Nov 16, 2016
Co-hosts Jan Rutherford and Jim Vaselopulos interview
Michael Simpson, Co-Founder and CEO of Pairin. Michael's passion
for helping people reach their potential was fueled by his own rise
from poverty to international recognition as a market strategist.
The son of educators, he went on to become a corporate
intrapreneur, and then a three-time entrepreneur. He co-founded
Pairin after a decade as a certified coach and six years in Russia,
coaching many at-risk young adults to successful careers. He is an
avid cyclist; fly fisherman; and award winning chocolatier. Jan and
Jim talk with Michael about personal loss and growth, the proper
and improper use of assessment surveys, the roadblocks to
expression that block some personalities behind “masks,” and
realizing the full potential of workers, and teams through
assessment and great coaching.
Listen in to learn how assessment surveys can reveal
the inherent potential of the people in your organization.
[3:03] After the loss of a baby, Michael and his wife
took a nine-month sabbatical. Michael studied chocolate, and became
an award-winning chocolatier, an enterprise he will continue in
[5:40] Jan and Jim discuss the Patagonia Crucible,
and how Pairin provided participant profiles, predictive analysis
and predictive coaching, to ensure an experience as positive as
[8:57] The Crucible team profiles: the former
military personnel have incredibly high performance and a very high
ability to defer; the executives have high performance, and a very
[11:39] In December, Business Insider
included Pairin in “The 50 Coolest New Companies in America to
Work.” Their website blew up with hits. They Googled ‘Pairin,’ to
find out why!
[13:31] All people have intrinsic value, but most
people never realize what that is. That's also true of employers.
They don't know the value of the people that they have.
[20:06] The assessment survey is to identify what
makes people successful. Pairin charges by the target, and for
access to the system; you can survey as many people as you
[21:40] The best teams Michael has been on, coached,
or seen, have a diversity of thought, but a predictability of
[29:45] If team skills were taught in schools, where
children are put in teams from the age of four, there would be no
need for executive, leader, or team coaching.
[31:59] Michael's mentors were a friend who led him
to quit drugs, and an uncle who included him in his family; gave
him books, and coached him by questions, without Michael being
aware of the mentoring until years later, when he found he was
echoing his uncle, in mentoring others.
[37:06] Michael read only non-fiction during his
professional development, but then discovered fiction, where he
learned to be absorbed in the story. He came to an epiphany on
unrealized potential, during the last chapter of Wind, Sand and
Stars, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
"We reveal that intrinsic value in a person, and we
help them aspire, and attain their goals."
"Every single person was created with desire to be
deeply known, that is in constant conflict with this fear of being
“A successful team has healthy conflict.”
“Our greatest strengths are also our greatest challenges.”
“I learned a long time ago, not to 'should' on
myself, and not to 'should' on other people.”
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Ponder - notes to help you and your team get more out of each
Books Mentioned on the Show
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable, by
Wind, Sand and Stars, by Antoine de
The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Michael learned to uncover hidden gems in people and
products, working closely with CEOs and executives in startup to
multi-billion-dollar corporations. The son of educators, he went on
to become a corporate intrapreneur, and then a three-time
entrepreneur. As the CEO of Pairin, he works to make education more
relevant for students and their future employers through the
development of attitudes, motivations and behavioral proficiencies.
At Pairin, he works to bridge the opportunity gap for future
generations by enabling educators and employers to predict and
develop behavioral performance. In this role he's had the privilege
of partnering with organizations like the U.S. Department of Labor,
The Center for Data Science and Public Policy, many post-secondary
institutions and many workforce readiness programs. He's deeply
involved in the regular analysis of soft skills data from more than
100,000 entrepreneurs, veterans, students, and businesspeople.
Michael has contributed to books on Knowledge
Management (KM), Identity and Networking, and Customer Relationship
Management (CRM). His background in strategy and marketing for all
identity, security and management products while at Novell, Inc.
contributes to Pairin’s unwavering commitment to digital personal