Booker Farrior is one of the coaches that we found this month and we did a little interview with him. He impressed us with his expertise and innovativeness.
He is an expert coach whose journey from industrial engineering to supply chain management has culminated in a transformative coaching practice called “Coaching by the Book.”
He discovered an unexpected passion for applied behavioral science during his tenure in corporate roles. Trained in behavioral coaching and consequence management, he witnessed firsthand the profound impact of coaching on business outcomes through behavioral shifts, igniting a desire to integrate coaching into his leadership roles.
He embarked on a path to certification with the International Coach Federation (ICF), driven by a vision to empower individuals and organizations to reach their full potential. Drawing from his own journey of embracing a growth mindset, he instills in his clients a sense of resilience and curiosity, fostering an environment where smart risks are celebrated and innovation thrives. Here is what he said.
Meet Life Coach Booker Farrior:
Name: Booker Farrior
Pillar: The Mind
Who is this coach for: Anyone who wants to remove negative thinking patterns, transform their thoughts, and adopt a growth mindset.
How they can help: Through assessments, a program that rewires the neural pathways, and a mental fitness app, just to name a few.
First of all, how are you and your family doing after these Pandemic times?
My family and I are doing well, and I appreciate you asking.
I think like many people, we all continue to adjust to the impacts that the pandemic brought about.
This includes many areas:
Professionally (Do I really want to continue the path I’m on?),
Personally (What do I value? Where and how do I want to spend my time?),
And Relationships (Who do I want to spend my time with?).
And everyone I speak to has a different opinion on the hybrid learning and work models that so many schools and companies have in place.
How did the coronavirus pandemic affect your clients? Did it affect you at all?
The pandemic impacted everyone in various ways: personally, professionally, and mentally, just to name a few.
It impacted our family because we have kids who were in high school and college at that time, and it cut short both of their respective semesters.
That was a challenging time as my son was a senior in high school and he missed out on all the expected activities during that year, track meets, senior trip, senior prom…
My daughter was studying abroad in college, and it shortened an enriching experience for her.
One learning for us was that we had to manage the change as if it was a grieving process, they lost something that they loved and valued.
Once we changed our perspective from it being a change management issue to manage, to navigating the grieving process, my wife and I were able to show up in the appropriate manner for our kids.
For my clients, there were a lot of discussions on navigating the balance between facing an unknown environment with their families and showing up as needed for their work, as a teammate, employee, or leader.
All while working from home and facing new lifestyle challenges.
This required new ways to shop (do you remember washing down groceries?) and coexisting with the broader circle of family and friends (drive by birthdays, anyone?).
It was also during a time of social unrest, which required an additional level of empathy and perspective when showing up for my clients.
What are the biggest lessons that you learned in this pandemic?
I learned a few vital lessons:
1. Self care: taking care of yourself is paramount! As a peer coach reminds me, I must put on my oxygen mask first before I can help others.
2. Relationships: the right relationships are needed, and more than ever, the pandemic identified who you want and need in your circle.
3. Boundaries: being comfortable with setting boundaries and sticking to them is non negotiable. ‘No’ is a complete sentence, and further explanation is not necessary or required.
Tell us about you, your career, how you started with your coaching career?
My undergraduate degree is in industrial engineering and my entire career has been in supply chain management, across multiple industries including finance, biotech, energy and transportation.
But I’ve always had an interest in applied behavioral science (my wife has consistently said I would have been a psychiatrist if I wasn’t an engineer!).
At one of my previous companies, I was trained in behavioral coaching and consequence management, and it revealed to me how coaching can actually impact business outcomes through changed behavior.
That truly fascinated me and increased my desire to always have a role in coaching.
As a leader, I have the opportunity to coach everyday, and it actually became the most fulfilling part of my job.
Then a couple of years ago I was able to participate in another coaching training which led me down the path to get certified by ICF and start my own coaching practice, “Coaching by the Book“.
What was your biggest obstacle that you had to overcome in your life that made you who you are today?
I am very achievement oriented, but in the past, it was coupled with a fixed mindset.
That is not a good mix at all.
As I learned about and switched to a growth mindset, I started to take smart risks and increase my intellectual curiosity.
This opened a new world to me.
And to ensure our kids did not have fixed mindsets, we encouraged risk taking and encouraged them to go out and conquer.
A real life application of that was during their college application process, we actually encouraged them to attend an out of state school to gain new perspectives and experiences.
So, when we asked them, “What did you learn in your first year?”, it was fantastic to hear their answer, “Not everyone grew up the same way we did.”
That recognition that while we’re different but can come together for a common goal (in their case education) was a lesson that will serve them well in their personal and professional lives.
The Coaching Style:
How do you innovate with coaching your clients?
I innovate in a few ways.
As an executive coach, we always start where the client is.
In alignment with my background, I take an end to end approach (think supply chain) to the engagement and have the client ideate about new ways of looking at a challenge.
Those interconnected parts of a person’s background and experience can unlock and reveal new perspectives which can bring about innovative solutions.
My approach is rooted in guidance my father always shared with my sister and me: “Most people are average, but with a little extra effort, you won’t be like most people.”
So, I focus on helping people find, activate and apply that extra we all have.
That Extra drives innovation.
Another one of my offers is focused on mental health.
It’s a 7 week program that enables wellness, performance, and positive relationships.
Depending on the report you read, we have anywhere from 6,000 to 60,000 thoughts a day.
But regardless of the number, all findings commonly share that 80% of those thoughts are negative!
The program empowers you to create sustained change toward a more positive mind by laying down neural pathways to form new habits through consistent daily practice.
It starts with an assessment and provides my clients with the opportunity to identify and decrease their negative thoughts, and work to increase their positive thoughts.
It’s an innovative approach to challenges we all face, and the results are life changing!
In all cases, my clients are open to new, creative approaches when working together.
What’s unique about your coaching approach?
Clients tell me that they find my structured thinking and objectivity comforting and supportive, and that I am an engaging accountability partner.
This is due in large part to my pretty varied career.
I’ve held global leadership, consulting, and operational roles in large corporations (400k+ employees), small companies (I was #37 in a startup), public companies, and private firms.
Those experiences have all contributed to my learnings and coaching approach to talent management, leadership and mental health.
What benefits do your clients get after working with you?
Each of my clients have different needs, but every one of my clients has experienced the following when working with me:
- They viewed their challenge in a new light.
- They identified options they did not previously think of.
- They discovered something new about themselves that enabled them to achieve their goals.
Do you use any specific tools to be efficient with your clients?
For my mental fitness offer, we leverage an app on your phone that houses daily practice exercises, weekly lessons, and a community of other clients who are going through the program.
It allows you to measure your progress and connect with others.
This is coupled with weekly sessions that I facilitate, enabling discussion opportunities.
If you had a super megaphone that, when you speak into, the whole world will hear your message, what would you say?
Focus on three things…
1. Ikigai. This is the Japanese term for purpose.
It’s an excellent book, and among its lessons is identifying one’s purpose, the intersection of: 1) what you love; 2) what you are good at; 3) what you can get paid for; and 4) what the world needs.
Knowing and understanding this sheds light on why we do the things we do, and if we should pivot.
2. Effort. You would be amazed at how much further along you would be if you exerted just a little bit more effort each day.
3. Empathy. If you could see things from another person’s point of view, it would provide so much perspective that we do not have.
A 6 and 9 are the same number, just from different perspectives, so be mindful of that when there is a difference of opinion.
You just might be in ‘violent agreement’ without realizing it.
What is the greatest lesson you have learned in your life?
When I am intellectually curious, courageous, empathetic, and embody a growth mindset, nothing can stop me.
And empathy is what separates good leaders from great leaders, and good coaches from great coaches.
Your final thoughts?
One, thank you for this interview and the chance to share a little about myself. This is a great opportunity that you are providing to coaches like me, so I am grateful for this.
Two, I would love to get feedback from your audience on what they’ve read and if anything resonated specifically. From that, let’s explore the possibility of working together.
Where Can You Find Booker Farrior?
If you liked this interview and you would love to work with coach Booker, go to https://www.coachingbybook.com and find out how he can help you transcend your challenges and move forward in your life.