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Kerrie Phipps, Leadership Coach, Speaker & Author

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Kerrie Phipps coaches leaders and entrepreneurs, writes books and supports others on their journeys through life.

What’s your story?
Growing up on a farm in Australia, I knew that people were always welcome; that if we met someone on the side of the road, they’d most likely be coming home for dinner. School life wasn’t so friendly, and I quickly learned that it really matters to make people feel welcome and included. I began my working life (after childhood farm work) in a dental surgery, where I learned the value of using and remembering people’s names, and the difference it makes to extend a hand of comfort and empathy when someone’s in a vulnerable, uncomfortable or even painful moment. I went on to work in other customer service roles in retail and banking, then youth and community work with regional churches and schools. After my second trip to Thailand volunteering (and Singapore for R&R on the way home) I picked up a virus that hit me hard, and mixed with burnout that was creeping in, eventually I was unable to work. After a very quiet (incapacitated) season I came across the right help, and soon after a new career. I trained as a coach in 2004 and became accredited in 2005. Since then I’ve been coaching leaders and entrepreneurs to think better, make the best decisions and the best connections with others. Writing for magazines led to writing books, and so many conversations built my business and supported many others. My latest book (which is the first in the series) is called DO Talk To Strangers: How To Connect With Anyone, Anywhere. It’s the message I live. I love meeting people and the adventures that are possible as a result. I’m passionate about connecting people, making great things happen, and increasing positivity in the world.

What excites you most about your industry?
The collective impact of thousands of coaching/speaking professionals who inspire people to think more clearly, creatively and collaboratively, is astounding. We are empowering each other and countless more to make the world a brighter, sustainable, compassionate and proactive global community.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I’m a close neighbour. I’m based in Australia and often visit Singapore, the Philippines and other Asian countries. While it might seem a long flight (8 hours from Sydney) it’s less time-consuming than many road trips I’ve done in Australia of 10 – 15 hours one way! I keep coming back, because I love the people, the opportunity to learn, and I keep being asked back – especially since writing a book that’s particularly relevant to a rapidly changing region, to people who are driven to make a positive difference in the world.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore. I learn so much everyday, I’m inspired by what I hear and see. Every street is so interesting, creative and full of people with extraordinary stories and ideas. Business people encourage one another and share resources and experiences. There’s a wonderful vibe of beauty, innovation and growth.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“When you’re nervous, you’re thinking about yourself.” This observation enabled me to become more self-aware and let go of the apprehension of meeting new people, public speaking and other interactions. Being focused on serving others is liberating!

Who inspires you?
People who speak multiple languages, people who overcome adversity and have a good attitude, my grandparents (all 4 lived well, beyond 95 years of age), my parents, my husband and my son!

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
That the installation hanging in Marina Bay Sands Hotel Tower 1 Atrium is made up of platonic solids (cubes, octahedrons, tetrahedrons etc). I didn’t really appreciate that until my 16 year old son pointed it out to me, in awe. (I think I’m in awe of him too.) It’s not a tangle of thin rods – it’s a mathematical marvel of shapes. Next time you’re in there, look up!

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Be more curious. Ask for more information and advice. It’s better to ask and learn.

How do you unwind?
In water – pools, beaches, tubs of any size, and floatation tanks! Or simply taking a walk or writing my thoughts out.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Balesin Island, Philippines. It’s a private member-only island (AND their guests, thankfully) with 7 themed villages from around the world. A drive around is a global day trip of unique beach resorts from Asia to Greece and Italy – and it’s built for relaxation! There’s also a stunning wellness centre with rooftop thalassopools (think seawater jacuzzi’s – perfect for floating in and coming up with brilliant ideas.

Everyone in business should read this book:
DO Talk To Strangers: How To Connect With Anyone, Anywhere. (I’m still learning from it and I wrote it! Connecting with people is how businesses grow!) I have so many useful books on my shelf, from neuroscience books like ‘You Are Not Your Brain’ by Dr Jeffrey Schwartz and leadership books by John Maxwell and Brian Tracy. Leaders are readers.

Shameless plug for your business:
‘Connecting with Confidence’ is the workshop I’ve created for teams to collaborate courageously and effectively and reach out to clients with confident communication. I also work with leaders individually to increase their clarity and confidence in their leadership and astound themselves with their rapid, sustainable, personal growth. Every leader is unique and is the expert in their world. I simply ask the right questions and help the leader hear themselves think their best thoughts, and catch them doing well (they forget to learn from their strengths and wins) and support them to step forward with the brave decisions that they make.

How can people connect with you?
By sending a personal note! (always introduce yourself on Linkedin or Facebook as you send an invitation to connect) https://www.linkedin.com/in/kerriephipps/
https://www.facebook.com/KerriePhipps personal profile
https://www.facebook.com/KerriePhipps1/ public page
www.kerriephipps.com/contact to send me an email
Instagram @kerriephipps

Twitter handle?
@kerriephipps

This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:

CallumConnectsCallum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.

Take the ‘Key Person of Influence’ scorecard <http://www.keypersonofinfluence.com/scorecard/>

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Get his free ‘Asia Snapshot’ report from www.callumlaing.com

Callum Connects

Denise Morris Kipnis, Founder & Principal of ChangeFlow Consulting

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Denise Mossis Kipnis’ curiosity in people and the world, lead her to set up ChangeFlow Consulting.

What’s your story?
I’m driven by curiosity. Having been the only one in a room who looks like me for most of my life, I developed a curiosity about who stays, who leaves and who thrives in minority/majority situations including when and how connection and collaboration happen. I was a systems thinker long before I knew what that was, always asking why and so what; and seeing the pieces, the whole, and the places in between. So helping people and organisations move through the complexity of transformation feels natural to me.

What excites you most about your industry?
I see change and inclusion as two sides of the same thing; I don’t practice one without the other. Some people see change as death, as loss, as exhausting. And it can be. But I see in the work I do as an opportunity for something new or hidden to emerge. When an organisation understands that it is first a group of people, who themselves represent and belong to groups of people, and it begins to tackle what it would mean to understand and learn from all that talent, all that diversity, to have them all working for and not against the organisation, to truly unleash all that their people have to offer; that’s magic.

What’s your connection to Asia?
Change and inclusion are personal values as well as professional strengths. For me, living and working outside of the States was a bold experiment to see whether any of the stuff I’d learned about change and inclusion would work outside of the US. My husband and I targeted Asia specifically: it would be the greatest contrast, culturally speaking, for me; and a unique career springboard for him.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Although I’ve practiced in other cities, I am biased towards Singapore. In some ways it’s what Los Angeles is to the rest of the United States, a microcosm of sorts. The regional/global nature of it means that so many different nationalities and cultures are represented. As a result of this mix, you never know what you might get. In some situations, cultural dynamics are obvious, sometimes subdued. The variability is compelling.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Never ask anyone to do anything you wouldn’t do yourself.” Michael Rouan.

Who inspires you?
Often it’s a “what” not a “who.” I can get inspiration from a passage in a book or a situation in a movie, as well as a turn of a phrase or watching people interact. I often make the biggest connections between the various threads I’m working on when I’m sitting in someone else’s event.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I’m honestly not blown away by much. Instead, I’m struck how circular things can be: ideas often come back around with a slightly different twist and I watch the way it shakes things loose for people. I recently sat through a workshop on Self as Instrument, and despite being thoroughly versed already, I learned something. In preparing for a panel on design thinking, I unearthed a new language to describe things.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
You’ve caught me at a good time. I’m sitting in appreciation and gratitude for all my experiences, because I wouldn’t be who I was today if all that has happened, didn’t. And yet one thing comes to mind: It wasn’t until I redesigned my website two years ago (shout out to Brew Creative!) that I realised I hadn’t made explicit agreements with my past clients as to what I could share publicly about our engagement, or whether I could use their logos in my promotional materials. In my business, confidentiality is so important, and yet I need to be able to talk about the work as reputation and experience leads to the next success, and so on. It turned out a lot of the contacts I had known had left the organisations where the work was done, so they couldn’t help at that point. So the practice I’m carrying forward is to get those agreements up front, and to make sure my relationships in client systems are broad as well as deep.

How do you unwind?
Science fiction, puzzles, wine.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Home. I don’t travel to relax, I travel to learn and explore.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Built to Change, by Ed Lawler and Chris Worley. To my knowledge, it’s the first pivot from advising organisations away from stability and toward dynamism, from strategic planning to strategizing as an action verb; to blow up the traditions and rigidity that impede organisations from developing change capability.

Shameless plug for your business:
We’re taught that there are two kinds of people: those who see forests, and those who see trees. There is a third type, my type, and we see the ecosystem. Worms, climate, birds, the spaces in between. This is the perspective organisations need to be successful in solving complex problems and thriving in change.
ChangeFlow uniquely blends four disciplines (two of which are multi-disciplinary in themselves): organisation development, culture and inclusion, change management and project management.

How can people connect with you?
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChangeFlowConsulting/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dmorriskipnis/
LinkedIn Company page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/4862954/
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://www.changeflowconsulting.com

Twitter handle?
@ChangeFlow

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

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Callum Connects

Agnes Yee, Legal & Compliance Recruiter of Space Executive

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Agnes Yee started Space Executive in Singapore, which is a hub for businesses in some of the world’s fastest growing economies.

What’s your story?
After graduation, I joined a design media company as a Business Development Executive, during the era when ‘reading a magazine online’ was unheard of. I believe that laid the foundation for being unfazed by rejections.

I fell into recruitment pre-GFC and rode the highs and lows in the early years. A decade later, I decided to set up my own recruitment company, partly because I could. I’m acutely aware of the face that being an Asian female in Singapore is sometimes a privilege, and that many women in the world are living a very different existence.
Thereafter, we joined Space Executive as part of a merger. I am currently the Partner of Space Executive, a recruitment company focused specialist disciplines, including Legal, Finance, Digital, Sales and Marketing and Change. We also run Space Ventures, a venture capital business, which invests in seed and pre-series A businesses.

What excites you most about your industry?
On a daily basis, we’re influencing how one spends a third of their day. It is interesting how the Internet has transformed the industry, and I’m excited to see how we can harness technology to bring us to the next phase of this business.

The VC is an extension of applying our skills and experience in reading people. We very much invest in the people as much as the idea. Being a native Singaporean, it’s been exhilarating watching Southeast Asia becoming a hotbed of ideas; and young entrepreneurs simply daring to dream.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I’m a born and bred Singaporean. I love that I speak both English and Mandarin, grew up playing with Indian friends and eating Malay food.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore for the low barriers of entry to set up a business, but has to be China (and Hong Kong) for their hunger and constant innovation.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
青春不要留白 which translates to ‘Don’t waste your youth.’

Who inspires you?
Anyone who has gone against the grain.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
It wasn’t recent but reading the article on https://waitbutwhy.com/2015/12/the-tail-end.html never fails to blow my mind how little time we have left. Charting our lives in weeks, and realising I only have enough time left to enjoy 60 Christmas turkeys, read 300 books (all if I’m lucky); and mostly, I’m left with the last 5% of the time that I spend in-person with my parents.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I’m cognisant that every decision I made in life has brought me to where I am today, and I wouldn’t change one thing. But I’d really like to have had more time to travel.

How do you unwind?
Exercise and wine.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Trekking any mountain in Asia. It brings us back to the most basic. To overcome elements of nature and our own mind.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Start with Why, Simon Sinek

Shameless plug for your business:
Space Executive started in Singapore, a hub for businesses in some of the world’s fastest growing economies. We assist organisations in accessing a targeted and specialised, and often times transient talent pool.

Out of Singapore, we have recruited across 14 countries; and have embarked on our global expansion plans with offices in Hong Kong and London this year, and US, Japan and Europe in the following years.

Space Ventures provides funding, management and financial guidance to young businesses with original ideas. We have invested in peer to peer lending platforms, credit scoring, social media education, and other start-ups spanning diverse industries. We are always interested in hearing more about new ideas.

How can people connect with you?
https://www.linkedin.com/in/agnesyee/

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

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