Kate Michelson, Managing Director, Corporate Coaching Partners Asia, who shares with WiFA how she promotes female talent, what gives her hope, and much more.
Tell us about your background and the journey to your current position and organization.
I have lived and worked in Asia since 1980. For the past 40 years, I have been involved with projects in financial services, education and development, and marketing across Asia, from India to Japan and from China to Australia. After working in the development area in different capacities I realized that the traditional Learning and Development training and even the Executive Masters of Business Administration and University Executive Education needed to move from theory to a custom application. I found that coaching was more effective to support actionable executive learning. With a like-minded group I co-founded Corporate Coaching Partners in 2001. We came together as a company through friendship and a shared vision about the role of leaders in building successful, “built to last” organizations with the added purpose of developing Asian leaders for Asia.
As an Executive, Team, and Organizational coach I support women leaders in particular to create and execute effective solutions to their business challenges. This includes working with them on organizational issues such as managing change, transitioning newly acquired companies, resetting the culture to include diversity and inclusion initiatives, and talent development (increasing diversity at all levels to include more women in leadership roles). In the investment banking, manufacturing, high tech, media and consumer products sectors, these engagements also focused on leadership effectiveness, communication style, and entrepreneurship.
Please provide an example where you have promoted/supported female talent.
Coaching and supporting women at all stages of their career, from company presidents to managing directors inspires me every day. Working with top female talent on how to manage stakeholders, have impact through influencing, communication techniques, and finding the right leadership style, continues to be a rewarding experience. Coaching helps them define their goals and leadership brand as they transition to senior level roles. I have also coached men in the same roles to be more intentionally inclusive – understanding that a diverse leadership team is a higher performing team. And, helping these male leaders to promote, transition and mentor women improves the organizations’ culture.
What gets you out of bed every day, either professionally or personally? What gives you hope?
I get energized from my clients, always learning something new every day. I define and practice coaching as a learning methodology. Coaching is not about me being successful, but my clients achieving their goals. I am excited when I see my clients – individuals, teams, and organizations not only achieve results but learn from that so that they can do it again and go even further.