Jamie Martin – Engineering Intention | Conversations with Coaches | Boxer Media

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Conversations with Coaches | Boxer Media

Jamie Martin is a Life and Leadership Coach who partners with people who have been going so long they have lost themselves. Working with Jamie, her clients own their power while doing the uncomfortable things they have dreamed of doing.

Jamie spent 17 years in technology – with most of it in a state of denial, overwhelm, and exhaustion. She knew it wasn’t what she wanted in life, but was in denial of what she wanted to do. She loved the idea of building things for people. The engineer in her wanted to make people’s lives better by building great products. However, something was always missing.

Our conversation today covers some of the steps on Jamie’s journey to the thriving coaching practice she has today. We also spend some time touching on a few fantastic aspects of coaching and servant leadership – intentionality, the various natures of competition, some misplaced notions of professionalism, and so much more.

Jamie also spontaneously invents a new word – “incubaking” – that I’m absolutely stealing. 🙂

To learn more about Jamie:


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Kevin Stafford 0:02
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of the conversations with coaches podcast. I’m your host, Kevin. And today I am already delighted to be talking with Jamie Martin, whose last name I think we’re going to talk about in a minute. Just curious if you made a made a comment about your last name, I tried to pronounce it in my head and I immediately gave up so I’m gonna ask you about that in a second to hold that thought. Jamie is a life and leadership coach who partners with people who have been going so long that they’ve lost themselves working with Jamie her clients own their power while doing the uncomfortable things that they’ve dreamed of doing. Pretty straightforward. pretty magical sounding pretty practical, quite frankly. So Jamie, I’m really glad you’re here

Jamie Martin 0:41
engineer and me practical.

Kevin Stafford 0:43
I love it. Oh, now I’m even more excited to get into the conversation. It’s that combination of like dream and engineering you know, the hot the high stuff and the nitty gritty the 30,000 feet and and like in the trenches. I love it. Awesome. I’m so glad to have you here. So real quick your, your maiden name is that sometimes people say like your name before you’re married?

Jamie Martin 1:05
Yes. maiden name is still something people say. Was car Chesky.

Kevin Stafford 1:11
Okay. Yeah, I can see it. Nice. Okay, it looks it looked. I have it polish.

Jamie Martin 1:17
It is very polish. Okay. Okay. It looks familiar. Yes. And I joke, I really did spend about six months before I got married. Can trying to convince my husband to keep my maiden name because I was like, Dude, there’s 1000 Martens out there. There’s not that many courtesies. It’s a trade off. And he looked at me and said, I have yet to learn to pronounce it. And I am never gonna spell it.

Kevin Stafford 1:46
But if I were to if I do if I didn’t know how to spell, like, if I knew the first five letters, you’d be the first thing to pop up on any search on any social media platform anywhere. You’d be the first name Jamie, what, but they do. Exactly. Well, let’s, let’s move out of of naming conventions and move into how you got here. Kind of a big question. But I like to phrase it in a certain way. Because there’s this process seems kind of familiar for a lot of coaches, how did you discover or realize that you were a coach? Maybe you already were one and didn’t have a word for it? Or you just decided that that was the name that describes who you are? You’re like, Oh, I think I want to do this for a living? And how did you move from that, like, realization discovery into the coaching business you have today?

Jamie Martin 2:32
Yeah, so I would say it started with first falling in love with leadership, I had the luck, I guess, of going to engineering school at Michigan. And Michigan has such a focus around leadership development, especially with the degree I went into. So I did industrial operations engineering, which is very process oriented engineering. But as a result, they added a lot of entrepreneurship courses into that. So I got a chance to dig, actually dive into that. And a lot of what we were talking about was leadership. And so I had all these different opportunities show up that I took advantage of, including I went to Leadershape, which is an organization that really does about I think it’s about a week long, intensive off site camp for college students to learn about leadership. And it was incredible. And I ended up doing it the second year as a facilitator. And that’s when I started being like, Ooh, I like this. This is interesting. But of course, you know, the practical side of me, which we’ve talked about wanted to be like, I’m going to do something with my degree, I should do something with my degree. And I ended up in software. But that piece of me that really loved developing and looking at that, that bigger picture of what we can do with our lives, and how do we shift out of where we are always was there. And interested in me in like diving forward. So I might one of my mom’s friends actually is a coach. And so I learned pretty early on probably in my mid 20s, about coaching. And every few years I tap on the shoulder does tell me about this coaching thing. I’m really think that that’s that’s me. But I always kept holding myself back because I was like, I’m not ready. I’m not ready. I’m not ready. And then I mean, the world shows you all the signs. I was constantly asked in the hallways from people. Hey, can I talk to you about my career? Can I talk to you about this random situation at work that has nothing to do with your job? Right. So I was always being pulled into these conversations and being pulled into leadership. I kid you not even when I wanted to step back and out of it. I took a job. I was intentional of not being in a leadership role. When I got hired. Within six months I was promoted and I was like well there goes that idea.

Kevin Stafford 4:57
It’s a little break Often we’re so often the last ones to see it or Alaska to accept it

Jamie Martin 5:02
I was the last one to accept it. Yes. And so I finally said to myself a few a couple years ago, well, I actually the world gave me the opportunity because I ended up in a very toxic environment where I was leading the product team. And the organization was very toxic. It was just one of those environments where the competition that was being played out was just all about like backstabbing. And I looked at my husband one day, and I said, this, this isn’t death. You know, what my vision is, is to really start to empower people. I’m a servant leader. First and foremost, foremost, I had my boss, tell me that he said to me, Jamie, you are the only servant leader. I know. And I know a lot of them a lot of people who call themselves servant leaders. This is from a CTO. Yeah, it gives you perspective. And so that really resonated to me. I was like, Oh, I’m not doing what I should be doing. So I sat down with my husband, I said, that coaching thing I’ve been mulling over for 17 years, it’s time, it’s time to do it. And he said, Oh, go ahead, go do it already.

Kevin Stafford 6:17
Everybody else already knows,

Jamie Martin 6:19
already knows, you know, and he was so supportive of it. I was like, Alright, let’s do it.

Kevin Stafford 6:25
I love the timeline on that, because he really, and it’s, this is so true. I mean, this is true, regardless of whether or not you had jumped immediately at first blush, where you were like, where you first got that notion and went for it. Or if you know, however long it takes, you’re still you’re always on that journey. And I find like, pretty much without exception that I can think of every coach I talked to, is on some stage in that journey. And some of them somehow, like knew immediately, or circumstances just worked out. But whether it’s like the moment they realized that they began a war, or they like they set off on that particular leg of the journey, but the moment you realize is the moment you begin, and every coach still has this, this sense of discovery and exploration, you know, they’re still on their own journey, even as they’ve figured out how to share it with others in a way that actually helps other people on their journey, you know, doing the translation work, and the inspiration work and the and the guiding. But yeah, every every single coach, like I love, I love the arc of the journey and how it’s always ongoing. And there’s still that sense of discovery and a sense of promise and going forward that I just, I find it quite intoxicating. One of the reasons I love talking to coaches so much, Oh, I totally

Jamie Martin 7:26
is it’s one of those where I have a ton of coaches in my my circle that I use for for kind of that reflection and being like, Oh, there’s more for me to discover, Oh, I gotta unpack this part of me and, and keep unfolding it and growing. And as I grow, I actually give more access to my clients to grow, which I love because it’s just like, oh, did you know this little tip, I just, I just learned this from my coach today, like that right in my mirror. So I’m gonna flip it right back to you.

Kevin Stafford 7:57
I love that. I often, very often probably too often find myself coming back to this analogy for the coaching industry. rising tide raises all boats. And it really like a lot of a lot of collegiality among certain industries and groups and whatever whatever you’re doing in life and the world will claim something like that, like all out for each other, you know, we’re here to serve, we’re here to grow together. But with coaching, it is it is the is the heart and soul. Every coach I’ve spoken to believes not only in what they’re doing, but what everybody else is a coach is doing. If they acknowledged they might not be the right coach for a certain person. And then they immediately have like three or 30 recommendations for coaches of the day. No, that might be good for the person you’re talking to. It’s it is really just this rising tide raises all boats for the coaches for people being coached, to giving the receiving service. It’s really beautiful. And I know I’m kind of painting a poetic picture. But it truly is if you’ve if you’ve if you’ve gotten a taste of it at all, it really is magical.

Jamie Martin 8:55
Oh, it is and I’m getting tingles just when listening to you talk about it. Because that’s, I think that that’s one of the things that I didn’t expect when I went into coaching, because I was so used to being in a cutthroat industry. I was in technology advertising technology for most of my career. And it is cutthroat and there’s a lot of leaders who are command and control or the competition isn’t healthy. And it’s not really about rising the boat. And even talking about competition. You know, it’s interesting, I think coaching is a great way to showcase what I was trying to explain to my past jobs that we shouldn’t actually look at competition. Because when we look at competitors, we’re just trying to notch up a little bit. And if you look at some of the best minds in the world, they were looking hundreds of years out as to who we will be as a society as humans. They were looking at how do we best ourselves and human society not how do we best the company next door? And that I think is what coaches do. We’re looking at how do we actually raise the floor for all humans.

Kevin Stafford 10:04
That was that was literally Those were the words that were in my head that we’re going to come up with. That’s another one of my very favorite analogies around ways to understand the word like competitive analysis can be useful. Like, you know, technically speaking from a professional standpoint, however, what you’re doing is raising your floor, you’re basically finding the minimum viable amount or thing that you can do, and going one notch above that. And that’s, you know, it’s good to know where that floor is just to get the lay, the lay of the land is where I like to call it, it’s good to know where that’s at. But to base your efforts on that you are limiting yourself, you are you’re looking to do the minimum, which is absolutely not what coaching is all about coaching is about it is about finding whatever the maximum is, and then seeing what’s past it, you know, finding exploring the studio space, so to speak, you know, and I love that that kind of makes, again, it’s it really does, it kind of makes me think like that to thinking about it, because that understanding that and here’s another one too, I’m just full of analogies today. So another one that I’ve loved is that instead of competition I like that the iron sharpening iron, I think it’s like a biblical thing like some some some Bible thing where it’s like As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. And I, I always thought that was like a nice little poetic sentence or whatever it was, like us kind of needed way we just kind of make each other better. And then it took me a while before I began to apply that to what would otherwise be like competitive environments and the way some people are looking through competition to defeat everyone, as opposed to sharpening themselves and those around them, welcoming it, not as a competition for someone who wins and everybody else loses. But just as a way to grow stronger together. You know, I’m still shaking on that learning that lesson.

Jamie Martin 11:39
For sure. It’s interesting. You said that, because that’s one of my first experiences with competition in that way was one of my first jobs that double click, and it didn’t take it took me 10 years after to realize that that was what was happening. Because the product leaders in the organization, it was all about how to, if I move my product forward? Well, I can’t there’s such different lines of product and industry that they couldn’t actually compete to defeat. But they had to compete to one bust each other, and one bust each other as to like, how many, how many? How much revenue? Did we bring in? Oh, we brought in this much right? It wasn’t about degrading the other one it was, we all have enough. And I thought it was such a great way to showcase it. They had no idea that they were doing this. I mean, I loved the guys, but there was no intentionality in this competition. It was truly competition as if they were siblings, right. But when you when I was able to take the step back, I was like, wow, they were really like you said, sharpening each other’s iron.

Kevin Stafford 12:44
And there’s that that’s exactly where a coach comes in. Because some people will do this, many people will do these things that are the exact like right way to go about doing something where it’s like, everybody’s working out, everyone’s serving each other, but they don’t know what they’re doing. They’re just got lucky or they have the you know what, they just kind of discovered it themselves. But a coach can do and I like I like that word intentionality, identify it, articulate it, actually be able to talk about it, get your hands around your mind around it, and then do it intentionally. And that’s, that’s the next level, as in my opinion. And that’s, again, why I love coaching so much, and why I feel like it’s a draw to people like you is you see that, like, I see how you can do this not by accident, not by pure luck, although luck is always involved. Let’s talk about how we can do this intentionally. Let’s and quite literally, and I love that you have the engineering background, too, because this is also a huge part of coaches, too. It’s the it is the system, the plan, the framework, the blueprints, and it’s that guidance and adaptability, that agility that kind of rolling with it identifying a personalization that makes the whole experience very unique even as it’s applying a proven system that works. Like it’s gonna keep gushing at you all day.

Jamie Martin 13:53
Well, it’s funny, because somebody, you know, somebody asked me, How does Product Management? Because that was where I really focused my career and how does that match up with with coaching and I was like, it’s the same framework. Because as a product manager, if I’m doing product management in the purest form, it’s most most organizations don’t do I will put up there, they don’t get poor product managers do not get the time or the quality to do this or the support to do this. But what they’re doing is actually stepping into the the clients space and saying, let’s dig further. And one of my favorite examples is we did this at one of my organizations, and we had a client ask us for a custom report. And we kept asking, well tell us what you’re going to use it for. Very similar to a coaching question. And as we kept asking, and going further and further down, we found out that what they were doing was they were asking for a custom report for a custom process that they built for another vendor. And when we got to the end report, we were like we can give you that end report. We can give you this and so it’s the same kind of art. Ha, an exploration that you go through with coaching is, let’s dig a little further. Oh, you mean that what I’m doing with my parents over here is what I’m doing with my boss over there. Oh my gosh. Okay, so now I can be intentional about shifting that and shifting my realization or even shifting, oh, my boss is actually lashing out at me not because of me. There’s something else going around. Now I can be intentional about how I how I receive that person’s energy.

Kevin Stafford 15:32
I like I like the the use of the R word receive, as opposed to react. I will receive because there’s there’s choice there. There’s there is reaction in that in that stew. But it’s not only reaction that I’ve received. It’s I love that. I love that.

Jamie Martin 15:50
About intentionality. It really is there’s actually a

Kevin Stafford 15:52
viewer, while you were talking I was I was reminded of a coach I spoke to a few months ago, who I’m still in love with this man. Like any chance I get to talk to him I do he just he’s one of those people who just makes you feel really calm and strong just just from talking to him. And he’s so warm and sweet. But anyway, I’ll stop gushing about him. But he he likes he’d want to hit his his bay that would knock your socks off when he’s first like getting to know a client is he in one way or another however, comes out? He basically says to them, I’m not here to answer your questions. I’m here to question your answers.

Jamie Martin 16:24
I can just listen to that podcast that you did.

Kevin Stafford 16:28
When we were talking, he said it that way. And it was one of those where like, I’m a host. And so I’m like, you know, I’m I have to be I have to be a little afraid of dead air. But I just wanted to sit with it. It was so like I had to like, I wanted to stay in the conversation. But then I spent like, you know, a good chunk of the rest of my evening. It’s kind of sitting, I went back and re listen to it and kind of thought about some of these, because it’s just one of those things where it’s like, yep, that is it in a way that both. It’s both like very succinct and complete in and of itself is an idea. And also gets you asking so many other follow up questions and like, has this planning the rest of the other areas of my life, you know, and I loved your story too about that, like project management story that really has a lot to say about how you move through your life personally, and your family, your relationship, professionally, your career, all of it. And it’s like it’s, it’s there. It’s all there waiting for you. Or for a guide, a coach, perhaps, to come and show you where all these stories are. And we’re heading where you can put the work in, man?

Jamie Martin 17:24
Well, and it’s interesting, because when you were saying that quote, again, what hit me is I I keep going back to the business person side of this conversation. And I’m like, wow, wouldn’t it be brilliant for people who are trying to be innovators? to actually do what he said? Question the answers, because that’s where innovation is really gonna land. That’s where it’s the magic meets the road is when it’s like, well, let’s question that answer. And then we go deeper, and we go deeper. And now spark all of a sudden, we’ve got a brand new product that changes the world.

Kevin Stafford 18:00
I could stay in this vein of conversation all day, like all day, but I’m like, I haven’t even asked you about what your what your business what your practice looks like today. So I want to, though it pains me greatly. I want to pivot slightly and give you at least a little a few minutes. Before we go. Let’s talk about I mean, you’re here. Now what is your coaching practice look like today? Who do you typically coach? And how do you typically coach them? Like, you know, one on one group, you know, keynote speeches? I don’t know if you have any courses that you run all the above like some and who do you kind of focus on these days in your practice? Yeah, most

Jamie Martin 18:29
of who I who shows up in my space right now, I am intentional about that. Because I I’ve noticed that there’s a shift in who shows up over time. But most of them are women. And I was intentional about targeting women when I left technology, primarily because quite frankly, I was I was ready to be surrounded by women. I was surrounded by guys for a very long

Kevin Stafford 18:53
time guys in tech. So Daizen tech,

Jamie Martin 18:54
yes, I’m surrounded by. Yes, thank you. I love them all dearly. But I needed some space for some women. So I primarily work with women in technology. I do see veering of that a little bit off of the tech side of things. And my work really is a combination of one on one coaching. That’s my primary coaching but I am starting to do some foray into group coaching. And I do a ton of speaking. So I speak at I’m actually speaking at Elevate shortly here. I’m speaking at the Association of Women. Is it I was going to butcher this accounting financial Association for Women

Kevin Stafford 19:43
right. into my head was like no, it doesn’t say it’s not a word. It’s just letters.

Jamie Martin 19:50
A lot of letters. So I do a ton of speaking and a lot of my speaking you know has been around making time for your goals overcoming feedback, but I’m starting to open up to things like trusting in leadership, like how do you build trust as a leader? What does that look like? In a few other topics that I’m I’m incubating incubating right now.

Kevin Stafford 20:13
I heard I heard the word that he might be incubating which I’m I am stealing. I do that I do that all the time like that what they call a mage and a portmanteau. I think it’s when you take two words and mash them together and make a new word, whether on purpose or an accident, and I do it accidentally all the time. And incubating is probably my new favorite one. I’m gonna go I’m gonna go upstairs later on when I like go bake a cake to probably tomorrow.

Jamie Martin 20:41
It’s my first cake this weekend.

Kevin Stafford 20:43
Oh, congratulation. It’s as an engineer, I feel like baking would appeal. Definitely. There’s a precision to it, of timing and ingredients and everything that woof it’s very, it scratches a really good edge for me. Oh, yeah,

Jamie Martin 20:55
I used to love baking bread. That was so cathartic and lovely. I have a two year old though. So I

Kevin Stafford 21:06
barely have time to eat bread, let alone bake bread.

Jamie Martin 21:08
Exactly. A lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in my in my life right

Kevin Stafford 21:13
now. Well, speaking of that, although I would love to keep you and steal you for much longer. I should let you go. But before I do, where can people? Well, another two part question Where can people learn more about you what you do? Who you are? And also where can people best connect with you? I know maybe like there might be a website or somewhere where it’s a good time to get to know who you are and what you do and how you do it. But where do you like to make new connections? start conversations with new clients or prospects or other coaches. So yeah, what do you where do you go to find out more about you? And where do you connect,

Jamie Martin 21:45
so people can find out more about me at Jamie Martin coaching.com. Pretty simple. And then I’m on LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook. I would say Instagram and LinkedIn are the best places you can actually if you’re in the professional world, LinkedIn is a great place to find out far more about me and my history and my coaching. So that’s for both Instagram and LinkedIn. It’s Jamie Martin coaching also, and then LinkedIn it’s Jamie Martin. Chesky

Kevin Stafford 22:20
There you go. Look, you put in the first like five letters of that last name Paradiski you’ll find only you well, Jamie, this has been an absolute delight. I just want to thank you for being here. That’s it like like I said, I totally could have kept you for longer I might just have to reach out and have you back on for part two just so we can do some more of that like concept stuff that comes up work and stories, stories stories from the from the from the frontline, so to speak.

Jamie Martin 22:46
I would love to join you again. All right, well, thank

Kevin Stafford 22:48
you and to the audience. I hope you had at least a half a bit of time as I did because then you had a really good time. So find out more about Jamie connect with her reach out she’s obviously really fun to talk to and I have a feeling you can learn a lot. So reach out connect and we will talk to you again very soon.

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