Gary K. Decker is a Certified Professional Leadership Coach and the President of Win Moves Coaching. He has empowered business teams and leaders throughout his accomplished career across Finance, IT, HR, Legal, Communications, R&D, Supply Chain, Sales, and Marketing.
Gary helps business owners, leaders, teams, and team members navigate opportunities that allow them to thrive. He helps good leaders be great! Win Moves Coaching offers one-on-one, team, and peer group coaching programs in four primary focus areas: leadership, success, agility, and purpose.
What You’ll Learn In This Episode
- Leaders dealing with the great resignation
- Job changers finding they need to do
- Help people with change
- Three most important attributes of a leader in 2021
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:02] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s time for Coach the Coach radio brought to you by the Business RadioX Ambassador Program, the no cost business development strategy for coaches who want to spend more time serving local business clients and less time selling them. Go to brxambassador.com to learn more. Now, here’s your host.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:32] Lee Kantor here, another episode of Coach the Coach Radio, and this is going to be a good one today on the show, we have Gary Decker and he is with win moves coaching. Welcome, Gary.
Gary Decker: [00:00:43] Thanks, Lee. So glad to be here.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:44] Well, I’m excited to learn what you’re up to. Tell us a little bit about when moves coaching. How are you serving, folks?
Gary Decker: [00:00:50] So my focus as a leadership coach is helping good leaders be great. We all have challenges, we all have opportunities, and I just help people sort through that and find their vision and their mission and their purpose.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:08] Now what’s your back story? How how did you get involved in leadership coaching?
Gary Decker: [00:01:12] So I have a I have a long corporate career. I have more than thirty five years in leading and developing teams all around the world in a variety of functions in. I started my career in finance. I was a CPA at one point in my career. I then moved on to leadership roles in I.T. and in HR. And I’ve really worked to, as I said, develop teams and leaders all across a whole variety of functions and locations and geographies. So I’ve been coaching, it’s been part of my life and my DNA for that entire time from my first days in public accounting. Over time, I got involved with some organizations that do certifications and do training, and I ultimately got my professional certification in coaching and then went into it full time. I dabbled part time and had had side hustle going on in coaching for a long time, but I went full time into my business in early 2020.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:18] Now, can we talk a little bit about how when you were a CPA? Yeah. So obviously you were as a young person saying, I’m going to be a CPA at some point and you were going to choose that path. What attracted you to that? And then at what point did you say, You know what? I think there’s more to me than this, and I’m going to kind of branch out a little bit.
Gary Decker: [00:02:40] Yeah, it’s a great question. I went into a public accounting because I knew that it would expose me to a wide variety of clients and give me exposure to business and and and professionals that I didn’t have as a young person. And it’s exactly what happened. I had I had major clients each quarter of the year. I had a different major client and a variety of industries. All kinds of things. I’m a continuous learner have been since day one and I and I just loved that exposure. And when I realized that coaching was for me, was literally the first week of public accounting, when they sat down and said, OK, well, this is our this is our counseling process. We evaluate you after each job that you do, you have a discussion with your supervisor and then it goes up up the chain, so to speak, and we give you feedback. And then I got to do that with people that were assigned to me as a leader on different engagements. And it just really resonated to me the ability to get feedback, to act on feedback, to give feedback and help people develop and grow. And I’ve just taken that in every role that I’ve had ever since.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:58] And then you’ve been able to kind of expand the breadth of your knowledge so you can serve people in a variety of roles, not just finance and accounting.
Gary Decker: [00:04:06] Absolutely. When I went into leadership in the IT organization, we were in the midst of rolling out major system projects all over the world. So we were putting together teams, a very intensive effort of evaluating talent, internal talent, consultative talent and assessing them. And we had to build a very flexible environment to do that. So that’s where I created a career coach and counsel in my organization at the time. And that’s when the coaching that I got exposed to the coaching certification programs and it really it really took off and I got some. I replaced some of my letters, if you will, with with new coaching certification letters.
Lee Kantor: [00:04:47] And I would think just from a foundational standpoint, having that finance background really helps you in no matter what area you’re helping a client with, because you, it always goes back to the numbers at some point.
Gary Decker: [00:05:01] Absolutely. It’s the foundation of everything and and to be able to talk with a leader now and have that basic understanding of really all components of their business, it’s really, really helpful.
Lee Kantor: [00:05:14] Now what are you seeing in the marketplace? You’re hearing a lot about this period of time. We’re in this transition out of the pandemic, hopefully as soon as possible. And there’s this great I think they’re calling it the great resignation happening. A lot of people are reevaluating their priorities, changing careers or just pulling the ripcord and just saying, Look, I’m going to hit pause and I’m going to just regroup here a little bit. Are you seeing that? Is that accurate in the in the markets you’re dealing with? And how are the leaders kind of handling this kind of if it’s true, this kind of great resignation?
Gary Decker: [00:05:48] Yeah. Or. Great reshuffle, there’s a few buzzwords out there about it. It’s definitely happening, I see it a lot. And I guess what I’d say is good leaders that I see or leaders that are effective, I shouldn’t say good or bad, but leaders that are effective are listening to their people and really, really trying to get input and feedback and adapt and find new models of working, find ways to give feedback to people in a more effective way, I think. I think employees, from my experience, what I’m seeing is that most people that are leaving a job or a company are doing so because they’re not feeling connected, they’re not feeling heard. So the leaders that are less effective are unfortunately kind of holding on to the old way and waiting kind of waiting for it to come back. I’ve actually even heard leaders say things like, well, once once the the assistance money runs out and people really need a job, they’ll come running back. And I find that an interesting approach for a leader to be hiring desperate.
Lee Kantor: [00:07:00] Right? That speaks to their culture, I would think.
Gary Decker: [00:07:04] I think so, too, I think. I think it speaks to a lot. Leaders are really being challenged in this time to think about how they can influence and and give feedback to employees in a way that’s not, you know, foundation on face time and control and things like that. So it’s definitely a time of everybody’s learning this new dance, so to speak.
Lee Kantor: [00:07:29] And you know, there’s a saying that people don’t quit jobs, they quit. Bosses, are you seeing this kind of at the heart of that as well?
Gary Decker: [00:07:38] Absolutely. Absolutely. And I’m seeing the opposite. I’m seeing I talked to leaders and ask them about this kind of thing and the impact. I’ve gone to different organizations and and you look around and there’s there’s like no impact there. People are running around doing their jobs, happy to do their jobs. Those were the people that were like that before anything changed. Those were people that were sensitive and empathetic to their employees before anyone heard the word pandemic. So it’s without a doubt it’s it’s that type of leader that is continuing to be successful.
Lee Kantor: [00:08:18] It’s one of those moments, I guess, in time where you know, where they say the when the tide goes down, then you can see who’s wearing their bathing suit or not. This is a time where you’re seeing whose company culture and their people are really kind of practicing what they preach when they say their people are the most important asset. I mean, the the numbers or the numbers. If a bunch of people in your firm are quitting or have had enough, that might speak to what’s going on kind of as part of the culture of your organization?
Gary Decker: [00:08:48] Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah, that great Warren Buffett quote. You don’t know who’s skinny dipping until the tide goes out, and without a doubt that’s that’s happening. And you see it. And some leaders are having a real hard time identifying that and valuing that. So I love working with those kinds of leaders and helping them broaden their, you know, their vision and and think through some more flexible approaches.
Lee Kantor: [00:09:15] So now let’s talk about the leader. Like, say, something has occurred all of a sudden there. The turnover is extremely high. All of a sudden they’re seeing a lot of turnover where maybe historically, for whatever reason, they hadn’t been seeing this degree. Maybe there were symptoms, but maybe not to the degree that it is today. What is some advice you can give that leader to say, Hey, you know, we’re going to have to triage this right now, but here you’re going to have to kind of lay some foundational groundwork in order to really get through this.
Gary Decker: [00:09:43] Yeah. Well, one of the key things as a coach, I don’t typically give advice, so to speak, unless you know, the door is open and we do coaching where I will try to pull out from that person, what it is that they see and what they see as opportunities. And and sometimes I see many leaders will kind of knee jerk to, oh, I guess I have to pay more money. And yeah, that’s part of it. There’s a competitive component in compensation, but I’ll try and ask them and get them to think through. Are there other things that may be? Would be valuable to people, things I’ve seen creativity around the hours that they’re asking people to work, sharing roles in some cases where that might work. Thinking about other ways to provide development opportunities for employees. But I really try to get the leaders to to kind of think that through themselves, if they’re stuck in, there’s nothing I can do. And I’ve seen this as well. There are organizations that just can’t hack it.
Lee Kantor: [00:10:57] And then but so I mean, obviously, they’re going to kind of self all self author their destiny, but you’re going to be kind of hopefully opening their mind and maybe asking questions that open their mind to have them go down some productive path.
Gary Decker: [00:11:13] Absolutely. Absolutely. Try. And you know, I work a lot with people’s mindset and why are they stuck with that feeling? And you know, sometimes there’s a bad past experience that there’s no guarantee that that’s going to happen again. Or there’s a judgment that they’re kind of putting on top of their employees. And again, with empathy is a big part of this. And we learned a lot in in the depths of like when people in many companies had the opportunity to work remote and we all literally saw into each other’s living rooms and saw what was going on in people’s lives. We could. We had the chance to be more empathetic and and when when leaders can adapt to that and take that on and really see the really seek the ways that their employees want to be and have flexibility, that’s where that’s where it pays off.
Lee Kantor: [00:12:14] Now are you seeing this remote work? You know, obviously there was a need for it to be, OK, this is how it is now. This is the new reality that we’re living in. And now, as the pandemic is kind of waning a little bit and people are getting more comfortable of being face to face again. All of that, I trust my employees to be remote. Everything’s great as a remote is now kind of morphing into some hybrid version of remote. Because the workers obviously love remote, the leaders may not love the remote as much or feel like ultimately that’s the way to go. So now they’re kind of trying to have it both ways. How are you seeing that kind of evolve as we get through this pandemic?
Gary Decker: [00:12:57] Yeah, I think I think for the most part, and there’s always exceptions, but for the most part, employers that are not allowing some kind of flexibility are struggling to find people or will be continue to struggle to keep people. Most of the people that I interact with want some version of flexibility and and they’re frustrated by the fact that we prove that it could work. We prove that most organizations were more profitable, more more efficient in their operations. People were unshackled from having to commute and to, you know, do their hair, fancy or whatever you want to. You want to say people felt a lot of freedom and flexibility from that, and they’re demanding that in in the large part and leaders again, to my view, in my experience, effective leaders are are adjusting to that. Now do you see others? There are, I think there are some pride issues and some other non organizational matters that come into play.
Lee Kantor: [00:14:07] Now, one of the benefits of a remote workforce was that your workforce can be anywhere, right? Once you switch to some sort of a hybrid where you have to come into the office some of the time, you can’t be anywhere anymore, like you can’t have an employee, you know, a thousand miles away and then popping in on a Friday meeting on a weekly. I guess you could, but I mean, I don’t know how sustainable that is over time. But are you seeing that by saying that it’s hybrid? You’re basically saying that you’re you’re not, you know, then the world’s not your oyster when it comes to talent anymore, it’s still localized.
Gary Decker: [00:14:40] Yeah, absolutely. It’s exactly right. And I know some employees and some organizations struggle because of folks that moved away and or came up with some alternative arrangement, and now they’re stuck with the decision. Do I let them stay that way or do I force them back? And again, that’s not a that’s not a one size fits all answer, either. And and the leaders that I speak with, I asked them outright, well, what would be the downside of letting them stay where they are? And sometimes there’s an answer that makes sense. Oftentimes there’s not.
Lee Kantor: [00:15:23] And then so this is kind of a case by case basis for every organization, right? They’re going to just have to figure this out in the best way that they can. I mean, and it’s going to be interesting from the employee standpoint. I mean, in this probably contributes to this great reshuffling or resignation is the fact that, hey, I like living in my hometown with my immediate family and just being remote and getting my job done rather than living in this high priced city that I’m struggling and barely making it. And so my quality of life is not as great. So why can’t I have it both ways and each organization is going to have to answer that question?
Gary Decker: [00:16:02] Yeah. And it’s not just like, by the way, it’s not just like, Oh, this is cool. It’s usually because they’re getting help with child care, right? Or or they’re helping take care of an elderly parent or sibling. Or, you know, there’s people found. You know, that’s I don’t know. Maybe, dare I say, one of the upsides of pandemic is we all found out what’s important for us to care for. Right?
Lee Kantor: [00:16:27] And so now are you seeing any trends of how this is going to play out or is this literally a case by case basis in every organization is going to just kind of navigate it the way that works for that organization for good or for bad?
Gary Decker: [00:16:41] Well, I think the trend is, yeah, it’s a big case by case. From what I’m seeing is there’s without a doubt more of a general push to get back to in-person as much as possible. There is, you know, there’s still questions out there. There’s still, you know, the vaccine for young people is just starting. So I think there’s a lot of of still some hesitancy to push real hard on it. And a couple of organizations, I don’t I don’t personally work with any, but a couple I’ve read about forced everybody back and then said, you know, they pulled back from that. So I think we’re still very much in a transition and maybe through this winter, that’s going to continue, but it’s going to be interesting. You know, I talk about what’s new in twenty twenty two. It’s going to be interesting to see how that plays out. I really do think from what I’m seeing is the war for the best talent is going to require people to allow some version of flexibility.
Lee Kantor: [00:17:42] Yeah, I mean, just the fact that so many people were willing to quit with nothing as a backup plan just shows you how important this is. They’re not they’re not compromising when it comes to this quality of life that they were enjoying for so long.
Gary Decker: [00:17:57] Absolutely, absolutely. And they and again, as I said earlier, they need to. The child care question is huge the the pressures on the child care industry to staff and be ready for this or are there’s a lot of challenges there as well. So there’s there’s not a foundation for folks that they can rely on like they’re there was previously.
Lee Kantor: [00:18:17] Now when you’re working with a firm, is there a typical point of entry? Like, are they asking you to come in to solve some kind of urgent thing right away and then that expands? Or is it kind of it can come from anywhere? The way that an organization engages with you?
Gary Decker: [00:18:34] Yeah. So typically so as I as I describe, my ideal client is someone or an organization, either a person or an organization that knows they have a particular challenge. And they come to me and we talk about it and we we develop a plan of action around that challenge. It’s communication or leadership or something like that talent. But my my favorite is working with folks that don’t kind of sense they have any challenge, and we discover together that there are things there that that they don’t necessarily have addressed, or we start in one direction and uncover very common uncover that there’s something else that we need to we need to talk about.
Lee Kantor: [00:19:19] And then the way you deliver your services is a primarily one on one or is a group coaching you do workshops.
Gary Decker: [00:19:25] It’s all of the above. It’s primarily one on one, but I also do workshops and group work as well.
Lee Kantor: [00:19:31] And then it’s industry agnostic because of your background.
Gary Decker: [00:19:35] Yeah, absolutely. You know, and and I I market myself as a leadership coach, to be quite honest. And you know, it’s a little secret. Don’t tell anybody, but really anyone’s a leader, someone who has a direction that they want to go in and wants to get there. So I work with folks in all kinds of backgrounds and all kinds of situations.
Lee Kantor: [00:19:57] Now is it primarily senior leadership or are you seeing some organizations kind of have this coaching trickle down to middle management or below?
Gary Decker: [00:20:06] Good ones do. I mean, it’s the good. Organizations are seeing that, you know, in all honesty, we all could use a coach, I have a coach, we all could benefit. You know, the best, the best athletes in sports all have multiple coaches, right? We all can benefit from somebody outside of our day to day that can help us see something we don’t see and improve upon it. So good organizations are offering. I’ve I’ve worked with some organizations that offer this as a perk to their employees. One of the challenges there is that sometimes the leaders have a kind of a vested interest or a thought how they want to apply that that’s not how it works. If it’s really a benefit or a perk, the employee is going to get the benefit that the employee wants to get, not at the direction of the leader.
Lee Kantor: [00:20:55] And sometimes that coaching is going to reveal maybe this isn’t a good fit for the employee. Absolutely. So that’s part of the the unintended consequence of that.
Gary Decker: [00:21:05] Yeah. No, that gets a little tricky sometimes. Yes.
Lee Kantor: [00:21:10] Well, and ultimately, that is good for the organization because you want best fit, you know, just like you want best fit clients, you want best fit employees.
Gary Decker: [00:21:18] Absolutely. It’s funny. I I always practice that as a leader in in my corporate work. When, you know, other managers would be like, Oh no, I think, you know, I think Susie’s out looking for another job. I would approach that differently. I would I would say, Well, I think that’s probably good because at the end of the day and I had this at various points of my career where I had opportunities, I had to look side by side at what I’m doing now versus what I could be doing. And I want people that are sitting in in my organization that want to be there, right? And so to your point, if they if they don’t want you for whatever reason, I’m going to help them get to where they want to go.
Lee Kantor: [00:22:00] Right, that’s your job. I mean,
Gary Decker: [00:22:03] And it’s healthy, you know, right? It’s not good for the organization if they’re in the wrong place, right?
Lee Kantor: [00:22:08] And yeah, it’s an interesting time. Well, congratulations on all the success. If there’s an organization out there that wants to learn more about your practice or get on your calendar, is there a website?
Gary Decker: [00:22:19] Absolutely. Win moves, coaching, win moves, coaching and just contact me there and I’d be more than happy. I always do free consultation, and it doesn’t make sense to go anywhere unless we agree we’re a good fit for each other.
Lee Kantor: [00:22:36] Well, Gary, thank you so much for sharing your story. You’re doing important work and we appreciate you.
Gary Decker: [00:22:41] Ali, thank you so much. I really appreciate your time and and and I hope you have a great day.
Lee Kantor: [00:22:47] All right, this is Lee Kantor. We’ll see you all next time on Coach the Coach radio.