23. Valuing People’s Contributions and Finding Balance with Tom McAtee (Harriet’s Dad)

episode description & show notes

Harriet is joined by Tom McAtee.

Tom is the Principal Consultant with Peoplemix, a management consulting practice that helps organisations go from nothing to something; go from something to something else; go from something to nothing, with a special focus on integration of people, economics and technology, and building desired culture to support ambitions and strategies of the organisation.
Tom is a versatile, highly experienced Human Resources leader with excellent communication and negotiation skills. He has a real focus on planning and organising, organisation culture, workforce design and problem-solving. He is a senior HR professional with extensive experience (over 40 years) in mining, minerals processing, oil & gas and heavy manufacturing industries across a variety of executive, specialist and generalist HR roles. Tom’s current client consulting work is mainly involved in start-ups and industrial relations.

Harriet and Tom talked about valuing people’s contribution, finding balance and unionisation.

You can find Tom here:

Read the full transcript:

SUMMARY KEYWORDS
people, organisation, Australia, union, tom, nourishing, paid, companies, shell, head, UK, hr, mastery, industrial, worker, IR, days, hr manager, mining, feel
SPEAKERS
Tom McAtee, Harriet McAtee

Harriet McAtee
Welcome to In Our Experience a Podcast exploring the many ways of living well with Nourish yoga training. I’m your host Harriet yoga teacher and founder of Nourish. This week my guest is Tom McAtee. Tom is the principal consultant with people mix, a management consulting practise that helps organisations go from nothing to something, go from something to something else, or go from something to nothing. Tom is also my dad. We talked about valuing people’s contributions, finding balance, and also about unionisation and how we can terminate our relationships without building dependency with our clients. Thanks so much, dad for joining me. I had a really fun time chatting with you. Here’s a conversation. Hi, dad.

Tom McAtee
Hi.

Harriet McAtee
Welcome to my podcast.

Tom McAtee
Thank you.

Harriet McAtee
So lovely for you to fly all the way from Australia to join me.

Tom McAtee
I appreciate the opportunity to just see what’s going on and be a part of it.

Harriet McAtee
No worries it should the, should the Australian Taxation Office be listening to this podcast, this is a valid marketing trip for dad

Tom McAtee
That’s fine. Absolutley.

Harriet McAtee
Well, we’re gonna get started as I do with every episode, asking what’s nourishing you this week. And as I always say, it can be simple or small, it can be big. And I’ll go first I’ll share mine first. I’m just I’m gonna go for a simple easy one today. Sometimes I go with profound ones. But simple easy one today is it just before we came here, we stopped by the Missing Bean on Magdalen road and had a very delicious, sticky toffee apple cake thing. And I’m not normally a sweet person. I don’t have a sweet tooth. But I enjoyed it.

Tom McAtee
It surprised me when you chose it.

Harriet McAtee
I know it was a bit left field

Tom McAtee
That’s okay. It was nice to see enjoying it. And yeah, like, for me, it’s gonna sound a bit corny, but what’s nourishing me this week is obviously being here with you. You know, fly halfway around the world to see your daughter and not be thrilled by it. And it’s just really important to share time. People often have heard me say that love for a child is spelt time. And that in quality relationships, you have to spend time with people.

Harriet McAtee
Yes.

Tom McAtee
And so just being here in physical in presence is really wonderful.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah.

Tom McAtee
A more profound level in a way or it’s as profound as you can get really is family is um exercising my right as a British citizen.

Harriet McAtee
We sit here two, two British citizens.

Tom McAtee
Yes.

Harriet McAtee
So, when did you, when did you get your citizenship.

Tom McAtee
Well, I feel like an 80-pound pom because

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, dad cheated. It took me seven years and 10,000 pounds.

Tom McAtee
It cost me about I dunno however many weeks and 80 pounds. Because my mother your grandmother was born in, in Leicester in here in the UK. And my your mum, my wife Suzanne wanted to

Harriet McAtee
Hi mom. She listens.

Tom McAtee
She wanted to get her passport citizenship. And she applied for both of us. And she didn’t get I got it. So mine was a real through the backdoor in the sense that I didn’t make the effort, your mother did. But it’s just really nice because we did come here and live in the UK in the early 2000s. And I came in on entry of abode certificate of entitlement to ride of abode. And we were here for three years on an expatriate assignment I did with Shell the headquarters in London Waterloo. And there’s always been that part of me that felt connected to the country. So in terms of nourishing, it’s just nice to when I came through Heathrow, go to the UK citizens queue. And when we sat down at the pub the other day, he I just felt I’m not a visitor here. I’m not here on a visa. I’m here on my passport. And it’s just so different. I felt like you. You know, very few people I think you’d like to get that opportunity. I felt like James Bond in Dubai. I left Australia on my Australian passport.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah.

Tom McAtee
And I entered the UK on my British passport. So who am I today? sort of thing?

Harriet McAtee
Which Tom?

Tom McAtee
Yeah, which Tom turns up. So it’s been really exciting and nourishing because it’s just something that that connection with this country has been here a long time. Just being here and sharing time with you babe.

Harriet McAtee
Wonderful. Well, thanks for sharing your nourishing thing with me, dad. It’s very it’s lovely to have you here too. And well, let’s talk a little bit about you. So if you could tell me a little bit about your background and how you would describe what you do

Tom McAtee
Sure, like, in classic Tom style, I can give you a very short answer a very long answer.

Harriet McAtee
There’s no in between.

Tom McAtee
The short answer is I’ve been a practitioner for gosh, 45 years now in human resource management. So So my background is in hiring people firing people settling strikes. And that comes about through the fact I did primary and tertiary in the country town called Bundaberg in Queensland, tertiary in Brisbane in Australia. And way back in the early 70s. As an undergraduate, I knew I wanted to do HR management, it wasn’t called that then it was called personnel. But it has a whole mix of things that attracted me in my brain. So it everything from psychology to economics, to economic statistics to data, computers, Legal Studies, all that right. And so I was very fortunate. So I went to uni when I was 17 graduate when I was 20, with my degree, and I’d be working in HR as, or people and culture, whatever book you want to pick up it as a practitioner. What I do today is the last eight years, I’ve been a sole trader in my own business called People Mix. And I help companies go from nothing to something or from something to something else. Or the other way you can go from something, you know, nothing. And the point of that is that people are a fundamental part of that. And in my practice, some people call it my ministry nearly, very passionate about this. I work on the integration of people, economics, and technology. So it’s, I call it my pet theory, PET, okay, and in that I call the business People Mix because helping organisations with the people side of their business is an important part of the mix of the business being successful. But it’s not the only part. Because of the economics aren’t right. Your costs are out the door, or your technology’s obsolete, you know, I could talk for hours on this, then it doesn’t matter what I do with the people side. So it’s all got to be in balance. But on having a history, as a senior leader in corporations, I’ve been on many executive management teams, we’re talking multibillion-dollar businesses, where, you know, big, large mining companies, power generating companies, mineral processing companies, you know, so, in terms of my background, it’s all to do with people in business. But what I do today is I help small to medium enterprises that no longer want the big corporates. You know, people can look at my resume on LinkedIn, whatever. And I’ve been working with companies people know like Shell and BOC gases and ICI and Wesfarmers and, like, how many zeros Do you want? But today, I help small to medium because they, they cherish what you do. They value what you do, and they pay on time.

Harriet McAtee
Well, that’s a positive.

Tom McAtee
Yeah.

Harriet McAtee
Everybody likes being paid on time.

Tom McAtee
Yeah, like, you know, I always tell a bit of a joke about what I do, and people are gonna say, Hey, what are you doing? Well, I’m a member of the three M Club. I got three M I got Yay. I’m a part missionary. In that, I have a lot of zeal and zest and passion and you know, again, these things roll off the tongue but, but I talked about fanning the flames. What do you mean fanning the flames Tom well, yeah look I’m a facilitator, I’m an advisor? I’m a negotiator. And in that story, if there are flames of change, then it’s like flaming the ashes of your fire you can get it going quicker. So people like me can come in and help you move more quickly. Yeah, the other part of three M is sort of part mercenary. I mentioned the small-medium companies pay on time the large companies don’t then you know I don’t do it for nothing, you pay and then the final M and three M is misfit. What do you mean misfit? Well, I go well, you know, characters like me, don’t easily fit in a box.

Harriet McAtee
No you have a history of causing trouble?

Tom McAtee
Yeah, I do. And, you know, as your mother likes to remind me I you know, one of my deficits is I don’t suffer fools easily. Right? I know that. And, and you know, I have a real strong value around honesty. And what you see is what you get with me. I encourage people to speak up, and I will speak up and I won’t sit quietly by myself, if I think things aren’t being done correctly or properly, I will, I will call it out. And, you know, in that sense, you know, I don’t fit neatly into a box.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah.

Tom McAtee
And that’s what I think, you know, what I do today, as a sole trader, Principal Consultant whatever you want to call it works well because I can dip in and out of clients. If they want to reengage me, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s okay. Because I don’t have to be anyone else but me. And if my style helps you, you know fanning the flames and find the change and help you move from something or something else. That’s right. If it doesn’t, well, that’s okay. Yeah. So

Harriet McAtee
You know, one of the things that is always interesting, when it comes back to me, is in like, you know, when I’m talking to people that I work with, or, you know, friends, colleagues, whoever is they do, stay, say a couple of things. And I feel like a bit of a dickhead being like here are the nice things people say about me, but they tell me that I’m great to work for. And part of that is that I have very good communication, but also that I pay invoices on time, usually. So you know, I bet I think a lot of a lot of what makes me feel very comfortable running a business because like, I didn’t, I didn’t go to business school, I sort of, you know, fell into running a business. But I do think a lot of what allows me to feel so comfortable in that space is, is knowing that you know, the people are really at the centre of, of what I do, whether that’s my team that I work with, whether that’s, you know, the students, whether that’s the people that follow us on Instagram, if you really prioritise people and prioritise those relationships, then, you know, yes, you need to have the money, right? And yes, you need to have the sort of the systems, right. But if you don’t have people, you don’t really have anything

Tom McAtee
Correct. And the way I explained to people, and I’ve been the chief HR officer for the organisation, for a total an enterprise, you’re so you’re out there at the executive committee, live, all that sort of stuff. And you putting forward your argument for why we should invest in people, as an example. And again, give people understanding the sort of industries that I mentioned that I’ve worked in bed mining, energy, power generation, mineral processing, you know you are talking capital equipment, with literally billions of dollars. But right now, I’m doing a piece of work in Australia, for a client who has a number of power stations, and I’m negotiating the industrial agreement for one of those power stations. So pretty essential stuff. And I often talk about in these industries, the concept of what are called catastrophic risk. And that is that if you don’t get your processes and procedures and tasks done rightly, today, you die. That’s sort of pretty dramatic thing to say, but that’s the reality. You know, I’ve been head of HR for companies with underground coal mines. People can often connect that to risk, right? If you don’t do it right. Today, on this shift, you don’t go home?

Harriet McAtee
Yeah.

Tom McAtee
So there’s a very serious side to me, aspect, as the HR manager have also been the head of Health, Safety and Environment for those corporations. So in that sense, I say, Look, we wouldn’t hesitate to invest money in maintenance, servicing those machines. No, no issue. Well, people are the enablers, of that machinery, why aren’t we investing in them? And as part of my drive in organisations, I have a simple phrase I just call ever better. Because some organisations I’ve worked for have been incredibly successful. And you go, how do you motivate people, when their gross profit margins are already at 70% 80%? It’s just like, amazing stuff, right? And I go, Well, that’s yesterday’s record. We can have pride in that without arrogance. But we can do it even better. And so it isn’t just about having the capacity financially to invest in people. But it’s also being able and willing to want to do it and often use that argument about investing in plant invest in people. Because without them, your business doesn’t function.

Harriet McAtee
Well, I think it’s a really, I think it’s a really important point that often gets lost when I think particularly as businesses get larger and I’m thinking recently here of I’m not sure if you saw it, but the Amazon workers in New York have voted to form a union which is like the first unionisation within Amazon workers, ever.

Tom McAtee
Yes.

Harriet McAtee
And it’s a really big deal because these are easily some of the most exploited and like, you know, poorest working conditions in, you know, in, in that industry, I guess. And I guess, you know, it’s, it’s often difficult for businesses, I guess as businesses grow, they tend to lose sight of, of the people. Because you get, you get further removed from them as they’re sort of, I guess the management.

Tom McAtee
Very easily. And we’re in danger of going to one of my real hotspots here, which is the whole issue of where do unions fit and so on because I’ve negotiated, I did my first industrial agreement negotiation, in 19, Gosh, 80, 81, at the copper refinery in Townsville in North Queensland, and I was the note taker. And I still remember it to this day, because the company I was working for was the largest company in Australia at the time, and that was the mines. And I was a young junior, HR graduate. sorta, I could take the notes, but I was in the room, watching this negotiation take place. And, you know, I’ve always said ever since that company get the unions they deserve.

Harriet McAtee
That’s interesting.

Tom McAtee
And that, if there’s a leadership vacuum, unions will fill it. Yeah. So I spend a lot of my career helping leaders to understand how to lead people. Yeah, it isn’t about trying to exclude the unions. It’s about trying to understand how can you work with unions? People hear at the moment, like in Australia, there’s a union the CFMEU Construction Forest Mining Energy Union, which is seen as a, you know, like, you’re negotiating with the CFMEU Tom, I go, Yeah. Aren’t you scared? You know, like, aren’t you? I don’t know, they’re,

you treat people reasonably. And it doesn’t matter what background they come from, you know, you can negotiate, you can have a conversation, you can find out what their, what their ask is, what their itch is often say. And if I can scratch it, great. If I can’t, I can’t. But that comes back to some of those values are in being very honest with people. And in negotiations with people, I don’t bullshit them. But you know, we’ll have a very robust conversation. But, but we can do it remaining dignified calm, and that makes sense. But with the Amazon story, when I heard that I go. I don’t know that enterprise me read about, about that. But unions will form in situations where people feel not getting a fair go, where that they feel like they’re being maybe taken advantage of. Yeah, etc. And, yeah, and again, those things don’t stick with my values.

Harriet McAtee
I think it’s really, I think it’s really interesting. Like, any organisation, I’m, I’m very wary of any sort of form of institutionalisation in general. Whether that’s, you know, whether that’s a union or whether that’s a business or a church, or whatever the case may be. And I think it’s, I think unions can work really well, where they’re working to serve a community that is, as you say, sort of being taken advantage of and marginalised. Now like, maybe speaking out my ass here, but this CFMEU they’re not exactly representing people that aren’t earning money.

Tom McAtee
No.

Harriet McAtee
that has to be one of the richest unions in Australia.

Tom McAtee
It’s a fair, fair call the CFMEU by way of example, splits into two divisions. There’s a building construction division.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah.

Tom McAtee
Which is associated with high-rise buildings. I’m sure that and then there’s the mining and energy side. And it’s interesting. The lead negotiator only last week before I came over here, said we need to correct you on we’re no longer the CFMEU we are now known as the Mining and Energy Union. In that we, that division, mining and energy union division, we have now divorced ourselves from the CFMEU and so the build and construction guys can go their own way. The point you raise is absolutely valid though, in certainly in the mining side of MEU, am I have long history in the mining. So I get very well-paid work to stay there.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah. Like that’s not to say that the conditions aren’t you know that they don’t work hard because I don’t mean to say that but you know, it’s not like their Amazon workers being paid $3 an hour.

Tom McAtee
Your completely right and in that sense, again, you know, this is part of why I’ve so survived 45 years, I suppose, in this field is that you got to find a sense of balance.

Harriet McAtee
Sure.

Tom McAtee
And in, in the wage negotiations, which have led many, I always say right up front, I’m never going to attempt in this negotiation to convince you that you’re well paid. I can’t do it.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah.

Tom McAtee
Okay. You’ll have your own view of that. But what I hope to show you through evidence and all sorts of good data is you’re fairly paid. Right? So there’s this sense of external equity against other jobs in these markets. So and that’s, you know, what I can show you is that you’re fairly paid. I know, I can’t convince you, you’re well paid.

Harriet McAtee
Interesting isn’t it that there’s a yoga teachers union that’s been recently formed in the UK, by friends of mine, who it’s been formed as a branch of the IWGB, so the international workers, workers union. And yeah, it’s been a really interesting process. And I think it’s really necessary like yoga teachers aren’t that we exist in this really interesting space, because we-re self-employed. But we don’t have a lot of the freedoms that are actually associated with being a self-employed contractor. So technically, we fall under what’s called a limb-B worker status. So you have different categories of workers in the UK, we can link to some information about this in the show notes because I think it’s a really important, important conversation, important information for yoga teachers to be aware of. But, you know, so things like, you know, if you were really self-employed, you’d be able to subcontract. You’d be you know, you, there’s all sorts of other things like, you know, I can’t really remember I shouldn’t know this. I’m sorry, to Laura, and I failed, you were to remember what a limb-B worker is. But as a limb-B worker, you’re not an employee, but you are entitled to many more rights than a self-employed person. And I think one of the things that the yoga teachers union is really trying to do is help people understand that because you have studios who take horrible advantage of teachers. I mean, just in, in Oxford, there’s a studio where you’re paid two pounds per student. And sometimes you will have one student. And

Tom McAtee
like, a piece, right?

Harriet McAtee
Yeah. And it’s, it’s just.

Tom McAtee
It doesn’t value the contribution at all?

Harriet McAtee
No.

Tom McAtee
And again, you know, often people say to me, Tom, in Australia, they talk about, you know, blue and pink, you know, blues, the capitalist, and pinks you know, the worker, and I go, we can’t work out, are you blue or pink? When I go I’m Neither, I’m about what’s fair and reasonable. And so, you know, I’ve always said, and I’ll give you the word I use here, you know when I would go onto a worksite, as the head of HR into a corporation, within 24 hours, I would want to go and meet the head of the unions for this organisation. Yeah. And I give him the ‘A’ conversation, very simple conversation, I mate in some instances if I think what you’re arguing for is fair and reasonable. I’ll be the best advocate you’ve ever had in the boardroom. If what I think you’re asking for is unfair and unreasonable, I’ll be the biggest asshole you’ve ever seen. And which part of No, don’t you understand? And they go, fair enough. I said it’s, again, back to those values of honesty. What You See Is What You Get and look, you know, if I think just, you know, in a way, I applaud the unions for the work at Amazon, right? Because if the organisation isn’t respecting the contribution, like I’ll give you two pounds per student through the dining got one student for the hour, pay two bucks, two pounds per hour. It just says bullshit, you don’t value the contribution, you don’t value the skills experience, the knowledge this person is bringing to your organisation. Tom rant right. And I man, let me be the union organiser and often I joke, you know, with people in my next life, I’ll come back as a union organiser, you know, because if people aren’t being treated fairly, who’s going to fight for them? And you know, and I say to employers that I help in this area, like, it’s funny, Hey, I’ve never seen myself as an IR expert.

Harriet McAtee
Industrial Relations.

Tom McAtee
But I have ended up there in my career because people often are really fearful of it. And also, whenever when I was on seat, I was very fortunate, you know, like God 30 plus years ago, I first made an executive HR manager. And whenever I’ve been on seat as executive HR manager, I’ve never had an industrial relations officer work for me. Never And the reason I say that is because I recognise they justified their own existence, and private disputes should so they felt good about themselves and had something to do. And I witnessed that a place I won’t name it but where I wasn’t the executive HR manager, I was a young buck coming through, and I saw that I thought, This is bullshit. So whenever I get on seat, as the exec HR manager, I’ll handle it myself. I will be the IR officer, as an executive HR manager, you are very time-poor. So you don’t have time to crack the spirits. So you start looking for how am I going to build a work organisation? How am I going to build a working environment here, be it physical or virtual, okay, that doesn’t need disputes to create a feeling of reward and satisfaction and things like that. So I’ve ended up being de facto, therefore, not just the executive HR manager, but also the default IR manager. And that’s gone on-off for 30 years and now no longer wish to be in the executive corporate HR world on the executive leadership teams, younger folks can have a crack at that. But I’ve got this tail now of IR experience that people go wow, you’ve been involved in it since 81. Yeah. And you can still smile. And I’m still negotiating right. Now I’m doing two industrial agreements at the moment, as I mentioned, one for a power station, which isn’t that difficult, in a way in that it’s an existing power station. And it’s a renewal of an existing enterprise agreement show. I’ve got a second one at the moment on the go, which is very unusual one which is a corporate office. And normally you don’t find in Australia enterprise agreements in a corporate office, you think of the factory floor.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah.

Tom McAtee
And this corporation has been formed as a new corporation, by the release, inverted commas, the hiring of employees from two other organisations in the same industry. And in coming into the new organisation.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah,

Tom McAtee
which is a clean energy company making green electrons. They brought with them that instruments, the industry instruments they had in their two, other workplaces. Interesting. So now we have to form a new one for the new organisation. And it’s just this confluence of two different cultures, which is reflected in two different enterprise agreements. And I’ve just before I got on the plane last Friday, I wrote them a new industrial agreement. And it’s now out for them to have a look at where you go, man, you know, because the point I’m getting to here is that the in industrial dream sort of stuff, they’re enabling back to the earlier point about people, there are nailing instruments to get to the culture that you want to have. But I create the culture. I just enable it to

Harriet McAtee
Yeah,

Tom McAtee
They support it.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah. It’s really interesting. I guess, one of the questions I have is it you know, you’ve been working in this field for 45 years. And you’re still here. Now you sort of you like half retired, and then un-retired yourself? And I guess I’m, I’m curious about what it is that keeps you interested like most people do not stay in the same career for 45 years.

Tom McAtee
Yes.

Harriet McAtee
And yeah, I’m curious about what keeps you interested and engaged and motivated with it.

Tom McAtee
I think I did a job for a client’s once quick story to try and explain that I worked for Shell for a while. And very fortunate, I had the head of HR for one of the big mining sites in Australia that went well. Then I went to Melbourne, in the late 90s as an internal consultant, helping shell countries across Asia Pacific. So three weeks out of four is out of Australia. Sorting out shit, but I’m good at sorting that shit. It’s what I do. And I say to people, what do you do I just deal with shit. So in that sense, Shell have its own internal consulting team, just not everything gets shared publicly. Sure. So I was part of the internal consulting team, and I’d be across Asia Pacific, somebody sorting out stuff. And that went well. And in that job I did in Melbourne, Shell had relations with a couple of big brand name companies in Australia. I won’t name them for confidentiality. But one of them I was linked to because I developed a process that comes back to your question about what keeps you going. And in that external client, it wasn’t a fee-for-service job. It was just a love job. Because I developed a process inside Shell, where in 90 days, you would tackle the most serious problem the company had right there right then. And it had to be the most serious problem. And we will put the brightest to the brightest together. And we had 90 days to achieve mission impossible 30 days to analyse 30 days to develop and 30 days to execute and implement, and bank the first check I would facilitate and coach these teams. And one of the big partners to shell in Australia heard about this and said, Would you lend us, Tom, we have a big problem in our company, would you lend into us and run this process. And I was asked, and I went out and worked with this external partner of Shells in Australia for 90 days, and we solved it. And at the end of the presentation, the end of the 90 days, the head of this organisation just said, I’m blown away. And what we’ve learned is that Tom doesn’t stand for Tom. T stands for teamwork,

Harriet McAtee
aha.

Tom McAtee
So in 90 days, Tom is showing us that when you really pull together, the brightest or the brightest, with very serious intent, and work as a team, and develop them as a team, you can you can achieve amazing things. Oh, was the opportunity. So by working as a team, who’s actually opened the opportunity, and M was for mastery. And he said I’ve never seen so someone who’s such a master of their craft. And that’s the long story to what keeps me going, is it’s not ego, it’s not status. But I really do and I know, myself, I think pretty well. One of the things is if I get interested in something, I have to master it. Okay, so there’s this issue of mastery, I call it, it’s not arrogance, it’s not expertise. It’s just mastery of your craft, right. And I look at what I do as a craft that just like anyone else swings a hammer or screwdriver doesn’t matter, whatever I am, again, on record many times for saying this, so don’t judge me for what they don’t care, okay. They’ll be great leaders willing to vacuum the floor, just don’t care, but whatever you choose to do, please choose to be the best that’s ever been at it. And that’s that sense of mastery and confidence. And a quick example. So people can relate to I had people say you go to concerts here, go to concerts here. And there’s one concert to this day, that just stands out in my memory of many concerts, a lot of them just fade. But this one, I can just sit there and relive it and relive it. Because the musician who demonstrated in that concert, absolute mastery of the craft, and it was Neil Young. And it was the live Russ tour. So people go check it out. You know, like, it’s just the most amazing concert, you’ll see. But, But when he performed, he was in complete and utter control. And it’s not about control freak stuff. He’s just had complete confidence, complete competence, and mastery. So you know, 45 years on, then, you know, you know, it sounds weird, but I still read the Fair Work Act, you know, and I’ve had people wanting to look at a piece of legislation in Australia, that’s the most social legislation we will find is the industrial nations Act or the Fair Work Act as it’s called. And this thing would weigh happily go three kilos, wow, it just get your head around it. It’s just, I still read it. Because if you want to be an industrial, like, in this stuff, you, you know, I use Employment Lawyers for expertise.

Harriet McAtee
Sure.

Tom McAtee
That makes sense.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah.

Tom McAtee
That’s the difference between expertise and mastery is I don’t tend to be an expert in I’m not in the IR Act, or the Fair Work Act. There are people who do that. Yeah. And I use them as required. But it’s about mastering your craft. And that’s one side, the other side is just contribution. And, again, back to the conversation, if people are at the core of what you do, they’re part of that key mix. So what you do, then, you know, by helping leaders manage their people ever better. You can create an environment for people where they can be satisfied and make a real contribution. So and stuff like that. And I get paid. Quick example, I did try to retire. You know, I went..

Harriet McAtee
You got a bit bored.

Tom McAtee
Yeah, I did run away, you know,

Harriet McAtee
Then somebody was like, Tom, can you help?

Tom McAtee
I always tell the story of Notting Hill my favourite movie, right? There’s the scene

Harriet McAtee
Welcome to my childhood, my parent’s favourite movie is Notting Hill.

Tom McAtee
There’s that scene where Julia Roberts is standing in the bookstore in front of Hugh Grant, just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him the love her. And one of the things about a consultant that you have to be careful of if people are interested, go get a book written by Peter Block called flawless, flawless consulting. Peter Block, an absolute great book, right. And one of the things I can do and it’s not arrogance here is I can synthesise a lot of complex information into simple ways to explain it. And you can read Blocks book, alright, and I summarised it up in one word, which is credit. Now the word doesn’t exist right.

Harriet McAtee
Wait dad is it an acronym? Wow. I think where it what 6 or 7 acronyms at this point. Love it.

Tom McAtee
CEDFIT.

Harriet McAtee
Okay.

Tom McAtee
And it’s how you consult with people, right? Yeah. C is contracting in, more of a kind of what’s the problem we’re trying to solve?

Harriet McAtee
Yeah,

Tom McAtee
E’s about the entry. How do you actually manage the entry enter for consultants really important is like a rock in a pond for people, the D is for data, so you need to collect data, okay, CED. F is for formulate. So what might you do differently? Here? I is implement. Okay. And T is terminate. It’s really important. As a consultant, you have to terminate the relationship. Because you don’t want to build client dependency.

Harriet McAtee
Yes.

Tom McAtee
Okay. Because you want to move on and do other things. Otherwise, you bored in the one pond. That’s why you’re a sole trader. It’s why you’re not. Remember the misfit story.

Harriet McAtee
Yes.

Tom McAtee
Okay. So, in that sense, that client I’m helping at the moment I help them I went in February 19, for three days, a week, for three months.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah.

Tom McAtee
December 20.

Harriet McAtee
Your still there three years later.

Tom McAtee
December 20, I finally terminated the relationship, right? And ran away. And then February of 21, I get a phone call. Because I’ve now sold up with your mother run away to Victoria, where we’ve lived a couple of times and love the cold. It’s like the closest you can get to living in Australia to being in the UK. And the phone rings and I go look, Tom, we know you’ve run away. But if we really get stuck, would you be available? Of course. No, I didn’t hear it. All good. Roll the clock forward to July 21. phone rings again, they go mate we’re in the shit.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah.

Tom McAtee
The guy that we thought would be great, hasn’t worked out great rarara. Right? Will, you come back? So I said, Look, in August, last year, we’ll come back for six months. And I’ll get you out of the pool with these two weeks to industrial agreements, and so on. And so on. January 22, they say look, the six months is nearly up, mate. We wouldn’t mind going another six would ya?. and I go Yeah, but I want April off, I want to go and see my daughter. And that storyline. I’m still there. And what’s good news, though, is that it’s like green shoots on a tree. You can see they’re getting their head around this stuff, I can see that I will be able to terminate, right? And yeah, and that just creates freedom of choice for me about what I choose to do with my time because, you know, that’s sort of the professional side. And then, yeah, so I’ve sort of retired, not retired or retired, not retired, but if interesting pieces of work come along. There’s stimulating and challenging, and I can ever develop, you know, my own skills. Happy to have a go again, if it seems like my playing golf.

Harriet McAtee
Well, we have run out of time today dad. But there are lots of interesting things in there that I think will be interesting for yoga teachers, particularly the stuff around terminating, like how, how do you manage those sort of exit relationships with students? So that’s something I think people should think about. But for now, where, where can, where can people find you if they’re interested

Tom McAtee
The easiest way is to go to peoplemix.com I have one page, right? So my website is just one page. And it says Hi, I’m Tom. So here’s how to get in touch. Here’s how to get in touch. Just go to www.peoplemix.com And you’ll find me. You can find me through LinkedIn. Or obviously, you know, you’ll see my email details. It’s pretty straightforward. It’s Tom.McAtee @peoplemix.com And happy to help people where I can.

Harriet McAtee
Wonderful. Well, thanks so much, dad.

Tom McAtee
Great to share time with you.

Harriet McAtee
Thanks for listening to In Our Experience. Don’t forget to subscribe rate and review the podcast. We love hearing what you think and it makes a really big difference. In the meantime, until the next episode comes out, why not check us out on our Instagram account @nourishyogatraining, or pop us an email via our website. See you soon

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