FACILITYCalgary publisher Mark Kolke, in conversation with Jim Jenkinson
January 15, 2013
My recent conversation with Jim Jenkinson, President of Owen Solutions Inc. caps 30+ years of crossing paths, collaborations and breakfast commiserations at 1886 Café (I think staff there must call him Mr.Sliced Tomatoes on the side), community involvements in health care and education and story-swapping, as old friends do, we’ve seen each other through the friend lens as well as any two old-friends I know. Meeting regularly with Jim (it always feels like a counseling session!) has been decades of watching, mentoring each other, helping each other and often disagreeing with drama and effect - as only old friends can do.
Jim’s involvement in the world of executive coaching intrigues me and was the primary focus of our recent discussion as I sought to better understand this growing phenomenon in business which seems to be at the core of employee retention strategies and senior staff development. And, no discussion with Jim is complete without an update on his involvements in community and charity work – his current primary one being the Calgary Health Trust.
I asked Jim how he sees the market, in his industry – executive coaching - over the next 90 days.
. . . clients I deal with – senior decision makers, I would describe as guardedly optimistic with a positive slant. While some projects may be back-burner-ed there are at the go/no-go stage right now a lot of decisions are hinging on the outlook for pipelines, crude and bitumen pricing, the need for coaching at all levels is better recognized as a value-add than I’ve ever seen.
Over the next 5 years?
… in short, coaching = retention. People change, not because business changes but because lives impact work, attitudinal influences cross the boarders being work and home, employer and family. An approach that supports people dealing with their ‘whole lives’ builds better bridges, better relationships and contribute to be people thriving in their careers.
What qualities distinguish your preferred suppliers?
. . . commitment, reliability, quality – a whole effort
Why do your clients hire you instead of your competitors?
. . . trust. What happens in our meetings, stays in our meetings. Listening, to seek to understand. Flexible/adaptable. Capturing the problem, my clients, their issues.
What so you worry about?
. . . grandchildren, my marriage, sustaining the future, sustaining my vision, staying effective
Things that changed your life?
. . . meeting Mark Kolke 36 years ago! … seriously while that was great, there are many things but the one that stands proud, the most recent big-shift for me is the Executive Coaching Program at Royal Roads that, by far, trumped all my previous academic work.
I may have taken a long time to grow up! I’ve worked in ‘not for profit’, ‘big profit’ and ‘no profit yet’ organizations but coaching has become my most fulfilling and valuable work, period.
Work/life balance – what is at the core of it for you?
. . . 3 times a week workouts at the U of C Rec. Centre, water sports all summer at the PigeonLake cottage. Watching what I eat, religiously. Family. Rotary.
What are you reading?
. . . Executive Coaching with Backbone and Heart: a systems approach to engaging leaders with their challenges by Mary Beth O’Neill
. . . Subarus – my wife Irene drives the new one, I use the older one. On summer weekends, my restored 1966 Mustang, the boat at the lake.
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