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  • Client stories & Testimonials: Gavin Warrener

  • Before

    When he came to Curt, Gavin felt frustrated, like his career had reached a dead end. He wasn’t able to continue moving up the corporate ladder, or move in a direction that would make him happy. He felt stuck, with no control over what was happening in his career. As he describes it, “If you’re going to spend 2/3 of your life at work, you need to enjoy it, and that point I really was not.”


    After working with Curt, Gavin was able to:

    • Move into a job he loved at his current company.
    • Feel a greater sense of control in his career.
    • Understand at a deeper level what energized him.
    • Use his insights about what energizes him to guide his boss in shaping a new position for him.
    • Evaluate his choices in light of what would help him feel more energized and less drained.
    • Get clear on his priorities.
    • Continue performing at a high level while finding a way to balance his life more.
    • Take the inevitable workplace conflicts and challenges less personally.
    • Develop a work style anchored in both getting things done and having fun along the way.


    Today, Gavin is much happier in his career and his life overall. The impact of his work with Curt ranged across several areas:

    • Career focus and empowerment
    • Attitude
    • Getting things done, taking challenges less seriously, and having fun
    • Control and balance
    • Energy management

    Career focus and empowerment

    “Curt was able to help me answer the question, ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ He taught me a lot about taking control of my career and my destiny and knowing what I like and what I want to do. If I had not gone through the exercises he took me through, I probably would not be where I am today, which is happier, with lots of responsibilities I enjoy, and actively planning for what’s next.”

    The work he did with Curt helped Gavin shape his career path to reflect what energizes him. “Curt and I would have meaningful discussions around what I enjoy doing. He had a way of making me push my mind to places where I could get to the real crux of what I enjoy, and not just say, “I enjoy numbers,” but not only do I enjoy numbers, I enjoy solving puzzles, and that’s why I like numbers. Because I’m always solving something when I put numbers together, and I like telling stories out of those numbers, and so on.

    The work he did with Curt was instrumental in helping his boss shape a new role for him in a company reorg. “I was able to use a lot of the thinking and prioritizing that Curt and I did around what I enjoy and what I want to do as input to my manager, who at the time was contemplating a reorg. And he took the input I gave and actually crafted a role for me that was suited to my areas of passion when he executed the reorg.”

    But even without that new role, Gavin felt better about his career. “I think if my manager had not crafted a position that spoke to the things that I was passionate about, I would have felt fully empowered when we were done to go out and find a job shaped around the things that I’m passionate about. So either way it would have worked out.”


    It wasn’t just Gavin’s focus and direction that changed. It was something much more fundamental. “I think the key difference is really in my attitude to my own work. A lot of us like to try to externalize the frustration we feel with our careers. Curt taught me that I’m in control of all of that, and that if I feel frustration it’s possible for me to change things, both externally and within myself.

    Getting things done, taking challenges less seriously, and having fun

    The way Gavin shows up at work has changed as well. “I discovered it’s possible to feel this frustration and to get less upset when things go wrong at work. I feel as though my emotional maturity at work is just way higher. I’m able to deal with people way more effectively. I enjoy myself a lot more. I don’t really take what goes on at work too seriously. I used to take a lot of that stuff personally – I don’t any more. And I’m able to also mentor others now to enable them to adopt a work style and a work culture that’s about getting a lot done, but having fun along the way.”

    Control and balance

    “When I first met Curt, I felt like I had no control. And now I have a belief system around my work which tells me that I have full control, irrespective of the things that go on around me. I have a very different attitude. I can always change things if I want to.

    Before working with Curt, Gavin felt cornered by the requirements in his role to perform at a high level. Now he has learned how balance contributes to his ability to both perform and feel good about his time at work. “I still expect myself to perform at a certain level, but I don’t feel that I’m cornered by that. And I give myself a break and make sure that I balance everything. I’m fine with being kind of like an athlete, where sometimes I need to ramp up and buckle down and work really hard, and after that I rest up and let my brain and body recover, then go through the next phase of working hard. I’ve managed to phase my life that way, and get good performance doing that.”

    Energy management

    One of the most impactful ongoing takeaways from Gavin’s work with Curt was the approach to energy management. “ I have started doing things like conserving my energy at work so I have the energy to do other things in my life that I want beyond my career. Balancing my energy. Because if you put all of your energy into what you’re doing in your career, you don’t have time to develop as a person.”

    Gavin’s energy management has helped guide his priorities as well. “It’s about figuring out how I want to spend my energy. I don’t think that we all have infinite reserves of energy. If you don’t take time to recharge and replenish, you eventually run out of energy. And if I only have a certain amount of energy, the big question for me is, where do I want to be spending it?”

    Working with Curt

    For Gavin, working with Curt was a combination of deep inner exploration and accountability. The foundation for all of that was Curt’s ability to create a feeling of comfort in the process.

    “Each person is different, and pulling somebody through a process of having to search their inner self is not easy unless they feel at ease quickly. Curt is able to get on a level with someone where they feel as though they’re understood, and they’re comfortable, and they’re safe, and they’re able to do this.”

    But Curt brought a results orientation to the process as well. “Curt is also able to be quite stubborn about outputs that need to come as well. I never felt that it was negotiable that we were going to get the outcome that was coming. There’s a combination that’s required of being able to be empathetic and understand somebody’s point of view, and then being able to lead from the perspective of expecting outcomes from the person that he’s working with. And I think that’s a rare combination.

    I also never felt like I could hide behind not wanting to go through a process. Curt does a lot of natural thought processing – which for a lot of people is hard to do. And he was steadfast in pushing me to get to those lateral points that I needed to reach to really surface the insights that ultimately helped. You don’t get those insights unless you push yourself to that point, and he was good at very gently making sure I did that.”