Spotlight: Michael Cauley

Michael Cauley1 - Where are you from, and how did you choose to live in Middle Tennessee?

I have lived in Tennessee for 21 years, 12 years in East Tennessee and 9 years in Middle Tennessee. I have had the privilege to live in almost every region of the US as well, Northeast, Midwest, Northwest, and Texas—yes Texas stands alone—or at least Davy Crockett thought so. My wife, Ashley, has family in Middle Tennessee and we moved to Franklin in 2010 through a job transfer and the opportunity to live near family.

2 - What is your professional background, and why did you become a coach?

I had been a pastor for nearly 20 years before I realized that what I had to give was never going to be what my organization wanted. Through this experience I learned that organizations hire people for what they do, not for who they are. This has informed my work as a coach to help people bring who they are to what they do which is the main point of current book project You at Work: Bringing Who You Are to What You Do.

3 - How did you choose your specialty area?

I specialize in coaching leaders and their leadership teams in organizational systems. In my first career, I discovered a disconnect in organizational fit. As a Hudson coach, I was trained as an executive coach and noticed the challenge of my clients to connect self and system. I began studying existentialism toward an understanding of organizational ontology and applied what I was learning to my work with clients individually and with their teams as well. Through this, I discovered a passion for organizational systems and a need to learn more. This fall I begin a PhD in Management: Designing Sustainable Systems at Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.

4 - What are the greatest challenges and greatest rewards of your career?

My greatest challenge was taking almost 20 years to figure out what I wanted to do. My greatest reward is helping leaders bring who they are to what they do.

5 - What is something that most ICFTN members would be surprised to learn about you?

I am a two-time IronMan Finisher and would like to visit Denmark, Norway, and Sweden and race the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun race.

6 - How do you enjoy spending your free time?

I enjoy spending time with my family around a warm hearth, our favorite bakery on Saturdays, and traveling.

Michael Cauley