Jody Michael – Leading Lightly | Conversations with Coaches | Boxer Media

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Conversations with Coaches | Boxer Media

Jody is the author of Leading Lightly, and the CEO of Jody Michael Associates, a premier coaching company specializing in executive coaching, leadership development, and career coaching. She is an internationally credentialed Master Certified Coach, Board Certified Coach, psychotherapist, and Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

Her coaching philosophy stems from a combination of formal training in psychology from the University of Chicago, mentorship under Fernando Flores (the “father of ontological coaching”), and a 15-year career in corporate leadership at a global financial firm.

She understands first-hand the obstacles that often stand in the way of effective leadership, as well as the best methods to overcome them and maximize performance. Most importantly, she knows that even a small change can yield profound results over both the short-term and farther down the road.

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Kevin Stafford 0:00
Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of the conversations with coaches Podcast. I’m still drinking coffee, don’t worry, but we’ve changed the name slightly to be a little bit more literal minded because sometimes we record in the afternoons and an afternoon coffee can completely wreck your day. I’m your host, Kevin, still the same, still over caffeinated. And today I have the pleasure of having with me, Jody, Michael. Jody is the author of leading lately, which is coming out here very soon, actually may already be out by the time you hear this, and is the CEO of Jodi Michael and Associates, a premier coaching company specializing in executive coaching, leadership development and career coaching. She’s an internationally credentialed master certified coach, board certified coach, psychotherapist, and licensed clinical social worker. Jody, thank you so much for being on the podcast today. I really appreciate your time today.

Jody Michael 0:49
Kevin, thank you for inviting me. I’m delighted to be here.

Kevin Stafford 0:53
Let’s let’s go ahead and start at least or at least briefly touch on your your superhero origin story, as it were, how did you get your start as a coach, maybe it was like a process of discovery where you realize that you were a coach, but maybe you hadn’t called it that yet. Or someone just told you, you know, maybe you should do this thing that you’re doing for a living. So how did you get your start there and then transition into having your own coaching business.

Jody Michael 1:16
That’s an interesting story. It was the mid 80s. I was working for Goldman Sachs in the finance industry. I was poised to get my MBA when a friend called me and said, You’re not going to get your MBA, you need to take tomorrow off, fly to California, join me at Stanford University and hear this man, Dr. Fernando Flores give this talk I heard him give today. He’s going to blow you away. He’s pitching this three year ontological business design course. And he’s calling it an alternative MBA. So let me tell you, Kevin, I was skeptical. But okay, I trust my friend, I flew out. Within 10 minutes of hearing this man talk. I knew I wasn’t getting my MBA, I was going to do this three year immersive course. Well, that course. And that man, Fernando Flores along with Julio coolala of Newfield network, were who trained me and who are now considered the fathers of Ontological Coaching. And you got to understand at that time, there was no such thing. As this thing we call now executive coaching, it wasn’t in the vernacular. And those of us who took that course, we’re simply I guess, you might say, you know, we were in the creation of the cusp of this new profession. And we were being trained by these two really brilliant men who ended up being pioneers in the coaching field. And so that’s what it was like back then. So I brought what I learned to those three years, in those three years to my leadership role, I was still in finance. And I used those skills to just be a leader and develop and transform those leaders who worked under me. And then in 1997, I did three things simultaneously, I love finance, I started my own coaching company. And I went to University of Chicago, as you mentioned, to become a licensed psychotherapist, because I just felt, you know, what wasn’t adequately covered still isn’t adequately covered today. And coach training that I think is super important is just human behavior and psychology. So it gave me that foundation as well.

Kevin Stafford 3:19
That’s lovely. I love the way that you just naturally requesting towards what you might call a holistic approach, basically, an approach that brings everything under one umbrella because you hit it right on the head, a lot of a lot of coaches will speak rightly, about empathy, and understanding emotionally where someone is, and various different kinds of coaches, they’ll have various kinds of trainings, various backgrounds, some of them will be well, they’ll come from engineering, some of them will come from different kinds of sciences, some of them will come just from, you know, leadership development and executive roles themselves, etc. But I feel like there is a little bit of no lack, but it’s definitely not as common to find someone who has made the commitment to discover how the human brain works, how the how the mind works, and then learn that in such a way and apply that into their own executive and leadership development principles and practices. I feel like that’s, I was gonna say, fascinating. It’s more than fascinating. I feel like it’s, it’s it’s insightful. It’s pointing out that you realize that that would be a key element of your understanding that long ago and have folded it into your practice.

Jody Michael 4:22
Yeah, well, I took very seriously that in front of me, or the lives of people. And I felt like I want to be as competent as I can, and respectful of their time and their energy and just make sure I really know what I’m doing.

Kevin Stafford 4:41
I love that. It’s the kind of commitment that I find is it’s common in coaches, but is still rare and uncommon and delightful to find in a human being is that desire, that self improvement, not as its own end, but just like you want to be as good as the thing that you’re doing as possible. For yours. Of course, but it’s an in service of everyone that you were trying to help. It’s just it’s a lovely. It’s just a lovely way to live. So it’s just a lovely way to live. And it’s also a very, very effective way to coach, which let’s talk about that. And let’s talk about that through the lens of your book, which I love the title, by the way, leading lightly. I’m a sucker for alliteration, but I’m more of a sucker for that kind of concept. So talk to me talk to us about this book, what it’s about where it comes from, what its purpose is, and just Yeah, speak on it.

Jody Michael 5:36
Yeah. So I, I built this methodology that I talked about in the book called Mind mastery. And I’ve used it for over 20 years. So during those 20 years, I’ve refined it, I’ve brought it into over 40,000 coaching sessions, with executive leaders. And all of that is in my book, all that applied research, the actual process I’ve been using. And what the book does is walks you through our neuroscience based process that coaches individuals to build their mental fitness exponentially faster than they could on their own. And it really helps you uncover how you’re unwittingly sabotaging yourself, sabotaging your performance, how you’re making work and life just more painful than it needs to be. And we also have an app that I want to mention in the marketplace, it’s been out for 10 years, it’s called Mind mastery for mental fitness. And that was the first transformational Lee based coaching app in the marketplace. And anyone can download the front end of it for free. Clients and coaches who take my full day, my mastery workshop also have full access to the app. And that’s where they reap the full benefits that are going to enable you to truly rewire your brain because that’s at the core of the work that transformational work.

Kevin Stafford 6:57
I love Well, I feel like I’m saying this a lot. I love that. It’s a concept that’s very near and dear to my own. To my own heart, or my own brain, my own core, is when I realized, I allowed myself to fully admit that there was it wasn’t just that I had like places to go and places to grow in my life. It’s that there were some some wiring that was crossed for whatever the reasons were, however, it happened whenever it happened, just kind of looking at my own, like, you know, extending the metaphor, my internal circuitry and realizing that, you know, some of this is just powers go into the wrong places. There are sparks in places, there shouldn’t be sparks that sometimes cause fires, you know, fires, aka, you know, emotional intellectual relationship kind of turmoil and trauma and damage. And so I just let us looking at it like that was really, it was, I mean, it was life changing, to put it mildly, to realize that it was to continue to grow and to seek the new and the next, as it pertains to who I was as a person how I was going to be in this world, but also acknowledging very wholeheartedly and very squarely, that there was just some rewiring that needed to happen. And I love, I love that you are addressing that directly.

Jody Michael 8:05
Well, you know, at the core, this is a frightening statistic that I read a while back, and it is that 95% of people think they’re self aware, and only 10 to 15% are, that’s from the book insights, Tasha Urich. And even this is true, though, even in my executive coaching, when I get someone with high emotional intelligence, they actually aren’t self aware enough to build the mental fitness, they need to be Teflon, so that no matter what’s coming at them during the course of the day, they’re not triggered, they’re not reactive, they’re not defensive, they’re not taking it personally. And that is, you know, in the book, we are really walking you through a process for you, the coach, you know, to be able to build a higher level of self awareness. But, of course, most importantly, that we’re enable enabling our clients to do that quickly. Right? That’s powerful.

Kevin Stafford 9:06
It’s very powerful. And obviously, there’s, there’s the acceptance, that this kind of change, this kind of growth is a lifelong journey. But you know, that’s, that’s easy to say. And it’s also, you know, it’s relatively important to acknowledge, and it can happen, like very soon, like, close to now, it could begin now, but it can move quickly. And I don’t think enough people realize just how fast they can achieve the kinds of dramatic life changes. Oh, development that can happen. I don’t think enough people know how fast it can happen with the right with the right approach.

Jody Michael 9:37
Absolutely. And we get people all the time, who individuals walk out and go, if you would have told me what I would have walked out with when we started a year ago or whatever it was, I wouldn’t have believed you. I would have thought you were the greatest sales woman in the world. But I have literally had spouses call me and say What have you done with my husband? He’s better than the man I Not every 30 years ago. And it’s sticky, it stays when you’re doing that deep systemic work. It’s not tactical, it is really changing someone’s beliefs, perspectives, attitudes, the way they see the world, the way they respond to it, and that that’s powerful. It’s life changing.

Kevin Stafford 10:21
It really is. And yes, it is, it is tough. In fact, it is unbelievable, that you can do such deep work at such speed, which is why you know, you say it, but then you’re like, you know what, come on in for come on in for a minute, let’s, let’s talk you’ll get, you’ll kind of see what the path is. And let’s just walk it together. And you won’t believe I just, I kind of loved like letting people that was like, You’re not gonna believe this, but it’s true. So let’s go, let’s go on a journey together, proving it.

Jody Michael 10:48
And really, and I know, all coaches feel this way, it’s just such a hard sale to make to people because they want to purchase a car, they want to purchase a TV, they want something tangible that they can see. So they really think like, oh, you’re marketing them, you know, that this can’t be that worthwhile. And it’s expensive. Let’s not kid ourselves. So, you know, it’s one of the things I think the profession, you know, has a difficult time getting people to really understand at the backend, and here’s the other funny thing, as we all know, is when I come into this, I don’t know where we’re gonna go. So I can’t tell them where we’re going to change. And in fact, what they’re presenting to me might not be exactly what we’re working on. Because I can work in another area that will have a domino effect. And we’ll get multiple things handled instead of the one tiny little avenue that they want to go down when they’re coming in.

Kevin Stafford 11:43
Yeah, they’re not, they’re not when they’re when people are investing in themselves, you’re not buying the mountain, you are hiring a Sherpa to guide you to find the path that will that will change and adapt based on whether based on when based on your own fitness based on where you’re, it’s, there’s all these factors. And that’s that is the value of coaching. And I feel pretty strongly and I’m seeing this firsthand that more and more people are, are understanding the value of coaching in their lives. And that it is like an investment. One coach talk was telling me that she sometimes referred to it as like the way a gym membership used to just have a gym membership, sky. I mean, obviously, the gyms haven’t existed, you know, for all that long. But there was definitely a period where people realize that, oh, yeah, I spend money on myself, my body, my physical, you know, health and well being that’s going to pay dividends for me now and later. And I feel like there is a similar raising of the profile of coaching and that you can do that same kind of investing, where you spend sometimes a lot of money, it’s an investment, and it will pay you off now, and it will pay you off in the future. And I feel like more and more people are realizing that and it’s just it’s fantastic to see.

Jody Michael 12:51
Yeah. And really, when you think about it, you’re building a legacy. Because when you these individuals change and their parents, let’s just say I’m always coaching them on coaching their kids, too, because it’s like, look, you can start now to build that little Teflon kid. So when they come into their teens, and it’s social media, and all that peer pressure is coming at them, they’re not taking it in, they can weather those storms, right?

Kevin Stafford 13:20
I love that resiliency, I like that. It’s a word that I come across in my daily life and realize I’m Oh, I’m thinking about my resiliency, or I’m thinking about someone else’s resiliency, or I’m thinking about the resiliency of an idea, you know, the way it like can can weather the storms. And also it’s almost made stronger by the testing. You know, yeah, I just, it’s a

Jody Michael 13:44
great, yeah, you know, people fail to get that they, you know, when you talk to people, they think they get stressed, they think they get overwhelmed. And it’s like, no, no, you create stress, you create overwhelm. And so when they can have that, that we can be a catalyst to shift that blindness on how they’re doing that, right. I mean, their whole day, the same day, they’re in the same company, the same boss, etc. Nothing has changed externally. But internally when you’ve changed, it’s very different. And in this day and time that we live in right now. Wow. Is resilience and leading lightly important.

Kevin Stafford 14:27
I love talking to you. I love speaking with you. I love listening to you. We’ve already been talking for well over 15 minutes now. I should give you an opportunity to tell the audience where people can find out more about you more about your coaching where they can connect with you more about your book when they could buy it. Yeah, tell everybody all the things.

Jody Michael 14:47
There’s what you need to know. Go to my website. That’s the best place. It’s Jody Jodi with a Y, Michael mi ch AE L and no s at the end. and sign up for my eblasts. It comes out every other week. It’s very educational coaches would love it. They’re rich, they’re educational. You can link in with me. The book comes out on June 28. And, yeah, I’d love you to take a look. It is very rich and conversationally written. So you will connect.

Kevin Stafford 15:24
Love a nice little folding into the theme of this podcast conversations with coaches, I am so grateful to have gotten to talk to you today. I don’t want to take up much more of your time because obviously, I mean you’re in, you’re in the lead up to a book launch, as well as you know, your normal busy life going on. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much for being with us today. I am very I’m overwhelmed a little bit with gratitude for getting to talk with you even for the short time.

Jody Michael 15:46
Oh, thank you, Kevin. It was delightful. And I appreciate the invitation.

Kevin Stafford 15:51
And to the audience, grab his book, or at the very least at the very least go to the website, learn a little bit more connect with with Jody on LinkedIn. She is as you can tell the real deal has done all the work and has all the passion and all the commitment that you could ever want out of a coach out of a guide to become better as who you are. Thank you all find her. Thank you for listening. Thank you for finding us and we will talk to you again very soon.

Conversations with Coaches | Boxer Media
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