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Exclusive Interview With Paul Glover – Workplace Performance Coach

Paul Glover is the No B.S. Leadership Development Coach and Trusted Advisor. He helps leaders to recognize their blind spots so they can realize their full potential as they create their work legacy by developing the potential of those they work with. Paul is the author of the book WorkQuake™: Making the Seismic Shift to a Knowledge Economy, about which Marshall Goldsmith said “Like an earthquake shaking the foundations of homes built along its fault lines, Glover’s new book WorkQuake® agitates the business status quo.” He is also a speaker on The Future of Teamwork & Stakeholder Capitalism and a Member of the Forbes Coaching Council.

Paul Glover, Workplace Performance Coach

Your website states you are a "recovering” trial lawyer and an ex-felon. How did these life experiences lead to you becoming a leadership development coach?

Every coach is an amalgamation of their personality, their life’s experience and their skill sets. It is this mixture of hard and soft skills that determines how a person coaches and how effective they are as a coach. My journey to becoming a successful leadership development coach began when I graduated law school and became a successful Federal Trial lawyer, practicing labor and employment law. Being a trial lawyer required I become a Critical Thinker, with a honed B.S. detector. I also became an effective Communicator, with the Emotional Intelligence necessary to connect with the members of the jury, on both an intellectual and emotional level, so they would be convinced/persuaded by the narrative of facts and emotions I created to agree my client should prevail.

I was also the vice president and chief negotiator, who led a 9,000-member labor organization, with a seven-person executive team and 30 field managers.

This phase of my life ended in 1995 when I was found guilty of while collars crimes, sentenced to 7 years in Federal Prison and realized I would never practice law again.

During my five years in prison, I went through a transformation. With the help of my family and friends, I recognized my blind spots – my need to belong, my need for approval and my pride – and learned how to control my self-destructive behavior. I also developed, through self-reflection, the resilience necessary to overcome my self-induced adversity and also to embrace it and learn from it. Fifty percent of everyone’s life is filled with adversity, some created by our blind spots. And, because as much as we try, we cannot avoid aversity, we need to learn to embrace these difficult and often painful experiences so we can learn and grow. Because of the prison experience, when the Supreme Court reduced my sentence, and I left prison in 2001, I was a changed, and much better, person.

After my release, I realized, I had a unique opportunity, because of my training as a lawyer, my experience as a leader, and someone who had coped with extreme adversity and understood the need to “see” and control blind spots, to assist leaders to build a work legacy they would be proud to pass on to their successor.

And that’s how my twenty-year coaching career began.

Who is your ideal client?

A leader who is committed to the big vision of creating a meaningful work legacy that consists of providing a sustainable purpose for themselves and every member of their organization.

While I believe 80% of leaders have the potential to do this, my experience is only 20% are willing to make the commitment to do the hard work necessary to accomplish this goal.

This 20% know they have to continually evolve if they are to be successful in creating a meaningful work legacy. They also recognize to do this is hard work that requires a no B.S. coach who is results-oriented, will hold them accountable to achieving their potential and will be as committed to their success as they are.

The leaders who comprise this group are my ideal clients.

What do you do for them?

One of my clients described me as “An acquired taste: a relentless grinder, who is brutally honest, totally committed and cares enough to hold you accountable to your commitment to succeed.”

And to fulfill my total commitment to my clients’ success, I perform three primary functions for every leader in my coaching program:

I’m a Fool: Most of us think the Fool, the motley clad clown who sat at the foot of the king’s throne, was an entertainer and a buffoon. In reality, the Fool was a trusted advisor to the king, who had the psychological safety to let the king know when he was making the wrong decision. Because of the inherent nature of positional authority, which eliminates the psychological safety necessary for those in the organization to tell leaders the unfiltered truth. So, most leaders seldom hear the truth, especially about themselves and the negative impact their leadership is having on their team and the organization. As the leader’s no B.S. coach, I have, not only the psychological safety, but also the obligation, to tell the leader the truth, especially about how their blind spots are creating patterns of self-destructive behavior, stopping them and their organization from realizing their purpose.

I’m a Confidante: The axiom that “it’s lonely at the top” is accurate. Leaders, especially during a crisis, like the pandemic, need someone they feel safe talking to, can vent to, can use as a sounding board for their ideas, can express their fears and uncertainty to. Because I also serve as a Trusted Advisor to those in my coaching program, they feel comfortable sharing their concerns, their fears and their ideas with me.

I’m a Sherpa: One of my clients called me a Sherpa, and it’s an accurate representation of what I do as the no B.S. coach. Once a leader understands the degree of difficulty of the climb and still remains fully committed to making the climb, the leader and I create the action plan that results in the leader achieving their vision of a meaningful and sustainable work legacy. I then act as their guide and the person who holds them accountable for doing the hard work necessary to get to the top of the mountain.

This requires me to be as committed to the leader’s success as the leader is. To achieve this necessary level of commitment, I put my “skin in the game” by connecting my compensation to our mutual success in reaching the desired outcome of the coaching process. If that doesn’t occur, I don’t get paid.

What is your goal 10 years from now?

My professional legacy rests on the success of those leaders I interact with through coaching, public speaking and writing, who, through the “pass it forward” process, then help others reach their full potential. Over the next 10 years, through this process, I hope to impact hundreds of leaders, who will then positively impact tens of thousands Team Members.

Want to learn more from Paul? Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and visit his website.



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