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IAM1864 – Transformational Coach Empowers Leaders and Achieve Life Goal Potential

Podcast Interview with Lee Povey

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”:

In this episode of IAMCEO Podcast, Lee Povey, the CEO and Founder of Maximize Your Potential Coaching, and Co-Founder of Coaches Soul, shares his journey and insights from being an elite cycling athlete and Olympic Development Program Coach for USA Cycling to enriching leaders' lives by providing transformational leadership coaching.

  • CEO Story: Personal experiences define Lee's journey, who started as a successful corporate real estate agent. Although he excelled at his work, he admitted he wasn't great at working with others. This realization led him to start his own real estate firm in his mid-20s and focus on developing people's skills. Having learned from numerous personal mistakes, he now uses his experiences to help others avoid the same pitfalls.
  • Business Service: Lee offers executive, leadership coaching, and consultancy services. He also facilitates workshops for CEOs, Founders of Startups, and Sports Coaches through his two companies, helping businesses improve by unpacking and overcoming their emotional baggage.
  • Secret Sauce: Lee's unique approach is to dig deeper and help companies identify their emotional baggage that often impedes progress and success. An essential part of this process involves doing away with the baggage to facilitate unhindered growth.
  • CEO Hack: Lee shares a life and leadership hack: “9 box life,” which is about clarifying what each aspect of your life means to you and how you need to adapt or progress. He emphasizes the need for grace in your emotional responses, helping others, and looking for the good in situations.
  • CEO Nugget: He believes humans derive significant satisfaction from being of service to others, suggesting it as an inspiring nugget for fellow entrepreneurs.
  • CEO Defined: For Lee, a CEO must meet people where they are to extract their best, constantly look for the good in every situation and people, and consistently work on appreciation and acknowledgment.
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Lee Povey 00:00

The coach in the UK doesn't know the sport, but his leadership is exemplary and he understands how to empower people. And he just always looks for the good. You can never appreciate and acknowledge somebody enough. Just keep doing it. Keep working on it. We're always going to have the critiques.

Great leaders. They see what needs to be done. They're always going to have the critiques. So just keep working on that appreciation and acknowledgement.

Intro 00:25

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you are in search of. This is the IAMCEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:51

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the IAMCEO podcast and I appreciate you listening to this episode. And if you've been listening this year, you know that we hit 1600 episodes at the beginning of this year.

We're doing something a little bit different where we're repurposing our favorite episodes around certain categories, topics, or as I like to call them business pillars that we think are going to be extremely impactful for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners, or what I like to call the CB nation architects who are looking to level up their organizations.

This month, we are focused on leadership, management, and coaching. When we think of leadership, management, and coach, we often think of doing all of the things, but often it's a person that's able to build up their team. That's able to cultivate a creative and innovative culture so that people can excel and actually be their own leaders.

So that's why this month we're focusing on those three big topics because they make a huge impact on the organizations that we're part of. Now you'll hear some of those topics this month. And of course, some really great perspectives on how people are even defining leadership, which I think is extremely exciting.

So sit back and enjoy this special episode of the IAMCEO podcasts.

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the IAMCEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Lee Povey of Maximize Your Potential Coaching. Lee, excited to have you on the show.

Lee Povey 02:13

I'm wonderful to meet you. Wonderful to be on your show. And as I said, to you offline, I love the t-shirt.

Gresham Harkless 02:19

Absolutely. I appreciate that. They said they brought it back a little bit of nostalgia and but definitely hopefully it does that. So, before we jumped into the interview, I went to read a little bit more about Lee. So you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing and all the reasons that I love all the awesome work that he's doing.

So Lee is the CEO and founder of Maximize Your Potential Coaching as well as the co-founder of Coaches Soul as a previous elite cycling athlete and Olympic developmental program coach for U. S. A. Cycling and from coaching hundreds of world, national and Olympic champions. Lee understands the importance of world-class leadership.

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Additionally, Lee has experienced the challenges and financial rewards of business ownership as a real estate corporate manager and eventually the owner of his own real estate firm.

Today, Lee provides transformational executive leadership, coaching, facilitates leadership groups, and offers workshops for CEOs, founders of startups and sports coaches through his 2 companies.

His mission is to empower and support leaders, executives, and elite coaches and achieving their leadership and life goal. Lee again, excited to have you on the show. My friend, are you ready to speak to the IAMCEO community?

Lee Povey 03:25

I am.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 03:26

Let's get it started then. So to kick everything off. I wanted to go a little bit farther back. I don't know as far as a shirt, but I wanted to 1 o'clock here a little bit more on how you got started. What I call your CEO story.

Lee Povey 03:37

It could actually go back to a shirt. My mom bought me a T-shirt when I was young. I don't know if you remember the no fear brand and that a T-shirt doesn't play well with others. She bought me this T-shirt when I was young.

The point of it was, I was always very smart and I wasn't necessarily well I wasn't necessarily good at using that smartness in combination with others. So that evolved me. Doing pretty well in the corporate world, as you said, in a corporate real estate agency, cockily thinking I can do it better and start my own real estate business.

And from my mid-20s, I worked for myself and since then, I've spent the rest of the time learning how to really work well with others. And that's been my leadership journey. And now how I can teach other people to work well with others, because frankly, buddy, I messed it up so many times I got it wrong so many times.

So my journey is one of making all of the mistakes. So I can help other people. Maybe make a few less.

Gresham Harkless 04:39

I absolutely love that. And I love how everything, started to see was playing with the T-shirt and I'm such a believer in kind of, binaries where, I feel like in order to experience good, you have to, go through bad and sometimes they experience a great job.

You have to have a really bad job. And it sounds like not being able to play well with others, it's catapulting you into the ability to be able to empower people to do that.

Lee Povey 05:01

Yeah, when I think of my own sporting career, it helped me be an awesome coach because I wasn't as good as my peers. So, I was good. Don't get me wrong. I wasn't an awful athlete. I was good.

But I was that 2 or 3 percent off the very most gifted. So I had to think about what I was doing so much more than them and analyze it so much more. So then when I became a coach, I understood the sport better than the more gifted athletes, because they just did it.

They got a bike and they could just ride faster than me. I'm trying to figure out every little marginal gain area to be as quick as them. And that's even been the same as I started competing again as a masters athlete, 35 plus, and eventually won national titles and medals at world titles, won European championships.

Against what I believe more gifted opponents because I had to out-think them. So I had to out-race them out prepare them and out-think them with the training.

Gresham Harkless 05:55

Yeah. I appreciate you sharing that. I think it's the desire to understand the nuances and put in the work that I think obviously translates in sports we see, but I think it translates. So many aspects of life as well.

Lee Povey 06:06

Completely. And this is why I've moved into executive and leadership coaching. There's such a big crossover between the two worlds. And I'm taking this information backwards and forwards.

So, what are leaders and CEOs of companies need help with? A lot of it is learning how to handle pressure. Athletes are awesome at that. And I've got a lot of experience around that, learning how to look after themselves physically so that they can emotionally perform well.

And then the biggest part of the work that I do, and this is, I think, what sets my work apart from, say, a consultant. So a consultant comes into a company and says, here are all the things you need to change to do better. And then they leave. The problem is what they don't address is the reason why the company wasn't doing that.

And a lot of that is the personal emotional baggage for one of a better term of the leaders of the company. You might have a leader that struggles to fire people and therefore can't get the right people in to do the jobs. You might have a leader who's brilliant, but can't communicate their message very shy or introverted or just not very good at communicating verbally or motivating people.

So the work I do is look at how companies could be better, but we start with what's your stuff that's getting in the way and we call it your survival mechanism. So this is the shield that you've put on as you've gone through life. So, to get through your family system, to get through school, to get through all the different jobs you've done to this point, and my job is to help you unpack that and get rid of that and just turn up as you are.

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Because if you're running a company, you're already a brilliant human being and it's helping people to start trusting that trust in the judgment. Be open to feedback. Know what feedback to take what feedback to put the hand up and go. Thank you very much. I'm not going to take that one on board.

And just being so much more confident and comfortable in themselves and it's really deep work. We get into within some interesting spaces in this work.

Gresham Harkless 08:11

Yeah, that's so powerful. I love that you see and hear the same way in the work that you do. And each of those 3 aspects is powerful that you mentioned that you outline that you work with clients.

But it almost sounds like that I guess working through the stuff is somewhat of the foundational thing. It sounds like where those survival mechanisms could come up.

Lee Povey 08:30

Absolutely. And if you don't do that work, it doesn't matter what leadership skills training courses you go on, what books you read, what podcasts you listen to, your stuff's just going to keep getting up in the way.

So that's where the real gold is. And it's more about who you'd be rather than what you do. So many people are focused on what I do, right. What do I do? How many hours do I work? How good am I at organizing my calendar? So I'm the most efficient human being and their stuff still going to get in the way their judgments, their worries, their fears, their story.

So it's a good one. We explore with everybody, but especially leaders of stories. So an example of that, if somebody takes you and says, we need to speak. What do you think when you get a text that says we need to speak?

Gresham Harkless 09:18

Something that's going to be bad and probably I don't want to hear it.

Lee Povey 09:21

Exactly. So that's a common experience for most people. They get that text. We need to speak. Oh, my God, what have I done wrong? Why is this person angry with me? The text doesn't say that it just says we need to speak and then from there, we create a story about the potential and possibilities that might happen because we move into fear.

Gresham Harkless 09:39

I wanted to make sure we touched on the different ways that you work with your clients. I know I touched on it when I read your bio, I just want to make sure we didn't miss anything and cover everything.

And of course, I think we talked about your secret sauce as well, too. And you being able to I think touch on and understand that human aspect of business and make sure that you aren't glossing over that when you're helping to empower your clients.

Lee Povey 09:58

Deeper work that we do. And I'm not the only person that does that says many great coaches that do this kind of work.

My one is I've done the journey, so I've done it both. I've had my own businesses. I've sold 2 companies and I've done elite school and I've coached elite sport. So I've really worked in very high-pressure environment, being at a world championships is pretty high-pressure environment, both as an athlete and coaching athletes at it.

Although, interestingly it's also one of the most fun environments.

Gresham Harkless 10:31

Absolutely. No, I appreciate that. And I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. You might have already touched on this, but this could be like an app, a book or a habit that you have. But what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Lee Povey 10:45

So the first one is a really simple exercise I got from a book called Fill the Fear and Do It Anyway. Little bit of a clunky title, put me off reading it for six months. When I read it, I'm like, why did I not read this sooner? It's such a good book. And it's called a nine-box exercise.

And what you do is you divide your life into nine boxes. So you put a title in each box. So it can be romantic relationship, friendships, work, career, hobbies. And then under the title, you fill it with what does that box mean to you? And what do you need to do?

And when I do this work with people, I really encourage them to make each box very separate. If there's any crossover, combine it and then put something in a different box.

And the other thing from this is, if your career is not going well, or let's say you've broken up your romantic partner, you can look at this thing and go I've got 9. I've got 8 other areas of my life to lean into. So, one box is empty right now. I have 8 other areas of my life to lean into. My life is not empty.

And then the other one is a concept called above and below the line. This really describes the work I do. So, below the line is your emotional response to any situation. Somebody cuts you off when you're driving down the road in your car. Most of us have an emotional response to that.

We get angry. We might swear. We might flip the bird at them. We have an emotional response. And then above the line is what would I like to choose to do now? So, now, if somebody cuts me off in a car, I feel my anger. Why do I feel my anger? Because I was scared for a second because I don't want to die and you have somebody getting close to you.

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You have that initial fear and then it moves to anger, right? I'm angry at you for putting me in fear. And then the next stage is how can I give this person grace? Instead of having the story of this person is doing this to me, how can I just accept it's happened? It's got nothing to do with me. It's about them.

They could be rushing to the hospital to see a sick relative. They could have just got fired and be in an emotional state. They could just not be paying attention right now. It's got nothing to do with me. So how can I have grace for them?

And we can take this above and below the line into everything we do in the world. And the thing I'd like people to take from this is we will always have a below-the-line reaction to start with, even if it's for a microsecond in any kind of stress or triggering situation or challenging situation, the emotional response.

The emotional response is normal. We need to fill it. Don't ignore it. I teach people emotions and data. What does an emotion tell me?

Gresham Harkless 13:20

Yeah, I appreciate you breaking that down.

Lee Povey 13:23

Studies continually show us that humans get their greatest satisfaction from helping others and being of service to others. Giving gifts gives us much more satisfaction than receiving gifts.

Gresham Harkless 13:34

Yeah, that's so powerful. I almost wonder if that's like your CEO nugget. So is that how you would define like what it means to be a CEO? And our goal is to have different quote-unquote CEOs on the show. So is, being a leader, being able to provide that, goal started to provide that leadership.

Do you feel like that? What is being a CEO mean to you?

Lee Povey 13:51

One, meeting the people you work with and you said this just now where they are. The greatest sports coaches I've worked with. That's exactly how they work. The best CEOs I work with. They're constantly thinking, how do I meet this person to get the most out of them?

Not how do I make this person understand me? They're like, how do I understand that person and be on their level? Whatever it is, how do I change myself to be effective for them? And then the other one is. Keep looking for the good. I have a sticker on my computer that says, be Ted Lasso. Look for the good.

For those of you who haven't seen Ted Lasso, The Show, probably the best leadership training show you could watch the guy is just absolutely fantastic series on Apple TV about an American football coach that becomes a soccer coach in the UK, doesn't know the sport, but his leadership is exemplary and he understands how to empower people.

And he just always looks for the good. You can never appreciate and acknowledge somebody enough. Just keep doing it. Keep working on it. We're always going to have the critiques. Great leaders they see what needs to be done. They're always going to have the critiques. So just keep working on that appreciation and acknowledgement.

Gresham Harkless 15:02

Absolutely appreciate that definition. And of course, I appreciate your time even more. So what I want to do now is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know. And of course, how best people can get ahold of you, find about all the awesome things that you're working on.

[00:15:17] Lee Povey: Thank you, man. Come find me Maximize Your Potential Coaching on all of the social media channels and LinkedIn. Do your work, do your work. It's okay to have a coach. It's okay to have a therapist. It's okay to be in groups. Do your work.

I wouldn't be living in an apartment with a sea view in California with, a great wife and wonderful relationship if I've not done my work, I would be bitter and unhappy and still thinking it was about what I was achieving rather than what I was experiencing. So, don't be afraid to do your work.

Gresham Harkless 15:50

I absolutely love that. And to make it even easier, we're going to have the links and information in the show notes. And I love that last aspect about doing the work.

And I think doing that work means a lot of times delving deeper and having those conversations, getting people that have expertise like yourself to really have that magnifying glass and actually understand what we're doing, but also why we're doing it, which is probably even more important.

So, thank you so much again, Lee. And I hope you have a phenomenal day.

Lee Povey 16:14

Thank you brother. Great to meet you.

Outro 16:15

Thank you for listening to the IAMCEO podcast powered by CB Nation and Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at IAMCEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.

Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google podcast, and everywhere you listen to podcasts.

Subscribe and leave us a five star rating. This has been the IAMCEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless Jr. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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