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Why we exist

- pacific pillars -

We help Senior Executives, Hi-Potential Leaders, Venture Builders and Leaders of Family Businesses breakthrough from professional issues that vex their hearts so that their performance can soar.

 

Through Active Dialogues, clients and the coach enters into a mind and emotion 'sandbox' where options are explored, paradigms are shifted, behaviours are altered and mistakes are simply learning opportunities.

 

Singapore-based and technologically empowered to work across borders.

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How we help

Your Breakthrough Starts Now.

All coaching are conducted on a 1 to 1 basis, strictly confidential and working on the premise of a growth mindset.  Active dialogues are used to guide and inspire mindset and behavior changes for performance acceleration.

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Your coach's profile

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Patrick Kay

Patrick focuses on executive coaching, executive assessment and retained executive appointments across Asia, since 2003, serving clients in diverse industries, including Financial Services, Medical Devices, Manufacturing, Digital Media, Agri-Commodities, Real Estate and Shipping. Occasionally, he is also called upon to mediate conflicts in family business situations. Pat is also a Senior Career Fellow with Nanyang Business School, an International Coach for Asia for Essec Alumni Association and a Mentor for Venture Building teams with NTUitive, the commercialization and venture arm of Nanyang Technological University.

 

Patrick had worked previously for HSBC Singapore, the regional office of ABN Amro Asia Pacific, Strategy Consulting for PwC Consulting (East Asia) & Singapore’s Ministry of Finance’s Accountant-General Department. He started his career with Ernst & Young.

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Patrick Kay

He had performed market entry studies, developed business cases, facilitated strategy discussions, conducted M&A due diligence, led merger-integration exercises, developed new products, managed operations, launched marketing campaigns, performed fundraising and led value-for-money reviews in his corporate experience.

Pat is fluent in English and Mandarin and has done business across Asia Pacific, including Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea and China.

He holds a Bachelor of Accountancy (Honours, 1993) from Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) and MBA (International Marketing, 1998) from Oklahoma City University (USA). He completed Family Business Management by the Centre for Family Entrepreneurship & Ownership by Jonkoping University in December 2020 and also attended the Family Business Advisory seminar (2012) jointly conducted by the City University of Hong Kong and The Family Firm Institute

He completed the ‘3D Negotiation Advanced Program, 2014’ developed at Harvard Business School and conducted by ex Harvard Professor Greg Barron of the LaxSebenius Group. Pat is a certified Executive Coach (2002, by Lore Int’l, now part of Korn/Ferry). He also completed NTU's Mentoring in the Innovation & Enterprise Ecosystem program (2020). Pat also completed the Strategic  Strategic Conflict Management for Professionals, Module 1 by Singapore Mediation Centre in 2021

Pat also writes articles with insights from an important Chinese Classic, titled, “Gems for Family Businesses from Chinese Classics (applicable for the rest of us too!)”, available on Telegram; ‘Wisdom2Reign Pacific Pillars’ channel. He also lectures part-time with his alma-mater, Nanyang Business School and conducts workshops for Essec Business School Asia Pacific

Patrick is happily married with 3 children and loves badminton and the NBA. He also mentors venture building teams as an Advisory Partner

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Authentic Growth Situations

Accelerating Leadership Performance.

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Becoming  C  E O

Aspirations Met

Pat coached the CEO of a Major Singapore Government-linked, Listed Company

Situation: This CEO had been on the job for 18 months and was struggling with getting his Investment Board to approve major investments in the region and he suspected he needed to improve his presentation skills.

Engagement: Through a series of active dialogues, Patrick drew out the root cause, which was the CEO’s lack of commercial orientation. Hence when recommending the major investments to the Board, he himself had no confidence which would fly and which wouldn’t. The CEO was previously the company’s CFO for 10 years. Though he was familiar with the business, the culture, the numbers and the rate of investment returns as the CFO, he had no direct feel for the business as its CEO. While it was his aspirations to become the CEO, he was experiencing significant self-doubt on whether he was right in accepting the CEO role. By clarifying his thinking, what he really wanted and what he was afraid of in making the transition, Patrick devised a simple plan for the CEO, that over a 6-12 months period to devote 50% of the CEO’s time ‘out in the fields’; meeting customers, customers’ suppliers attending trade shows and visiting the locations where its clients operate.

 

Results: The CEO made the transition successfully though it was uncomfortable in the initial months. The bi-monthly coaching session ensured both a motivation and an accountability to overcome the discomfort.

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Changing Communication Style

Results Unleashed

Pat coached the CEO of a Venture Capital-backed Company

 

Situation: Revenues were stagnating and morale was low for this company. The CEO was trying very hard but not getting results.

Engagement: Using the pretext of a headhunter trying to better understand the company’s business, Patrick shadowed this CEO for 1 week, attending several internal and external meetings. Combined with active dialogues, the CEO realized that his high level of conservatism was interpreted by his team and clients as a severe lack of confidence for the company and its products. Together, a plan was devised to change the CEO’s beliefs and alter the choices of his words.

 

Results: Once his team felt confidence from the CEO, morale improved and sales improved.

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Flying Solo

True to Self

Pat coached the Managing Partner of a Professional Services Firm.

Situation: This Managing Partner was experiencing higher professional staff turnover compared to its industry’s norms. This was especially frustrating as he was much better than his peers in attracting talents and clients.

                                               Engagement: Using a 360-feedback, Patrick met with this Managing Partner’s direct reports, ex-staff, his wife and two individuals whom he considered important in his life. All pointed out that the Managing Partner was extremely intelligent and suave but working for him was unbearable because he was not only a mirco-manager but was perceived as manipulative. Using active dialogues over a 12-month period, this Managing Partner came to his own conclusion that his high distrust towards people is at odds with holding the role of a Managing Partner of a large firm.  

Results: He left the firm and set up a small practice, truly enjoying serving clients using his charm and intellect and supported only by his faithful secretary and junior associates.

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Managing up, Successfully

Respect Restored

I was thrilled when a client sent me a picture of her sipping coffee and enjoying cheesecake during the middle of the week. Such an occasion is normal for many but this is really a much deserved break for my client. 

 

She was under tremendous stress when we met at our first coaching session on a Saturday afternoon. For more than a year she had been working unhealthy hours for an entrepreneur who was excessively demanding. Covid's work-from-home arrangements exacerbated the situation and the agony spilled over into her relationship with her adult daughters. Their respect for her plummeted when they perceived that she was not standing up against her boss' bullying. 

 

Her boss did not change during the month after our first coaching session but her perspective has shifted. While it certainly took a few days to reorient herself to the new thinking, it was sufficient for her to adapt to the new paradigm and altered her behavior to manage her boss, successfully. 

 

Now we are discussing the next phases of her shifts, from neutralizing her circumstances to taking command. It will require finesse but I believe she'll get there. Breakthrough moments like these are why I enjoy coaching so much to work during weekends. Coaching has supersize impact and power that goes beyond petty ROI discussions. 

 

It is a blessing when we have superiors who model leadership behaviors we read in books but more often than not we find ourselves with leaders dispatched from hell rather than the ones sent from heaven. Running away from these situations are our human tendencies but when this isn't an option, we do have a good option - adapt, stretch and grow. 

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Uncaged from Wrong Thinking

Free to Succeed

I was introduced to, and coached a mid-level executive who felt stuck, and was very upset for several months with a few folks within the organization. They included his Country Manager and the senior leadership in the Regional Office whom he has a dotted line reporting responsibility.


At the end of our 45-mins together he saw why the false hopes he was building on had caused his stress and frustrations. This mid-level executive was a novice in navigating corporate structures despite having worked with multinational companies for nearly two decades. These wrong thinking patterns are also culprits to his career stagnation which he now recognizes.

 

Together we devised the appropriate adjustments, first in his thinking and then the appropriate behaviors towards the folks in his home country and regional office.
 
Ad-hoc, one-off coaching can be as powerful as sustained programmatic coaching. Both results in preventing executive derailment, getting unstuck and accelerating personal and leadership effectiveness. Not getting the right help had caused this mid-level executive years of career stagnation and lost opportunities to fulfill his aspirations. It shouldn't, and doesn't need to be like this.

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Free to be Unique, Liberty to be Authentic

Extraordinaire Expressed

This young lady came to me through her dad's colleague who was my client. She has six more months before she graduates from her double degrees. She was stressed and felt lost though she was doing pretty well with her GPAs. It wasn't the fact that most of her close friends were securing job offers and she wasn't. She was upset that she had been asking what she should pursue as her profession since 16 and was not getting anywhere despite a lot of effort she put in. She felt that she had very low interest in careers that her friends were excited about but yet believed that it would be a waste of her academic excellence if she pursued something outside the fields she was trained for. 

 

We spent 75 minutes together, most of the time I was just listening and probing her, rephrasing her answers and throwing her wild ideas, partly to help her to relax but more importantly to test the hypotheses that are flashing in my mind. 

 

At the 55-minute mark I suggested that I would put forth three career options for her. The first one was enough to get her excited that she probed me for its details and the firms that offer such a service. 

 

The power and thrill of coaching isn't so much about opening her horizons to possible career options, as these are likely to change over the course of her life, especially in the rapidly changing environments we are in. Instead, it is in the assurance that she is unique and there is nothing wrong to celebrate her uniqueness that liberates her to pursue something authentic for herself that coaching brings tremendous value. Naturally, the stress that had built up since she was 16 dissipated before we bidded farewell.

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