Dr Gary Crotaz

Dr Gary Crotaz, PhD is a Speaker, Executive Coach, Author and Host of The Unlock Moment podcast.

He is an executive coach and host of The Unlock Moment podcast. He further tells us that, “I’m someone who’s deeply curious about people – who we are, why we choose to do what we do, and how we can be at our best. I’ve always enjoyed being curious in conversation, as a doctor and as a business leader. And my life as a professional ballroom dancer helped me to tune into the powerful subtlety of connection between people, through physical and emotional alignment and coordination.”

What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your corporate journey/venture/initiative.

My story really begins at the age of four years’ old, when I was taken to my first ballroom dancing class. Dance has been my life, and I only realised in the last 10-15 years really how much it has shaped me as a person. I was privileged to do well at school and it gave me good opportunities ahead, although also the challenge of deciding what to choose. It sparked what I like to call my “eclectic” career journey and it was only when I reached my mid-forties that I really found my home in what I do today – speaking, coaching, writing and podcasting.

Every industry that is now a large-scale, top-notch business once started as a small idea in the minds of entrepreneurs. What was that idea or motivation that made you start your business /initiative? What motivated you within to say YES, go for it!”

It was early in the pandemic – autumn 2020. I had just finished an interim role on the executive committee of a global business, and that was the culmination of many years in turbulent and turnaround retail. I had my “if not now then when?” moment and decided to take the plunge to start out as an entrepreneur and build my coaching practice. I took a 90% pay cut as I started to build it from the ground up, but I always believed in my ability to make it successful. It’s been an incredibly hard journey and there are still many challenges ahead, but I love being the captain of my own ship!

Tell us something about your initiative or current role. What is it about, and what impact are you trying to make?

The Unlock Moment is a new and powerful lens on people’s deepest underlying sense of purpose. When you invite people to reflect on a moment of remarkable clarity in their life or career, when they remember exactly where they were, who they were with, what they were thinking, so often they make new connections about what is really important to them. Time after time on the podcast I’m having conversations with people who are figuring something out that is new right there in the moment. It’s an incredible privilege to be there with them. With The Unlock Moment I want people around the world to hear these stories, hear my questions and reflect on what their own Unlock Moment is and what it tells them about why they do what they do. We’ve already been listened to in well over 100 countries around the world and have welcomed a NASA astronaut, an Olympic gold medallist and a Nobel Prize-winner to the stage. Through The Unlock Moment, my mission is to help all leaders in work and life explore their Unlock Moment and find a deeper level of purpose in leadership.

Your journey and your vision are very inspiring, but are there any achievements or accomplishments you would like to mention?

I think the achievement I’m proudest of is sticking it out with the podcast – now at well over 130 episodes and counting. So many podcasts run out of steam after just a few episodes and I was so lucky to have a great team around me helping me to make it happen. And of course I’m so grateful to all the guests who have donated their time and been so open and vulnerable in their storytelling.

Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?

I have always believed in the mission to broaden access to coaching. Through a podcast like The Unlock Moment and also through my book ‘The IDEA Mindset’, you can learn and grow through coaching-like questions without having to pay for a coach. There are maybe only c.100,000 trained coaches in the world but many millions of people who could benefit from coaching. I hope that more people will benefit from coaching in the future by finding new and more accessible ways to share its value.

Women are a growing force in the workplaces worldwide, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. There are cracks in glass ceilings everywhere, with many women breaking through to carve out a space right at the top of the pyramid. What are your thoughts about women leadership today?

I’m delighted to see that opportunities for women today are hugely improved from where they were 20 years ago when I first entered the workplace. But we still have plenty of work to do to create a true meritocracy where the best people get to the top regardless of sex, ethnicity or any other factor. For me we need to spend more time thinking about how we fill the funnel with many more women ready, willing and able to step up into the most senior positions. We can have a perfect recruitment process for the top table, but if the pool of people ready to be considered is overwhelmingly male then chances are you won’t achieve a diverse and therefore more effective leadership team. So look beyond the hiring process to the top table and challenge yourself on how women are developed into the senior leadership ranks one or two levels below.

What would you want to say to our young women leaders/audience reading this?

I like to say, “we are all extraordinary, but some of us just haven’t figured out how yet…..” Society makes us feel like there is one path to success and we worry constantly whether we’re on it. In reality there are always multiple paths. It’s up to you to choose which one is right for you. What was your Unlock Moment? And how does knowing it help you to figure out your purpose and your path? By giving your brain the space and time to do the thinking it needs to do, your Unlock Moment will help you to unlock a future filled with balance, fulfilment and success.