Does a background in science help someone lead? … does it help someone coach? If so, how?
I spoke with longtime leadership and executive coach Ron Potter, who came from an engineering and technical background to coach executives at top levels of major global companies, about how our backgrounds help.
- How a science and technical background helps us understand and work with emotions better than others
- … and the limits of rationality
- … and how to work with them effectively, calmly, and productively
- How science helps change beliefs, freeing yourself and teams from mental jails
- How a science background helps coaching
- Stories illustrating why
You’ll hear that I’ve held back on the value of my science background despite others working with me because they value it. If you’re holding yourself back because you think if you know it then others do as well—that is, if you take your skills and experience for granted—you’ll learn from Ron’s sharing his perspective with me.
Here is our conversation
For me, it is about the people.
After ten years in the Engineering/Construction world and another ten years in the computer industry, I finally asked myself one day â€œWhat do you want to do when you grow up?â€
I really enjoyed the â€œhardâ€ work of pouring concrete, putting up structural steel and setting heavy equipment. Yet I also loved working in the virtual reality of computer software. What was the common denominator?
To me it was the people. I realized that I was approaching work every day with the intent to build great teams, grow the people into great leaders and create cultures where everyone could thrive. I believed the business would take care of itself if we accomplished that goal so it didnâ€™t make much difference to me if we were pouring concrete or writing software. Growing the people was what I enjoyed.
So I moved over to the Leadership Development Consulting industry and after ten years in the business formed Team Leadership Culture (TLC). The name seemed to sum up my belief that building great teams with great people in a great environment was the most productive thing we could accomplish.
For years my clients have asked me to provide a regular communication to remind them of the many things that we learn together through our team building and leadership development processes.
I created this website to provide a digital space for sharing resources, making connections and to further conversations of leadership development with interested readers. Please join in by leaving a comment. I monitor them regularly.
I grew up in small town rural America, in the central part of Michigan, as the oldest of four siblings. I met my wife during our senior year of high school and we married after our junior year of college. I also became a Christian in my teenage years, which certainly influenced my worldview.
Our two daughters are now each married with children of their own. Both have lived outside of the country for many years. This makes it hard to visit, but has given them and our grandchildren a very healthy global and cultural view.
University of Michigan
Civil Engineering Degree with emphasis on Project Management
Townsend and Bottum, Inc.
Large Engineering/Construction Projects
Served as Project Manager for several large projects in the midwest and mountain west
Developed Microcomputer Software for project management. This software eventually migrated to an Oracle offered project management product
Served as VP Marketing and President of Advantage CS, a global leader in subscription management.
Orion International. Ltd.
Leadership Development Consultant
Team Leadership Culture, LLC.
Founder, Owner and CEO