Patrick Powaser has been an Executive Coach and Leadership Consultant for 30 years and has helped well over a thousand individuals and a hundred companies achieve results beyond their wildest dreams.
We help individuals and organizations achieve even greater success! We're in The Business of Leadership (SM)!
Through our executive/leadership coaching services, we enable individuals to take on new jobs & careers, contribute more than they ever have before, and achieve greater success than they ever thought possible.
Our consulting services focus on helping organizations change their business results in positive, meaningful ways! We guide transformations, energize strategy, build supportive cultures, and find ways to engage employees--all so the organization (and each employee) can produce greater results!
We work across industries (Engineering, Airlines, Commercial Real Estate, Energy, Government, Military, Health Care, Financial Services, Agriculture and so on) and geographies (Hawaii, US Mainland, and International, including Middle East and Pacific Rim, among others).
In this episode
Patrick Powaser of Ho'ohana Coaching & Consulting shares a surprising insight that there is no such thing as a leadership position. Leadership doesn't come by putting someone into a "leadership position". Just because you are considered an executive or a manager does not make you a leader. Likewise, you can be a leader and not designated an executive or manager. Patrick observes that many companies make the mistake of thinking that designating a job as a leadership position means the occupant is now a leader. Although some have a higher starting point than others, development is still required for a leader to reach their full potential. Patrick reminds us that leadership positions don't exist - leadership is not a position, it's about influence and the ability to create followers. Listen to the end to get the details on two special gifts Patrick is offering our listeners
A glimpse of what you'll hear
02:21 Leadership is not about a position; it's about the role a person plays.
03:12 Disentangle leaders from executives.
04:10 Leaders are developed not born.
06:55 The difference among executives, managers, and leaders is what they focus on.
08:34 Leadership positions don't exist.
09:42 Benefits from developing leaders.
14:32 Key steps to implement a leadership development program.
17:57 Learn about Patrick. Email Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Centricity Introduction 0:04
Welcome to the Best Kept Secret videocast and podcast from Centricity. If you're a B2B service professional, use our five step process to go from the grind of chasing every sale. to keeping your pipeline full with prospects knocking on your door to buy from you. We give you the freedom of time and a life outside of your business. Each episode features an executive from a B2B services company sharing their provocative perspective on an opportunity that many of their clients are missing out on. It's how we teach our clients to get executive decision makers to buy without being salesy or spammy. Here's our host, the co founder and CEO of Centricity, Jay Kingley.
Jay Kingley 0:43
I'm Jay Kingley, co founder and CEO of Centricity. Welcome to our show, where guests share their provocative perspective on what their target market is missing out on. I'm happy to welcome to the show, Patrick Powaser, Founder and President of Ho'ohana Coaching & Consulting. Pat works with individuals and organizations to facilitate change, transformation and business success. Pat is based in Kauai, Hawaii, which shouldn't surprise us, given the name of his company. Welcome to the show, Pat.
Patrick Powaser 1:22
Thanks, Jay. Glad to be here appreciate the invitation.
Jay Kingley 1:24
I don't think there's a topic that has more words written on it from the business perspective, then leadership, every time you open up a business publication, you'll see article and article on leadership. One of the things that I've observed in my career, working from entrepreneurial startups, all the way through to very large, multinational corporations, is this sense that there are leadership positions, and that you get anointed at some point in your career, if you're lucky, I suppose, to become a leader. And all of a sudden you have people and resources under your control, and you are supposed to make magic happen. And there's very little in practice, that's done to really help people become effective leaders. And I think all of us that have spent time in corporate would say that it is a very mixed bag we work with foster tremendous leaders, we've worked with leaders that were disasters and unbalance, probably media mediocre. Patrick, what's wrong with this picture?
Patrick Powaser 2:48
There has been a tremendous amount, as you said, written about leadership. And what has happened over the years is we started to use the terms executive, manager, supervisor, interchangeably with the term leader. And they're certainly related, but they're different concepts. And once you push them together into into a ball, you kind of lose the benefits of those different roles or positions that you're in. And leadership is not about a position. It's about tha role you play.
Jay Kingley 3:24
So Patrick, let's just take two of the words that you've mentioned, which is executive and leader, I think in most companies, executives are considered the leadership of the company. You're suggesting maybe that needs to be disentangled,
Patrick Powaser 3:43
I think it would be helpful to do that. The executive is it's a box on the org chart. And typically those boxes that build up through the the organization are hinged on your kind of technical expertise, engineering, accounting, HR, communications, whatever it may be. Leadership isn't constrained by a box leadership is about bringing about positive change in an organization. And as you rise in the organization, that relative importance of being an effective leader and helping others be successful becomes more important. Not to say that your technical skills become unimportant, but it changes over time and it changes based on the level in the organization. But leadership, up and down side to side in the organization. Leaders can exist regardless of their position in the organization.
Jay Kingley 4:44
Are leaders born or leaders developed?
Patrick Powaser 4:47
Given the work that I do, they are certainly develop now do certain people come with some natural skills that that are easy to build on absolute lead to others have to work harder to develop those skills. Yeah, sure. So I think it's probably, I don't know what combination of both. But it is certainly developable, just like riding a bike is is developable you try, you fail, you learn you skin, your knee, you try again, and then it becomes second nature to you.
Jay Kingley 5:22
If I'm a senior leader in an organization, how should I be thinking about developing leaders and getting my organization being led in the right direction,
Patrick Powaser 5:39
Oftentimes, the senior positions in the in an organization, executive level C level, C suite on down, oftentimes, we'll see those individuals trying to be everything to everybody. Still, the technical experts and having their fingers in, in decisions that could have made been made further down in the organization, where they're gonna oftentimes add a lot of more value is that broader perspective, seeing how things fit together across the organization versus in their silo. You mentioned, leadership teams, may be a bit of a fallacy word from both the leadership side and the team side. But a leader will cut across those those kinds of silos in the organization, and look at how they can develop people to be impactful, regardless of their position in the organization, and to be able to cut across the different functions in an organization as well. So a senior executive, working to develop leaders in their organization, I think, I think you're looking for two things. One is can you build real depth expertise in being leaders that that there's that versatility there, especially today, in a kind of uncertain world that we're living in? And then also looking kind of, you know, broadly within the organization? Who are your leaders who are the who are the people that other workers look up to, for their influence for their expertise for their support, and developing those those folks as well. And recognizing that being a leader is in addition to the technical functional work that they're doing for the organization as well.
Jay Kingley 7:32
So Pat, is there any insight into, you know, if I looked at executives, managers, supervisors, on one hand, leaders over here, the difference in their focus?
Patrick Powaser 7:45
Executives, managers, leaders, oftentimes the focus is on that functional technical, right, the which which we often talk about the what in the organization, what are you accomplishing? What are you producing? The leadership is much more about the how. And the beauty of that is if you take those together, you get much more sustainability, you get better answers, you get better solutions. And it's really Jay It's really a multiplicative relationship. If you talk if you think about it, what time's how, and then you get this exponential kind of bump of what you're contributing to the organization. The watch out there, though, because it's multiplicative, and not additive is if you zero out either one of those, the sustainability drops significantly. So it takes effort, it takes consciousness to be able to flow back and forth between focusing on this functional stuff that I need to do, the what I'm producing, as well as how I'm influencing others in the organization, how I'm leading, productive, positive change in the organization and making that what much more sustainable, much more long term focused in the organization and also looking very broadly in not only what am I producing, but how's that affecting other people and other functions in the organization?
Jay Kingley 9:13
Should an organization look at it, if you will organization chart, and designate certain positions as leadership positions, or in fact, is leadership in an organization far more organic, and it exists on its own terms in its own dimension?
Patrick Powaser 9:35
It's interesting, Jay, in when I was still in the corporate world, we would we would talk about people when we were doing succession planning. And someone would say this person's ready for a leadership position, which to me raise red flags because there it doesn't exist. Leadership is not about the position. It's about the influence. It's about at the end of the day, it's about turning around and seeing who's following you and being impacted by the influence that you're having. So designating a leadership position in the organization chart kind of works against what the power of leadership in an organization can be, and confuses the issue. So you're not getting that, that double impact that I'm producing great stuff. And I'm leading while I do it.
Jay Kingley 10:26
When a company gets the whole leadership equation correct. And they begin to develop and nourish and nurture true leaders, and enable them to work their magic and support them, and so forth. Talk about the benefits that you've seen to organizations that have been successful doing this.
Patrick Powaser 10:49
Leadership has a direct impact on business results, whether they be financial, operational safety, employee metrics, and so on, and so forth. But leadership also impacts the culture of the organization, the personality, the what's acceptable in the organization, and all the systems around that as well. And it also impacts both of those also impact employee engagement. Is there a hook? Is there a connection to the organization beyond the paycheck number one, and number two, are employees willing to give discretionary effort 110%, right. And there's a tremendous body of research on the impact of employee engagement on those organizational outcomes as well, those key performance indicators. So for example, in financial services organization that I was working with, a new CEO comes in brilliant, brilliant mind, just visionary, wonderful, big ideas, and tried to the new CEO tried to, to combine those superpowers that he had with really running the organization, I'm the CEO, I have to do all of this, and then had the realization that, you know, this, this isn't working, I've got these great ideas, but they're not being implemented, which was not one of his key strengths, right. So you know, the light bulb goes on. And he surrounds himself with other people who have those skills, the skills to plan to implement to drive change in the organization, and the people who can translate those big ideas to the both the the employees and the customers and the community in which this, this organization sat. So the realization that I've got these things that I do really well in the organization, providing that vision, getting everybody together, and in the same bus and going in the same direction. But that's not enough. And surrounding yourself with some other people who are both leaders and who have technical skills to be able to translate that that great idea into action. So we saw him focus on those and then made a difference in their organization on some of those key key organizational results, indicators.
Jay Kingley 13:18
What about the emotional side that leadership is a tough business, enormously stressful? Not always fully appreciated by those above and below. So when you get this much more constructive, leadership approach, what happens emotionally?
Patrick Powaser 13:40
There's there's a book by Heifetz and Alinsky called Leadership Without Easy Answers. And I think that that tells the story that you just talked about, right? It's kind of lonely, when you're making some of those those decisions, that the ones that are right for the organization and write for the employees. So on that part, it takes effort, it takes thought it takes commitment to be to be an effective leader. And what we've seen over the last couple of years with COVID, is some things emerge in leadership that have kind of changed the nature of leadership, including the importance of empathy within the organization, me realizing that work from home is not just about someone wanting to not come to the our office, but realizing that they're being pulled in all kinds of different directions with their spouse, with their kids with their whatever. So as a leader, having to develop that sense of empathy, knowing that things are different knowing that the people that you work with may need something different from you some sort of different support from you and direction from you, as a leader and different understanding of the position that they're in, and all the things that they're trying to juggle. So For the last couple of years, we've seen that real emergence of empathy, along with perspective, the context that we're living in working in has changed directly, significantly, as well as a direct result of COVID as well. So leading, the way we worked has more work has morphed, and leadership has morphed as well, in order to align with the needs of the workforce and how we want to get work done in this kind of crazy work world that we're currently in
Jay Kingley 15:31
Compelling arguments for getting the leadership equation, correct. I'm running an organization, I want to improve how we're doing in terms of leadership development, what are the key things that I need to do to implement a program like this?
Patrick Powaser 15:50
There there are a number of things one is kind of the reflection on who are we as an organization, that whole culture piece? What do we value in the organization. So if you really, as an organization value, people following the orders that come from on high, we want it done this way, by this point in time, that kind of direction, you're really not talking a lot about leadership. So the personality, the substance of the organization probably needs to change to support that. So if you in that case, if you bring in someone who is both a good and outstanding functional person, producing the what, and also an outstanding leader, perhaps in a previous organization, but the environment that they're not working in doesn't support that, you know, that's probably not a real good investment. There are other investments to do beforehand. The other thing, I think, that we often see is the top of the house, the C suite executives say, We want stronger leaders, but oftentimes don't take the time to step back and say, How can I be a stronger leader? How can I model these behaviors? How can I set the standard, because as an executive, as someone in a management or supervisory role, everything you say, everything you do is being watched. So if you're saying out on one side of your mouth, we need more leaders in the organization to drive sustainability and, and connect with our employees. And then you know, the the behaviors out of the other side are Yeah, we'll cut corners where we need to and, and will allow those kinds of conversations that shouldn't happen in a workplace happen. People are seeing both of those things and seeing that, that there's incongruenty between what you're saying and what you're doing.
Jay Kingley 17:49
Pat you've really shine the bright light on this often over discussed the not well understood topic of leadership. And I think you have brought a lot of clarity to how organizations and top C suite executives need to think about this topic, we are going to take a quick break. And when we come back, we're going to learn a bit more about Pat.
Centricity Introduction 18:20
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Jay Kingley 19:18
Welcome back. We're talking to Pat Powaser of Ho'ohana Coaching & Consulting. Let's find out a bit more about you, Pat, let's start with what are the pain points that you solve for your clients? And why do they need you to get rid of the pain?
Patrick Powaser 19:35
A lot of times what I'm helping client do is for that individual to be more successful, more impactful in the organization in the coaching that I do typically in CS or for C suite clients but also helping the organization produce better results than than they currently were. And I think you know what I bring to the party is that At that objective third party view and a deep understanding of human behavior in the workplace as well. I've worked across industries and around the world. And that helps with that perspective as well.
Jay Kingley 20:13
One of the things that I never get tired of saying is that clients hire you not for what you do, but because you're great at what you do. No one wants to work with mediocre these days. So I just asked the question pretty bluntly. Pat, what makes you great at what you do?
Patrick Powaser 20:31
And I think to build on my earlier comments is, you know, I worked in the corporate world for about 25 years, different industries, I had to learn each industry as I changed. And I work to, you know, various places around the world where I would walk in with this mindset of I know the answer to this already. And then you get into that different contexts, that different geography, the different set of history and norms and culture. And yeah, you got the building blocks, but the way you're thinking about it is not going to work. So that was, you know, a number I had a number of times in my career to be able to step back and say, All right, how can I make this work? How can I partner with someone here to help me understand how to help them better? That combined with a PhD in industrial organizational psychology, which is understanding human behavior in the workplace that, that, you know, what goes on cognitively, to produce those behaviors helps to meet I have great insights into what's happening with with people and what's getting in their own way of being more successful on the job.
Jay Kingley 21:42
I encourage everybody to go to LinkedIn. Check Pat's profile, I'm sure you will be is impressed as I was eluded to some of his both educational and career achievements. But Pat, I have a slightly different question for you. I'd like to understand what happened in your life that would most explain why you do what you do?
Patrick Powaser 22:07
When I got out of graduate school. And I had my first job for whatever reason I found soon after I joined the company, people started coming to me asking for advice. Like, wow, this is kind of cool. So I would give advice. And then I would have, you know, either that same person or someone else come in ask for the same advice. So oh, this is easy. I've already done this one. Here's the here's the advice. And it got to the point where I finally realized, you know, why am I answering the question, Why am I working at this harder than they are? And how do I build the capability for them to find the answers versus me give them the answers. And this was long before kind of coaching was in its heyday, which it is today. And so I made the shift to more of coaching more of asking questions more of exploring than just giving answers. And that's carried me through my corporate career. And now to the coaching and consulting practice that I run today.
Jay Kingley 23:12
Well, I know you've impressed me, and I'm sure you have impressed our audience with your insights and how you look at leadership, your points of view on the topic, both strategic and tactically, we're gonna have a lot of people that want to reach out to you to continue the discussion. How is it that they should get in touch with you?
Patrick Powaser 23:34
The simplest way is just by email email@example.com.
Jay Kingley 23:39
And we'll put that in the show notes, including the spelling to make it easy for people to reach out. I think you've absolutely enlightened us, given us not just a different way to think about leadership. But I think it's important to say you've given us some hope. I can't imagine there are many of us that haven't worked for people in leadership roles that couldn't even spell the LEA in leadership and the power, the ability to make a great impact by having the right set of leaders take the organization to its potential is terrific. And you've established I think, your ability to help people do that. And while that's all amazing, Pat, it's just not good enough. Just not close, not not quite, you know, I am the guardian of our audience of our listeners, and they count on me to wring every ounce of value that I can out of our guests. I think you got another ounce, maybe two. So I'm thinking what can you do for our listeners, Pat?
Patrick Powaser 24:57
And Jay you know, the way that I look at that is Is that you know, the rising tide lifts all boats, right? So if I can help individuals become better leaders that helps them and helps their organizations. So what I would like to do is the the first seven, who contact me by email and say, Hey, I heard you on The Best Kept Secret. We'll we'll do a complimentary hour coaching session with them. And I think for the first 13 that reach out and say that I heard you on the podcast, we'll put you all in a drawing for a leadership assessment and give you some, some feedback on that and a debrief session on on that assessment as well. So that's going to be good for whatever organization you work for, work with, and it will be good for for those individuals as well.
Jay Kingley 25:50
I love how you drive that sense of urgency. So he's thrown the gauntlet down, listeners. So let's see how quickly we can fill the first seven in first 13 slots. Pat, thank you so much for being a guest on our Best Kept Secret show and to our listeners. Let's continue to crush it out there. Until next time.