#6. Michael McGreevy
We sat down with Michael McGreevy recently to talk about his business, McGreevy Leadership. We asked him to explain what he does, and why he does it. We think that you’ll like the answers.
Who is Michael McGreevy?
“I’ve been in pursuit of trying to figure out who I am my whole life. I’m still trying to figure that out.” But there seems to be one recurring theme in his life, and that is that he really likes drawing out the strengths of other people. This is why we wanted to feature Michael on Yeah Buffalo. He is a Life Coach, and he has a pretty powerful story about what pushed him in that direction.
“I watched a friend fall two stories to his death on a construction site. The memory of seeing his parents’ pain will never leave my mind. It’s the same memory that gave me the strength to save two family friends from drowning. I discovered something about myself that day. There was strength and courage in me. This was the first time that I believed something different about myself, that I could do something worth-while. But, this transition didn’t happen right away. As a matter of fact, it took about 10 years for me to place all of the pieces together.”
Side Note: When we first met him, we spent more time learning about ourselves, than we did about him. We just didn’t realize it until now.
What made you want to be a life coach?
Michael has worked in construction, sales, in a warehouse as well as cutting down trees (he’s a pretty big guy). All of that seems to have directed him to where he is now. When asked to define what he does at McGreevy Leadership and how he got started, he answered: “I found that he really enjoyed drawing out the various gifts, talents and strengths of other people. I eventually figured out that I could make a living doing it. This discovery was made around the time that I attended a conference about coaching, held by Dan Miller, podcast author of “Coaching With Excellence”. From listening to Dan, and from attending his conference, I knew that I wanted to work towards becoming a Life Coach, and I pursued a certification program. For a while, I would work at my residential remodeling business during the day, while studying coaching, and working with coaching clients at night. Whatever it took to keep my dream alive, and to also support my family.”
What is a life coach?
“A life coach is often confused with counselor. I often times find myself educating people that a life coach is for someone that is motivated and needs someone to help them go far beyond where they would go on their own. Whether that be in their job, marriage, family, sport, etc. I work with leaders, and for a good reason. Leaders are people that are likely to influence other people. This way, I’m just coaching and driving one person, I’m helping a person who is probably going to help a lot of other people.” Michael is currently actively coaching leaders such as school principals and business owners, but he explains that his reach can certainly go beyond that to athletes, civic leaders and more.
“I like to take some time to build trust with my clients. It is quite common for me to not hear about his clients results for a while.” But, when it happens, sometimes it is something as profound as his one client that thanked him with: “for the first time in my life, I don’t hate myself as a leader”. I’m not sure if you could get any better validation than that. These are the kinds of things that really drive Michael to do what he does. “I want people to be more than what they currently are, or think they are capable of being. I want you to look inside of yourself and find out how you can achieve more as a leader, and as a person.”
How does Michael help his clients?
- Establish accountability: goals tend to trickle away when you don’t really have anyone, or anything to hold you accountable. I help you set up that accountability, and adhere to it.
- Establish a work/life balance: highly motivated people tend to fill up their schedules quickly, and leaders struggle with the delicate balance between home and work. I help to create boundaries and schedules to help people not get sucked in by work.
- Overcoming fears and insecurities: leaders often have big moves to make, or must let someone go, or take a big company step. I help guide that leader through the event with confidence.
In an effort to try to help as many people as he can, Michael is now offering group coaching. “Individually, I can work with as many as 30 individuals at a time, in an effort to be able to dedicate as much time to each person as I can. Group coaching is a way for me to extend my reach and guidance to more people.”
What are you working towards, Michael?
“I am constantly working on improving myself, and my product. I’m studying at another coaching school, which is helping me improve my life coaching skills. I intentionally set up my business so that I can do it over the phone or video conference, which means that I can help people anywhere. As a matter of fact, I only meet with one client in-person right now. The rest are over video or phone conference, which works well for me, my family and my clients.”
A majority of Michael’s clients are ongoing and keep moving on to greater levels of success, as long as it’s working. “I have only had one person stop working with me, and that was because they felt like they had reached the point of where they wanted to be.”
What you really need to know about Michael!
“I only want to work with someone if I can truly help them. I would prefer that they don’t pay me if they aren’t going in a direction in which they want to go. I want to draw out goals from within a person. What’s their dream? Then design a plan around that and remind them of it, and hold them accountable to it so that they are moving in that direction. Integrity is really important to me. I don’t do this just to make money. I don’t want to make money from someone that isn’t directly benefiting from working with me. This is my life, I don’t want to retire, I want to do this my whole life.”
Michael’s take on Buffalo’s inferiority complex
One of the other things that we really like about Michael is his outlook on Buffalo. He talked with us about Buffalo’s inferiority complex. “Buffalo’s Day in the Sun was in 1901 – during the Pan Am Exposition. The city has since been in a slow decline, until about now. We want to sell this place so hard, but in doing so, we have an insecurity and need to explain it, because people can’t see it. People from the outside concentrate on our shortcomings, you know, like sports teams that can’t quite win the big game. People from Buffalo always seem to be explaining ourselves and trying to convince people that we are better than we appear. Like we are shocked that great things are happening. This leads us to operate in a survival mode in our lives and in our businesses – it translates into our thinking. Right now, we’re playing not to lose – instead of swinging for the fences. I want to see us think bigger and go beyond what we already have. We need to move, as a city, towards thinking big and swing for the fences!” We couldn’t agree more. We are a city of success, of greatness, of dreams and realities. We are moving in the right direction, because we are made of great people doing great work.
- Five Points Bakery