From Tokyo to Singapore

December 7, 2010

My last scheduled coaching in Singapore was with Clark. His session was supposed to happen in Auckland, where he recently returned with his family after a ten year stint in Jakarta and Singapore. However, early in this trip I got the bad news that he had scheduling issues. So, with fast work, we discovered an opportunity to meet on Saturday in Singapore before he took off for Jakarta.

If every client were like Clark I would never stop laughing and would always want to be in coaching sessions. He is constantly telling me how he looks forward to the coaching sessions. When I ask him what he thinks we’re going to focus on in the upcoming session, he always answers, “I want to have fun.” From the very first session, he has approached the work with open arms (a little challenge in Session One but we pushed on and he was converted by the end of that session). He embraces the work we do with monologues as if he were rehearsing for a part. Every time, the synergy between work done on monologues and the shift to business makes absolute sense—he gains insights for a speech or business conversation from the monologue exploration.

Back to our coaching session in Singapore—Clark arrived having spent time learning a monologue he requested to play with (an Al Pacino piece from the film “Any Given Sunday”) but without having written his assignment speech about a leader at a critical juncture. At the end, it didn’t matter. First, I was thrilled to play with the monologue. Second, in our opening discussion I learned he is opening a new office. Since his return to Auckland in he has been frustrated with finding ways to build significant business in New Zealand. He says that business leaders there are happy with where they are. They have enough success and money to enable golf three times a week so why would they want to do anything that gets in the way of that. So he set his sights elsewhere. He had been working with a mining client and looked around him, realizing no one was making the most of the opportunities that were there.  He has gotten the approval for a base operation and has chosen two young leaders to work with him to launch the operation. The Al Pacino monologue was a football coach talking to his dejected, losing team at half time trying to inspire them to be a team first and individuals second and win by working together. Clark had shared with me some difficult events shaping the road for the two young leaders. Both are high potentials and on the road to moving higher up in the company. Clark wants to eliminate all ego issues and create a team—the three of them—working seamlessly and transparently starting now. He understands that an aligned team will directly impact their success. He crafted the conversation he will have. We worked on it, adjusting and modifying, having Clark practice and then practice some more. Through this crafted conversation he not only revealed his leadership at a critical moment, his values and essential drivers but also highlighted how important it is to Clark to develop future partners and how committed he is to these two young leaders. He will check in with me once he has the conversation and I will continue to support him as he navigates his new challenges.

Sydney up next.


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