Leadership Interview: Martin Garcia ‘Believe in the Potential’

Martin Garcia

Martin says every coach should believe in the potential of their coachees. I worked with him on the Coaching Master Class programme in Maersk Line PRN Qingdao North China in 2012 where he was head of HR. ‘Coaching for Potential’ is one of the workshops I run as part of this programme. Martin worked very hard at the time to create a culture of constructive feedback and coaching among his peers in the management team. In this article Martin draws on his professional experience to help us see why it is so important for a coach to believe in the potential of people.

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They’re not Millennial’s they’re people!

Let’s be clear from the outset, I love technology – it’s exciting, cool (two things I’m not), saves time, keeps us informed and offers us unbridled access to the accumulated knowledge of humanity at the touch of a button.

My worry is that we’re developing such a thirst for the speed of interaction, like a hit of adrenaline that we’re missing out on the richness of the experience and the value it can bring.

Don’t worry, I’m not about to launch into a diatribe about the evils of Facebook – although I do think there’s a case to answer – what I worry about is this trend for “liking”, “tweeting” and “sharing”, rather than reading and understanding!

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The curse of the accidental manager

On July 12th, the FT published an article headlined “The UK’s productivity problem: the curse of the ‘accidental manager”, you can find it here – https://www.ft.com/content/b96ce8f2-5dd9-11e8-ad91-e01af256df68.

Are pork pies good for you?

It is somewhat disquieting to read that the “Peter principle”, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_principle, continues to thrive in UK business.  Our poor productivity performance arises because too many people gain promotion into managerial roles beyond their level of natural competence.  However, in the firm featured in the FT article performance is improving.

It strikes me, however, that simply hanging up figures of Superman (is this unconscious bias by the firm’s leaders?), and doling out pork pies are rather superficial practices.  The only likely outcome of this epicurean approach is hardened arteries.

The firm’s performance growth is due to its managers doing something much more profound, i.e. the way they “serve” their employees, see Robert Greenleaf’s Servant Leadership, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Power-Servant-Leadership-Robert-K-Greenleaf/dp/1576750353/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1531821205&sr=8-3&keywords=robert+greenleaf.

At the simplest level, they should be talking to their employees as equal partners striving for success.  When this is achieved, I hope they’re rewarded with more than cholesterol laden pies!

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Totito’s space (The comfort zone)

“In order to prove to yourself what you are capable of doing, you need to step out your comfort zone, otherwise you are limiting yourself and you will never grow”, sounds familiar?.

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Resistance to Change and the role of the Coach

To you as a leader it’s Business Transformation. To people at the sharp end of the business it means Change. And many people don’t like the thought of forthcoming change – in fact they fear it, or put another way are change resistant. And many times when the change arrives they suffer a feeling of deep loss – like mourning. So what is the role of the Leadership Coach in a period of business transformation and change?

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What You Think You Deserve vs. What You Have Earned. A Tale about Hard Work

I was resting before my next fight during my latest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament when a mother of one of the kids, who was competing in the children’s competition,  approached me, looking quite desperate, looking for feedback she told me that she needed my help.  Her son had just lost his first fight against a more skillful kid and she insisted on showing me the video of her son’s fight to see if I could give her tips on how to improve his technique.  Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a sport that does not believe in talent. One improves by training constantly. There is no secret formula for overnight improvement, just like life.  I looked at her and noticed that she was very concerned and recommended that she should have a talk with her son’s coach to understand the process and let him take care of his progress.  She replied, “I want to help him but I do not know how”.  I am also a father and completely understood her position.  We do not want our kids to go through unnecessary hardship.

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Leadership Interview: Jennifer Yao ‘My Experience as a Coachee’

Jennifer Yao

The voice of the Coachee. This article is another chapter in an ongoing story about how coaching is Blooming in Shanghai. One year ago I published the article about Key Account Sales Manager Tracy Zhi’s experience as a Coachee. Staying with the same team in Shanghai, in February and March of this year I featured articles about Jerry Chen’s ‘Best’ and ‘Most Challenging’ coaching sessions with his direct report is an account manager Jennifer Yao.

Now it’s Jennifer Yao’s turn to tell her story. We hear from the person being coached. So listen up again Leadership Coaches; see what you can learn from Jennifer’s experience as a Coachee.

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Leadership Learning Log Case Study 2 ‘Best’ Session: Jerry Chen & Jennifer Yao, Shanghai

The Leadership Learning Log is a journal which evidences learning and skills development. It is not just a diary or record of ‘what you have done’, but more to the point it is a record of what you have learnt, tried and critically reflected upon.

I use the Leadership Learning Log in my Coaching Master Class (CMC) programme as a tool to follow up the training. I call this ‘Activity 1: Looking Back’. At the end the training I challenge participants to run up to five substantial pre-planned coaching sessions over the following six week period. I ask them to select two of these sessions for self-assessment – the ‘Best’ and the ‘Most Challenging’ – and answer the questions in the Leadership Learning Log for each session. This is their preparation for our first on-to-one coach-the-coach session.

For this article we go back to my friend Allen Tu in Shanghai. Allen is KCGFF Sales Team Leader for Maersk (China) Shipping Co and he attended my Coaching Master Class (CMC) programme in 2011. Using my material he kicked off his ‘Buddy’ Coaching programme in 2016 for his direct report sales managers. One of those managers is Jerry Chen who is the senior manager focussing on Electronic key clients. And Jennifer Yao is an account manager reporting in to Jerry.

In this second article about their coaching experience, we look at how Jerry used the Leadership Learning Log self-assessment questions to reflect on his ‘Best’ case coaching session with Jennifer.

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The “H” Factor

 

The Journey of Digitalization

In the last six months, I have been involved in the journey of digitalization. I am very passionate about it as there is no limit to what can be achieved when a large group of professionals get together and commit themselves to do things that have not been done before in the shipping business.  However, this journey also brings an opportunity to start thinking about the role of humans in this process.

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Leadership Learning Log Case Study 1 ‘Most Challenging’ Session: Jerry Chen & Jennifer Yao, Shanghai

The Leadership Learning Log is a journal which evidences learning and skills development. It is not just a diary or record of ‘what you have done’, but more to the point it is a record of what you have learnt, tried and critically reflected upon.

I use the Leadership Learning Log in my Coaching Master Class (CMC) programme as a tool to follow up the training. I call this ‘Activity 1: Looking Back’. At the end the training I challenge participants to run up to five substantial pre-planned coaching sessions over the following six week period. I ask them to select two of these sessions for self-assessment – the ‘Best’ and the ‘Most Challenging’ – and answer the questions in the Leadership Learning Log for each session. This is their preparation for our first on-to-one coach-the-coach session.

For this article we go back to my friend Allen Tu in Shanghai. Allen is KCGFF Sales Team Leader for Maersk (China) Shipping Co and he attended my Coaching Master Class (CMMC) programme in 2011. Using my material he kicked off his ‘Buddy’ Coaching programme in 2016 for his direct report sales managers. One of those managers is Jerry Chen who is the senior manager focussing on Electronic key clients. And Jennifer Yao is an account manager reporting in to Jerry.

In this first article about their coaching experience, we look at how Jerry used the Leadership Learning Log self-assessment questions to reflect on his ‘Most Challenging’ coaching session with Jennifer.

Continue reading “Leadership Learning Log Case Study 1 ‘Most Challenging’ Session: Jerry Chen & Jennifer Yao, Shanghai”