Podcast Episode 40.1

Family Business Series: Getting Past the Difficulty of Asking for Help

With Guest:
  • Cory Carlson of Connector Consulting, Owner

Host, Jamie Duininck, is joined by guest and business coach, Cory Carlson, to discuss the misunderstood process of hiring a business coach. Cory started his career in the corporate world then became a business coach after experiencing the positive impact that a trusted advisor had on his own life. Jamie shares how difficult it can be to ask for help and how finding the right coach for your situation and personality can make all the difference.

Episode 40.1 | 9 min

Guest Bio

Cory Carlson, CEO and owner of Connector Consulting, has known Jamie Duininck for many years. Jamie has turned to Cory for insight and advice on running a family business, because Cory takes a holistic approach to coaching. Cory challenges his clients to work through family and personal issues in order to solve their business problems and achieve success.

Having begun his career in the corporate world, Cory became a business coach after experiencing the positive impact that a trusted advisor had on his own life. He understands that it can be difficult to ask for help, and it is important to find the right coach for you. Cory believes that to be successful in business you must also find success at home, and great leadership and coaching starts with vulnerability

Jamie (00:02):

This is the water table.

Speaker 2 (00:05):

The chance to hear the agricultural side of these issues.

Speaker 3 (00:09):

Place for people to go find information and education.

Speaker 4 (00:13):

Water management is just going to become even more critical into the future.

Speaker 3 (00:19):

How misunderstood what we do is.

Speaker 2 (00:22):

I would encourage people to open their minds and listen to this dialogue.

Jamie Duininck (00:32):
Welcome back to The Water Table Podcast, today joining me is Cory Carlson. If you could give a real high level view of how you got to where you’re at as an executive coach and speaker, author, leader for individuals.

Cory Carlson (00:57):
I started my career in Kansas City with civil engineering then switched into that company Contact, which mentioned in your intro and did sales for them. And then got promoted, moved to Denver, Colorado, where I managed a bunch of people in states and then got promoted and moved to Cincinnati where I worked at the headquarters. And at that time I was VP of a 120 million dollar division. What was started to happen, Jamie, with me is, I was managing people older than me. I leapfrogged my boss and I was now managing him. And I started to notice, I was taking my identity to work where if I had a great month, I thought I was the man and if I did not have a great month, I was afraid I was going to get canned. I was skipping gym workouts.

I would have my laptop on my lap a lot in the family room when I should have been engaging with family or been on my phone. All those things were taking place and I could just see that it was getting unhealthy. And so I called my boss who, I really liked and got a lot of good feedback from him along the way, but we just weren’t seeing each other a lot. And so I felt on an island, so I called him up and said, “Hey, I need some help, what do I do?” And he is like, “Get an executive coach. I’ve always had one.” And then I laughed and I was like, “Wish you would’ve told me this sooner.” But I went through the process of interviewing a few different executive coaches, found one that I really liked for me and I know for you as well, but faith is very strong.

And so I found an executive coach that was talking about faith, work, home, all these different pieces. I’m like, that’s the coach I want, I don’t want just business because, as the leader goes, so goes the company. So if the leader’s not doing well at all aspects of their life, it’s going to creep up and eventually catch up to him. So I hired an executive coach, and this sounds extreme, but it’s true, it changed my life. One, I became a better father, husband, leader, but now it also changed my career because now that’s what I do. But basically Jamie, what was happening is I was learning these frameworks. I was learning these new perspectives and I just started teaching them to the people that reported to me because as I learned and I saw change, I went and quickly taught somebody else.

I took one more corporate move where I was president of sales for a national contractor. I had 30 sales individuals reporting to me throughout the country. And these are the tools I used. And what was interesting is they started to change as well, they started to date their spouses. They started to be more intensional with their kids. With all this happening EBITDA or profitability also increased. I’m like if this helped me individually, it then helped the folks at the company that I was leading, I want to go do this for a living. I want to go help others. And so about five years ago, I began that process of leaving to help business leaders when at work and when at home. And so I basically had some mistakes where I was not winning at home and I don’t want that to ever happen again to another leader. And so that’s my mission and so that’s what I do now and so I do it through coaching, speaking, writing, and podcast.

Jamie Duininck(04:16):
Yeah. Yeah well it’s pretty cool. Going way back to when you just start that and you hired an executive coach, it resonated with me because I think it was the same process for me around, I think too often people just feel like I’ve risen to a level, I’m a manager I’m now a VP, whatever it is, I feel why do I need a coach? I’m above the people that work for me as far as ability or as far as experience, you feel vulnerable in saying, “Hey, I need help. Or I need a coach.”

And for me it was the same experience around a light bulb went on when I heard somebody that I admired deeply and respected deeply as a very strong leader, more skills than I ever thought I would ever have and they told me they had a coach and I was like, “What? Why do you have a coach?” And that was the light bulb that went on for me, that it was okay so to speak to hire a coach and then you just learn so much through that like you just described all the different things that you can learn from them and then help others learn because we’re all on the same journey as far as you get stuck at some point.

Cory Carlson (05:37):
I’m 45. So about 10 years ago is was when I hired a coach, so I hired a coach at 35 and man, there’s so many misperceptions about hiring a coach. And so one is you got to be at a certain age or you have to be in a certain size company. That word executive may mean… Well coaches are for Fortune 50 companies, I’m just a small business, one employee or 20 employees. I can’t afford one or they’re not for me. It’s just a misperception. I coach people in their twenties and I think it’s so cool that there’s people out there going after it. I coach people who don’t have any direct reports because they’re lower on the totem pole, but they want to get better, so you have this whole list. I think to that listener, whatever perceptions you have of hiring a coach, I’d throw it out the window.

There’s a coach out there for you that can speak your language, that you would have good chemistry with. That will challenge you in the right ways, encourage you in the right ways, fit your price that you can afford to invest in yourself and want to invest. So that was one thing I wish I would’ve learned sooner than when I did. So just kind of get that out there for someone listening is, get a coach, but just find one that fits with you and fits in your, basically investment budget, for sure.

Jamie Duininck (07:07):
Yep. I was thinking the same thing as far as, if you want a coach, you don’t think you can afford it, go to your employer, ask them if they’ll pay for it or split it with you, maybe they will, if they won’t, it truly is an investment. Maybe don’t go out for dinner two nights a month or something because the investment I think will pay you back in what you learn and your ability to rise through the corporate ranks or whatever company you’re in.

Cory Carlson (07:36):
I think on that too, if you have any ability to pull in revenue for your company, which is probably everyone listening, because you’re doing some form of business development, you are doing some form of leadership of people who are doing that is, I see this a lot with clients is, and this isn’t a guarantee, but man, I sure think it happens more times than not is, because of getting coached, you get rid of the head in the trash, you get rid of all the self-limiting beliefs of I can’t go do this. And so you then show up with more confidence when you go talk to that prospect, when you go talk to that potential client. And so what ends up happening is you end up getting a better ROI out of your business, out of your marriage, out of your parenting, because you are now a better version of yourself, showing up at all areas of your life, which is way more than, just the coaching investment itself.

Jamie Duininck(08:38):
Well thanks Cory, for joining us on The Water Table, great discussion today. If you’d like to hear as a listener to the whole discussion with Cory, you can find it at watertable.ag/business.