SuperPowers – Ed Gould

SuperPowers – Ed Gould

The skinny

Ed Gould’s SuperPower is “the Profit Seer.” He sees possibilities, but more tellingly, he sees yearnings. He is able to take the yearnings and show you the wild potential that could be realized. Imagine an architect walking you through the existing building—or better yet the empty lot—and allowing you to see what a wonderful creation is possible based on the dream that you have shared with him.

It makes perfect sense that Ed has always worked with executives to affect their personal and organizational success. Tell him what you are thinking: he will discern what you yearn for, and help you see the enormous possibilities.

The lead up

It had all come together. Ed Gould was the founding Managing Partner of NATIONAL Public Relations’ Toronto office. His office was decked out in Herman Miller furniture, and the recent renovation was straight out of a swanky boutique hotel. Over twenty years, this office had grown to be the most successful PR agency in Canada. Not bad for what had started as a Mac computer on the kitchen table where Ed and his wife Shelby ate together. It was a case study of business success. Somehow, Ed could not escape the realisation that something was changing. He reflects on all the accomplishment as feeling “surprisingly ungratifying.”

The timing of Ed’s SuperPower reading came during a period of deep introspection into his path forward. He saw something was getting lost, and over the prior three years he had started to put his finger on it. “When we founded the Toronto office of NATIONAL, our success was driven by doing great work. The closer we got to our clients, the more exciting the work became,” he recounts. In explaining the path that brought headcount to over 100 in two floors of offices he says, “Growth in the office came from our clients asking us to do more for them. It was as simple as that.” Part of that success brought a fundamental change: “Slowly there was a shift from winning business for the excitement of helping people solve problems toward a situation where it felt like we were going after business to support the organization we created.”

Ed moved from Managing Partner to an executive role whereby he supported areas of the business and delivered in-house training to the younger ranks of consultants. This ability to affect the wider organization was extremely gratifying to him. To continue his personal development, he enrolled in some executive coaching programs, which started a period of introspection. This was also a very positive experience, and it was toward the end of this time that Ed sat down for his SuperPower reading.

SuperPower Profile: Profit Seer

For Ed, nothing is more exciting than bringing success to his clients and colleagues. He speaks of seeing the yearning deep inside of others, and being passionate about bringing it out. He had done this for others over his entire career, which can explain his success as a consultant in PR and communications.

The Profit Seer encompasses the ability to see potential, as well as the imagination to ramp it up into everything that it could be. He could have been an “architect of ambition” or “future possibility translator.” There is a world of possibility that Ed is able to envision, and then translate back so that his clients, employees, or whoever, can see it in themselves. He also has the skills and abilities to realise the potential. He was not seeing or allowing himself to see that same yearning within him.

On receiving the description of his SuperPower, Ed recalls, “I recognised so much of what was in the SuperPower description that I knew that if it was that obvious to someone else, I had to do something about it.”

Unconscious competence contains a funny element whereby the thing you are good at can become what you can’t do for yourself. This was never truer than with uncovering Ed Gould’s SuperPower.

Then what?

Shortly after the SuperPower reading Ed recalls meeting with the leaders of NATIONAL PR, “The leadership has always supported me and this continued. They were very gracious in assisting my transition, and they kept me on as a consultant to continue the leadership development that I had been doing for NATIONAL.” Ed had explained his “big ambition to do something small,” and they helped him to move on with that.

Ed wonders what would have happened if he had gained the SuperPower insight three years earlier when the current phase of his career evolution began. “People are constantly asking me ‘what happened to you?’” he says in describing the impact of gaining awareness into his unconscious competence.

“All in, the experience was cathartic for me. I realised that I had been turning a deaf ear to my own yearning, and I realize now that the biggest downside to that was that it was letting me diminish the legitimacy of my accomplishments to date. You start thinking, ‘so what? Is that all you’ve got?’ Then I started wondering, ‘Am I done?’ I was losing my passion for the future and second guessing if I had accomplished anything at all.”

Through the whole process of this period in Ed’s career and life, one thing that changed was his definition of success. This is evident in his confession that he is currently working “twice as hard for half the money and having 10x the fun!” He confesses that, for him, “connecting with clients is the biggest drug of all.”

Ed has launched two companies: Gould Public Relations and Humanis Brand Culture. Both of these endeavours allow Ed to see the potential in individuals and organizations, and get them excited about their own possibilities. Ed is also part of the SuperPower community at www.findmysuperpower.com  .