At CTI, we take pride in having worked with some of the most remarkable people in the coaching industry. Our faculty is packed with coaches and leaders who are on extraordinary quests to help transform our world. Nina Simonds, a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach and internationally acclaimed facilitator, is one of our esteemed faculty. Nina is the host of the Let’s Get Real podcast, where she discusses the nexus between personal development and societal change.
In one of her episodes, Nina had a fascinating talk with Kvon Tucker. Kvon is the founder of Consciously, a purpose-driven executive and leadership coaching service. He also oversees leadership development for Google’s Staffing organization.
Kvon and Nina discussed leadership presence, transformation and being a better person. Kvon described certain strategies he uses with clients to assist them in developing presence. They also discussed the relationship between personal development and working for the greater good. Here are some excerpts from their conversation; listen to the full episode below!
My guest today is Kvon Tucker, who is the founder and owner of “Consciously,” a leadership and executive coaching firm. I met Kvon when I was doing some training inside Google — Co-Active coach training, which is always a delight to bring into companies and see leaders grow through increasing their empathy and learning how to be more curious. I was immediately just blown away with Kvon’s presence and his vision for not only bringing coaching into the organization but also how he wants to transform leadership and bring more love into the world. Hello, Kvon. Welcome to Let’s Get Real.
Hello Nina. It’s so interesting that that’s how we kind of crossed paths — through my “day job” at Google. There are so many different overlaps between our lives, but I was so glad that I was able to get you to be a part of this transformation that I was trying to create at Google.
Yes, that transformation that you’re hitting on multiple levels right now is the reason why I thought you’d make such a great guest.
I appreciate that. It’s a funny thing, and I’m sure we’ll talk about it, but transformation was not a word I used prior to becoming a coach. And now I find myself using it all the time. And I’m getting other people to use it, see it, look for it, and evoke it. It certainly is a driver.
I’m going to ask you a series of questions just as a quick way for us to get warmed up and for guests to get to know you a little bit. Tell me about a book that changed your life.
The first book that comes to mind is M. Scott Peck’s The Road Less Traveled. That book challenged me in a million ways. And I grew through it. It was worth the work.
Your favorite ice cream flavor? Strawberry anything. Your billboard message? Just love yourself.
The best series or movie you’ve watched in the last month? As a new father, I haven’t watched much in the past month. The “show” I’ve been watching is called Ayana, which is the name of my daughter. I’ve been enthralled.
Your favorite way to relax? I love to meditate, I love to just talk, and I also like a glass of red wine. I like a book. And I like to take a walk.
Tell us about your journey in learning and development to coaching, and how you came up with your business name, “Consciously.”
As I look back to when I started my career, I had no idea what coaching was and could have never imagined myself becoming a coach. Looking back, it feels like a natural progression of being a learning and development professional. I like to tell people that all I know is how to help people grow. I’d done all these different things, in learning and development, and stumbled into coaching.
During that time, I was having a little bit of a personal crisis. I was doing the learning and development work and helping people grow, but I was removed from the process.
Then I found coaching as a result of reading M. Scott Peck’s The Road Less Traveled and going to therapy. I started my own personal exploration journey, and I ended up being guided towards coaching. When I went to CTI Fundamentals, I felt like I had woken up to my life purpose.
So now I have Consciously, which is solely focused on coaching, and doing a little bit of consulting as well. It does feel like the next phase of my life as a learning and development professional, not a separate thing.
You’re reminding me that the organizational context for learning and development is diverse and not always about human potential. Sometimes it’s skill-building or getting managers to learn a certain thing about their job. What’s so awesome about coaching is that it’s a people business, and it’s holistic.
I think that’s kind of the evolution that I’ve gone through personally and professionally. I started off my career helping people in the technical training world develop these “hard skills,” helping engineers learn how to be better engineers.
Over time, I started to realize that if I really want to make an impact in organizations, it’s all about helping people become better people.
That’s where coaching fits in — in leadership development. If you really want to help organizations, you should focus on helping people become better people. And then the technical skills come later, in my opinion.
That’s what Consciously is all about: helping people learn more about who they are, and learn more about what their purpose is, and support them as they follow it. When you do that, there’s healing involved. There’s personal and leadership effectiveness. As people learn more about who they are, they become better leaders and become more healed or more whole in so many ways. It’s all tied together.
What are the key moments for you that accelerated your sense of self and your sense of being an empowered coach and human?
The personal crisis that I went through is certainly one of the key moments that started me on my journey of self-exploration and remembering who I am and what’s important to me.
It took 28 years for me to say to myself, “Hey, Kvon, you should just go do what you really want to do, which is connecting with people.”
Being in therapy gave me the courage to look within and do what I wanted to do, which was to coach. Coaching has helped me become a bolder version of myself, encouraging me to own, live, and speak my values — that is, tell folks what’s important to me and being brave enough to go for it. As a coach, I see myself being me — and encouraging others to do the same.
And when people are working on this “project” of themselves, we have a desire to take what we learn about ourselves and human potential for the sake of something bigger than ourselves.
It’s all tied to what I aim to do at Consciously. I believe that all of our purposes are somehow tied to supporting others and creating a better world. I have yet to see someone do the work of self-exploration and learn more about who they are and what’s important to them, than come to the conclusion that they don’t really care about others.
In my experience, 100% of the time, when someone wants to connect to their purpose, it has something to do with supporting the greater good.
Not everybody is fully aware that their purpose is tied to supporting others. But when you start asking questions, they become aware.
I love your optimism. It’s inspiring. In addition to Consciously, you are a founding board member of an organization called Coaching for Everyone.
I am highly aligned with their mission. We now have a formal partnership with the Co-Active Training Institute. We are trying to transform the coaching industry. We’re using Co-Active as the foundation for the coaching for Coaching for Everyone. The Co-Active model is a major part of the coaching training.
What I love about this partnership is that I imagine Coaching for Everyone is going to transform the model as the model is transforming people in the program.
I would imagine so. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens through this partnership.
After you listen to this podcast episode, we’d love to know your insights, here in the comment thread. Please share!
Nina Simonds is a seasoned executive and team coach with more than 20 years of experience developing people. In addition to training and supervising coaches all over the world in Co-Active coaching, Nina is the founder and owner of her own coaching and training firm, Nina Simonds Coaching, where she designs and leads a variety of leadership and team development programs with outcomes that range from developing emerging leaders to building trust within a cross-functional team. As a facilitator and team coach for Microsoft’s Foundations of Management residential program, Nina helped managers of managers develop new leadership capability to create sustainable and systemic change in their teams.