We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Douglas Shipley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Douglas, what’s the most important thing you’ve done for your children?
I believe my most important impacts on my children have been exemplifying that success is defined by productivity to humanity and options are generally more plentiful than one immediately believes.
My idea to create my consulting business came from listening to people involved in self-serving activities and others that believed they had no options in their circumstances. I have a twenty-five year old daughter in her second year of medical school and a twenty-two year old son in his first year of graduate school. These are choices they made to contribute to the world and they have passion for them. They both seek to be of service to the world and recognize that they have choices, which may not be the paths that others may not have chosen for them. And that’s okay.
What should our readers know about your business?
My background may not be typical with respect to how I came to this point in my life. My parents were both counselors. My father was a minister, who earned his doctorate in marriage and family counseling, and my mother was a PhD candidate in counseling, who passed away before completing it. I opted to take a more street-oriented approach to “counseling” and spent almost 30 years as a law enforcement official, instructor, and leader, at the local and federal levels.
Over the last few years, America has begun to recognize that law enforcement is involved in situations that are not traditionally thought of in the enforcement arena. While these other services provided may not be at the standard of professional care, depending on the individuals involved, they can be very skilled. I am personally fascinated by culture, history, sociology, and psychology and have used those to assist me in my roles. If a law enforcement officer is self-aware, understands human behavior, utilizes deep listening skills, and applies those skills toward making positive resolutions, they can become fairly adept counselors, mediators, or coaches.
I have a heart for helping individuals succeed and achieve by coaching them to be intentional about their actions. I took my in-house learning from my parents and the decades of practical experience working with different people, and I synthesized them with my educational specializations in training and performance improvement, business leadership, and my certifications in coaching, mediation, and emotional intelligence. The result was the business idea for my company, TEMPO (transforming empowering motivating people and organizations) Group.
TEMPO Group is a consultancy business that looks to help its clients work through the factors that stand in the way of their organizational and personal transformations. Through co-active coaching, we support individuals and organizations to be intentional about their progress. However, we challenge their recognized and their hidden belief systems to capitalize on their available options.
I might ask a potential client, “How far do you think you could get, if you were assured that someone had your back 100%?” We are 100% focused on our client’s goal(s). It’s not the same as talking with a friend or even a mentor because their advice is based on their own experiences, not necessarily the goals or obstacles of that individual. Coaching also comes with some reality self-checks, but they do not have the baggage of friends’ and family’s past relationships. Friends, family members, and mentors may have great advice, but they are not typically trained to help move individuals through their mental road blocks. A professional coach is trained to systematically assist with their client’s growth and development.
Think about how the coaches with whom you are familiar are used. To reach their performance goals, most athletes and many successful business people use coaches. I realize that not everyone has had the benefit of a coach. It is also possible that individuals could reach their full potential through years of trial and error. However, achieving your goals could be enhanced with the aid of a coach, as a coach support’s you in what you need to achieve. People who are not familiar with a business/professional coach’s roles are inclined to undervalue what they provide or falsely conclude that they are an unnecessary luxury.
Coaching is a co-active process and clients need to commit to digging deep into what they want their lives to look like. Then, together we can identify the gaps between the way things are now and how they would like them. Many people struggle with this, so if the individual is unsure about what it is they really want to achieve, coaching is an excellent tool that can provide them with greater clarity.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Visitors to the Atlanta, Georgia area have no shortage of things to entertain themselves. However, I as I live in the northern suburbs, many of the places that I would show my visitor would gravitate closer to my home, unless I’m planning a day trip.
I also am into more reflective spaces, not necessarily the places that one could get from wherever they came and would take my visitor to enjoy a variety of outdoor and indoor activities. Here is a quick list of the places I would be sure to propose to my visitor (in no particular order), and what each has to offer:
• Amicalola Falls State Park is about an hour drive from Atlanta. It is a beautiful park, which contains Amicalola Falls, a 700-foot waterfall that is the highest in Georgia. There is a hiking trail that provides scenic views, photo
opportunities, and a great cardio workout.
• Atlanta Botanical Gardens is in the midtown area adjacent to Piedmont Park. As the name implies, it offers the visitor an up-close experience of natural beauty.
• Piedmont Park provides large wide-open green space to picnic, walk, ride a bike, or just sit and people watch.
• Savannah, Georgia is about a four-hour road trip from Atlanta, but it’s worth the trip to get a different vibe. Savannah has historic spaces and architecture, moss covered trees, great Southern dining, and ambiance.
• J. Christopher’s (Kennesaw, Woodstock) is my go-to spot for breakfast, but they also offer lunch. Whether it’s one of their skillet combinations, steel cut oatmeal, an omelet, or a blueberry granola pancake, it’s hard to go wrong on any of the selections.
• Capers Restaurant (Kennesaw, Georgia) and Fish Thyme Restaurant (Acworth, Georgia) are both owned and operated by Chef Steve Dudley. They offer the seafood fine dining experience for people in the Cobb County area (north of Atlanta). Their food is very well prepared and worth the visit.
• Marietta Fish Market (Marietta) is always a very busy restaurant from the moment its doors open until it closes. The menu is very large and features a wide variety of fresh seafood with ample portions at a reasonable price. They have been featured on the Food Network.
• Papi’s Cuban Grill (ATL Airport, Decatur, Lawrenceville, Midtown, Kennesaw, Stockbridge) provides a place to experience the favors of Cuban cuisine. During the summers, they are even known to have live Latin music and dancing at the Kennesaw location.
• Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen is a Cajun-themed restaurant chain that extends from Texas to Georgia. They have locations throughout the metropolitan area. While it is a chain restaurant, they have the same high-quality menu and attention to detail at each location. The menus are ample with a variety of seafood items and their desserts are mouthwatering.
• Atlanta has a host of professional and college athletics for the sports minded visitor, including Atlanta Braves (MLB), Atlanta Falcons (NFL), Atlanta Hawks (NBA), Atlanta Dream (WNBA), and the University of Georgia, Kennesaw University, Georgia Tech, Georgia State University sports teams.
• Andretti Indoor Karting and Games (Marietta) provides a huge indoor game and recreational space. There is an arcade, bowling, a ropes course, laser tag, and of course a large indoor go kart track. Additionally, there is a full restaurant in the facility.
• World of Coca-Cola in Midtown Atlanta provides guests the opportunity to learn about the history of Coca-Cola, sample flavors and take a step back in time to appreciate the journey.
• Georgia Aquarium is located across the way from the World of Coca-Cola. It is currently the third largest aquarium in the world. It’s exhibits feature some of the largest aquatic life like whale sharks and beluga whales, but also thousands of different fish and hundreds of animals, as well. It is also one of only four sites in the world to display a manta ray.
• National Center for Civil and Human Rights is in the same area as the World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium. It provides visitors with not only a visual but acoustic review of civil rights in America and the stories of the struggle for human rights around the world.
• The King Center, named for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is located adjacent to the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church. The center is a living memorial, resource center and community institution. It is also actively engaged in educational and social change.
• St. James Live is a hidden gem of a venue. There is a full calendar of live well known jazz artist that provide nightly shows. It offers a full dining and drink menu, as well, so that customers to dine and be entertained in this intimate setting. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shout out is to four generations of my family. My grandparents who that believed equality could be achieved by educating yourself. My parents who provided me with a positive sense of self and modeled a path of lifelong growth. My wife who provides my support even when I doubt myself. And my children for whom I live and pass on the torch.