saying that this is a supportive thing, not a replacement thing, is that what I'm hearing?

Speaker 2:

Um, at one level you are, yes. The other thing I'd mention is, you know, any, any coach with assaults, their , their goal is to be fired by their clients because if you're creating generative change, then, then why would you want to be in the client's life for more than the period that they've engaged you for, or for the particular episode that they're seeking support for? So irreplaceable anyway, from the outset . So whether it's technology or not, it is isn't the point. Um, I , I think it's examining what the technology really can do and how it augments, what you do as a client in terms of creating the value for your client. Um, I think, I think that's, and I , I think helping them momentum year , if you're running a rhythm of, well, I primarily do calls and, and , and meetings then technology is a way for increasing that engagement and retaining that connection for the duration of the coaching assignment.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Well, you said it really well

Speaker 2:

Take will , will technology be sentenced ? Not in my lifetime.

Speaker 1:

No, I doubt that very much. But , uh , to your point, I mean, what you wrote brilliantly in the article were some references to the technology and instead of it being a replacement is, you know, I love, I love how you say, avoid being seduced into gaming, social media platforms. And, you know, it's, there's one thing about being connected with your client in supportive, but it's another one to be, as you put at gaming the system in order to reach them on mass. Right. And then you, you continue it to your other point about delivering value. So there it's, it's augment is the key word I'm taking from what you said, it's like, it's not replacement. I mean, how long , how many decades have they said that robots are gonna replace, man? Like, that's been a story that's been going on for as old as time, or as long as computers have been around.

Speaker 2:

That's true. And it it's clearly visceral , uh , from the first science fiction movies, you know , um , that , that came out a fascination with technology and, and , and what it can do. But our , our , our profession is about connection and the quickest way to connect it is to pick up the phone and say, Hey, how are you?

Speaker 1:

And end point ,

Speaker 2:

That's all you need to do. Yeah . You don't need to, even if you're working in the corporate world, cuz the , all the corporates will say, oh yeah, but we need to use LinkedIn and we need to form a pardon and , and , and a part of us need to try and game the algorithm. Well, the algorithms are more or less gonna win

Speaker 1:

<laugh> and it's , and it's , and it's designed that way. It's , it's like it's gaming, it's like a casino it's geared to outsmart the user.

Speaker 2:

It's geared to keep you there for as long as possible. And to encourage you, encourage you to do that. Now that doesn't mean you shouldn't. But if I like to think they , so as you can tell from my keyboards, I'm being into music and one of , one of the things I always liked and , and I'm old as well. So one of the artists I followed , um , as , as a teenager was Peter Gabriel mm-hmm <affirmative> . And the thing about Peter Gabriel was he didn't put an album out every year and he didn't tour every year. But what he did was he, he did something when he had something to say, And I think there's so much noise in the world and so much noise in our industry. It's, it's difficult to cut through, but at the same time we want to be seen, we want to be heard. We want to be successful as coaches. The quickest way to do that is often the shortest is the shortest and easiest thing. It's it's like, clients will say, if you've got any quick wins for me, I'll say, yeah, I've got a quick win for you. What's the problem? Oh, I'm really anxious. Oh, okay. Um, breathe. I haven't got time to do that.

Speaker 1:

<laugh> well , but they want a quick answer, right? A quick solution,

Speaker 2:

But I need a quick win. Okay. See that. See that forest that's outside your, your door. You've got we've we've finished 15 minutes early. Go for a 10 minute walk. No, no, no. I need , I need to go and see my personal assistant and, and organize the rest of my day. And it's kinda like, okay. That's okay. No, no judgment. Um

Speaker 1:

<laugh> oh , wait . <laugh> . Yep .

Speaker 2:

But there are, there are simpler approaches and , and , and we, and that's what I mean, being seduced by, you know , you know , here's a step , step seven step , uh , process to coaching success, you know, here, get your click funnel to , to do this. And it's kinda like, well, yes and no. So the , the purpose of the article was think about what you're doing and why you're doing it. Mm-hmm

Speaker 1:

<affirmative> well, and you give some Sage advice like about , um , and for the , uh , listeners to grab the article it's attached to this recording , uh , you talk about connect, listen, speaking the truth and delivering value. And I would add, keep it simple. Like I, you know, when you said like pick up the phone I was called this week about from a government office, mm-hmm , <affirmative> somebody I emailed once they emailed me, I emailed them and they picked up the phone to clarify everything and to confirm and to introduce themselves , uh , Paul , I, I, I, I couldn't tell you how much I told that person how much I appreciated that it was a breath of fresh air after two years of unable to reach people in and C this and all the bloody excuses. I'm, I'm like you it's old school after two or three emails, I pick up the phone and say, well, you know what? I figured we better talk and save some time, right. In a coaching world. It's, it's pretty simple. Call up your client, check in with them. Doesn't have to be rocket science. It doesn't have to be , I just

Speaker 2:

Say how you , I was thinking about you , how you doing, right . We , we are living in times that, you know , are , are stressful one way or another, you know , mm-hmm <affirmative> , and , and sometimes that's all it takes. And, you know , I've been surprised , um , from time to time I've done that. And, and I've ended up in , I , I called a guy who I hadn't spoken to for 20 years. We were on the phone for three hours.

Speaker 1:

Wow.

Speaker 2:

That was , that was just great. Yeah . Uh , that can happen. And then you , you get the opposite end of the extreme, which is, you're trying to find the phone number of people to talk to and say, look, let's just have a conversation.

Speaker 1:

<laugh>,

Speaker 2:

You know , what's the one thing you're trying to deal with. Maybe I can help. Yeah . Maybe I can't. And if I can't tell you what, that's great. Maybe I know someone who can help with the one thing that isn't, I can't help you with.

Speaker 1:

Yeah . Yeah . Well said ,

Speaker 2:

It's interesting.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Well, and like you say in your article, simple question, how are you feeling? You know, we'll go way further than any social media post or, you know, or software program or AI. So, so thank you for that. You know, I wanna say a grounding reminder. <laugh> not just very, and I get the way we're way we're talking about it today. That it's really meant to be that way. It was meant to be like a, okay. A tipping point can be from, from what was before to what to bring it back again. But it's, as you say in your article, it's also an opportunity to create something new, to look at what happened between where it was and tipping and to the , this new place.

Speaker 2:

I think. So I think it's, I think it's like getting a written letter in the , in the post it's, it's such a rarity and it's such a luxury to go , oh , someone took the trouble to, to , to write. Uh , that's that, that's great. So I think it's, it is a way of, it's a way of standing out, but it's , it's even more than that. It's a way of doing genuine connection with people that you want to connect with.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. And that , I tell you this, the , if COVID taught me anything, it was exactly that we've connected with people that normally we see, you know , we talked , uh , before the call about how I go away for the winter and with , we met this couple down there and other than being there, we never saw them or talked to them the whole year and then back the next year and just pick up like best friends. Well, for some reason we decided it was important to get together and talk every two weeks. And so we found out more about them. Uh , one of them , their father , uh , passed away during COVID . We went to the, to the funeral as best we could under the conditions and we're supportive and it , it just deepened our relationship and well, and now they're coming here to Toronto and we're gonna spend a weekend together. So, you know, it's really rich, really rich opportunities came out of it. So , um, what else should coaches focus their energies on these days?

Speaker 2:

That's such a good question. And it's so individual , um, I guess the way I'd answer that is , is , is to continue doing the work. Um , and , and your coaching can only go as deep as the , the journey, the depth of the journey that you've been on. And , and my sense from most of the coaches I know, and come across is that everyone's on a journey. You know, we're in a helping profession for a , a reason. We do the research because there's research in it certainly, you know , sample ,

Speaker 1:

I like that research .

Speaker 2:

It's not mine, I'm afraid, but it's, it's , I'll borrow it , borrow it and use it wherever I can.

Speaker 1:

There you go.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. But there is, there is research and research, so it helps me understand me, but that also helps do that. Now that doesn't mean go and get another certification. That just means, you know , get yourself a coach, get yourself a supervisor mm-hmm,

Speaker 1:

<affirmative> ,

Speaker 2:

Uh , read, get involved in coaching groups that discuss deeper issues that are , that are around cuz it's from it's from our inner selves that we're able to, you know, the more we, I think it's , uh , professor Bob Keegan at Harvard that says, you know, wake up, wake up, grow up, clean up and show up. Um, I , I'm still trying to do some of the, the grow up and cleanup work cause it's never done, but it does help me. It does help me show up a little better every time for clients. And as long as you are making a , some progress, even if it's just like marginal gains, then you know , over a 12 month period, you're, you're gonna be a better coach.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Well, good, good pointing, good pointing. Uh , per personally I'm in a , uh , uh , advanced generative coaching program for six months. That fantastic , uh , is towards , uh , going for my master certified coach designation with the international coaching Federation . And so, yes, I'll have , uh , mentoring, I'll have supervision. I have already done peer coaching. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and I've I haven't done it in a bit. I'll have to say a couple years, to be honest. Wow. Is it fun to , to be doing something for myself for a change?

Speaker 2:

No , it's good. It's it ? It's good to invest in yourselves. I would say that's, that's one of the best things you can do read. Yeah . Listen to podcasts, talk to other coaches, talk to your supervisors and talk to clients,

Speaker 1:

Right ? Yeah. Find out what's going on for them. Yeah, exactly. I , yeah. I'm um , I'm gonna be , uh , coaching a client that I met in, well, a friend that I met in port of ATA , who's starting a new business online and I I've offered to coach her and, and she can be my client during my program and great. You know, so it's just like these connections. You don't have to always get paid. You can and Nope . Okay. Paul, I you'm fear like me. You can't not coach wherever you go. Anyway. I mean, my, my husband tells me from time to time, it's like, okay, stop using the coaching language. Okay. But it's, it's like, I can't not do it.

Speaker 2:

I know. And, and I think that's true for most , most coaches, we enjoy it. We , we naturally want to help other people and it's , it comes from a good place. Yeah. So , um ,

Speaker 1:

Yeah,

Speaker 2:

That's

Speaker 1:

Good . Oh my gosh. This is awesome. Um, final question. What else would you like our audience to take from this article and this conversation? Actionable items, Paul

Speaker 2:

Actionable items. Um, I would make a list of five people that you will connect to tomorrow by picking up the phone.

Speaker 1:

Wow. There's right. To the point. I'm I , you got , you got me right away. I'm like, okay. Who am I gonna , cuz I'm gonna take it on. I'm gonna do it. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And , and I'm not talking about your mom or your dad

Speaker 1:

Or no . That's already done.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. No . Just, just, just look through your LinkedIn list and go okay. Who comes to , or think about who comes to mind when you think about that, do you like a conversation with that that you haven't seen spoken to for a while , because we've all had this break and just do how you doing, we're coming out of this thing. We see we , you know, yeah . We're all a bit battered and bruised. How , how are things for you? How are you getting on and see where the conversation goes? I , I don't think you need to and just listen, listening on

Speaker 1:

<laugh> exactly. Oh my gosh. I'm like, I'm excited and nervous at the same time.

Speaker 2:

<laugh> yes .

Speaker 1:

Isn't it. Yeah. Yeah. Well, but I mean I'm, and I'm just gonna be with it. I'm gonna let the names and the people show up and , uh, and be surprised and, and joyful about, oh wow. You know, I haven't talked to that person in forever. Boom. Paul meant said I had to call them <laugh>

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you may , you may get a three hour conversation off the back of it. Who knows?

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Ex oh, then I better save it for Saturday cuz I have coaching clients tomorrow. <laugh> no ,

Speaker 2:

No, no , no, no. You can't do that. No , that's that's cheating.

Speaker 1:

Well, I can't dump my coaching clients , so I can't be a three hour .

Speaker 2:

Well , that's true. That's true.

Speaker 1:

But um , I'll do my best. I'll work it out. Uh , thank you so much. Thank you so much for being here, Paul, for joining us for this beyond the page episode , um , what's the best way for people to reach you if they, they want to call you?

Speaker 2:

Uh, they can find me on LinkedIn, my phone number's there. Uh , so please do , um , I'm happy to talk about anything that people would like to talk about.

Speaker 1:

Awesome. And I get that too, and thank you so much for this article and , and truly it , it, when I read it and, and reread it, it, it helped ground me in possibilities and, and just, it was calming in a way it was like, oh yeah. And you know, just like you said to that client breathe .

Speaker 2:

Hmm .

Speaker 1:

It , you , you put, if there's an inherent call to breathe in your article.

Speaker 2:

Okay,

Speaker 1:

Good . Thank you . So that's it for this episode of beyond the page for more episodes, subscribe via your favorite podcast app or go to our website cuz it's there. Don't forget to sign up for a free digital issue of choice magazine by going to choice-online.com and clicking the sign up now button I'm Gary Schleifer . Enjoy your journey to mastery.