Jul 15, 2022
Introduction: Paul Glover is a C-suite Performance Coach with 20 years’
experience as a Federal Court Tral Lawyer. Paul is a passionate
story teller who believes in the power of narrative to influence
and educate in business, personal life and even in court rooms. He
is now a recovering Federal Trial Lawyer having spent 7 years in a
United States prison for felony charges. In prison he chose to
transform his narcissistic patterns and on release he chose to
become a business coach. Paul is a member of Forbes Council and
author of the book “WorKQuake” This is a playbook for Leaders,
Leaders who want to navigate the future of work beyond traditional
command and control models of leadership to a more inclusive,
engaging work environment.
Podcast Episode Summary This episode chronicles the professional and
personal life of Paul Glover, the mistakes he made and the choices
he assumed to transform. He explores his approach, the books he has
written and life after prison as well as his contention that
everyone needs a fool in their lives.
Points made over the episode
- Paul is a no bullshit performance
- He starts the
podcast by sharing his own story, a different story from the bio
that was shared.
- Paul was
incarcerated in a Federal Prison for 7 years for committing 33
counts of bribery, kickbacks and for tampering with Government
witnesses, while he was a practicing attorney in the city of
- He was sentenced
to 7 years but managed to get out in 5 for good
- For the first
two years of his sentence Paul spent his time consumed by “revenge
- For those two
years he could not accept responsibility for his
- The mere fact of
entering Prison was insufficient to activate Pauls desire for
personal change. He was a committed narcissist.
- The shock of
seeing prisoners, white collar prisoners be resentenced was the
shock Paul needed to commit to change.
- Recidivism or
the tendency for a convicted criminal to reoffend is 80% in US
- Paul started to self-reflect
and quickly appreciated that
self-reflection alone was insufficient to help him transform. He
needed more. He needed people to tell him the truth about
- He asked anyone visiting him
to be willing to share a difficult
truth about him.
- By year 3, Paul announced to his wife that he was
committed to change
- Paul admits that the commitment to
change is hard- it
has to be necessary
- The people who
respond to the kind of coaching Paul offers are those you have
failed and are committed to change.
- People fear success as much as they fear
failure. Sometimes being
successful is a curse as it blocks us & stymies our potential
for future growth.
- Time in prison
afforded Paul the chance to reform. It shocked him to realise how
much of an “asshole” he was before prison. He adopted a
professional persona, a hard, mean and cruel persona that permeated
his personal domain. He believed that rules did not apply to him,
there were no boundaries and he would take any short cut he needed
to meet his ends.
- He transformed
from being a committed narcissist to becoming an empathetic
listener, more interested in the people around
- He had a captive
audience in the 300 inmates who surrounded him in Prison. They were
drawn to Paul because they thought he could help them with their
cases and he was able to practice being perpetually curious. He
ultimately turned to service and volunteered to be a trainer for a
qualification called GED or a General Education Diploma
- He activated the
prisoners interest and attention by developing his own
anti-recidivism program & he made sure every class attendee
succeeded in getting the GED.
- Paul could never
practice Law again and he decided to use the skills he had as a
practicing lawyer and his newly acquired skills in prison to become
a no-bullshit performance coach.
- He translated
his acumen for critical thinking and storytelling from his days as
a lawyer to help leaders become more effective.
- He has developed
a Leadership Coaching Program that requires considerable commitment
from his C-Suite clients.
- He employs the
concept of the “fool” in his approach in that he is willing to
share tough feedback and be tough as an accountability buddy for
- Paul uses the
arc of Joseph Campbells Heroes’ Journey to explain his
- Leaders need to
become good story tellers and they need to be authentic. They also
need to be willing to be vulnerable and to admit what they do not
know. They then need to commit to find out.
- The world knows
a lot about engagement and still the figures for engagement
languish at a miserly 33% with two thirds of the workforce
- This phenomena
has now become the “Big resignation” post the pandemic. Employees
are not identifying with the purpose of businesses
- Leaders need to share
adversary. They have to
prepare people for adversary.
- Little red
riding hood would be a story about a walk in the woods if it wasn’t
for the Wolf.
- As a trial
Lawyer Paul developed a finely honed skill for detecting bullshit.
Clients do not tell the truth, as much as coaching clients rarely
tell the whole truth.
- Paul wrote the
book “WorkQuake” ten years ago and it is still as relevant today.
He calls it a classic. The messages inherent is his book include
- Apply Self-Care- Leaders need to get the requisite sleep,
exercise and work patterns to lead.
- Eliminate Command and
- Stop paying for hours and instead pay
for outcomes. We are
assuming an industrial mindset instead of a knowledge centred
- Believe in the concept of
- Apply 3 As’-Attraction-Attention and
crave attention give it.
- Stop being a professional & instead
- Paul summarises the need for everyone to have a
fool in their lives. People create self-images that are often
flawed. The opportunity to recognise the need for a fool in
your life is self-awareness. If you believe you are finished or
have all the answers you are a narcissist.
- People willing to have your back, people whom
you respect and trust can apply for the fool
- Paul surrounded himself with co-conspirators
who did not have his back. They used and manipulated his blind
spots. His need to belong overrode his need at the time to be
discerning. You need a fool to hold you to account.
Self-accountability is hard.
- Paul shares a story of his own sentencing where
he was offered a reduced sentence if he admitted his crimes. He
- It is often difficult for fools to rise up
within an organization because of the power differential. Paul
makes the case for an external objective person such as a coach to
assume the role of the fool.
Resources shared across this podcast