- Gig Harbor Living Local
Business. Leadership. Coaching.
Updated: Nov 1, 2022
Who is your wingman? By Jillian Chandler | Photo by In-Gear Media
Specializing in coming alongside business owners, entrepreneurs, executives and other individuals who are in need of a “sounding board” in their life or business to bounce ideas off, Wingman Associates works hard to help people make the next best decision to keep them growing and moving forward. “Whether it’s business or personal, we don’t think anyone should be alone or make decisions in a vacuum. A true wingman stays with you until the mission is complete—and that’s part of our commitment,” says Mike Carver, owner.
After nearly 40 years in corporate America in various positions, Mike retired and started Wingman Associates in January of 2021. The name honors his father, who flew F-105s in Vietnam for the Air Force, where he served for 30 years. “He epitomized what it was to be a wingman—always had your back, always teaching, supporting, and seemed to have a purpose–even well past retirement.”
The focus at Wingman Associates is bringing transformational change that delivers results to small-business owners and executives who may need assistance in a variety of areas: from sales, sales training and HR challenges to financial and ROI analysis, marketing and branding awareness, business development, operational efficiency and process mapping within an organization. “We also have added some team members whose expertise is in personal development and coaching from adolescents and young adults to experienced business leaders,” adds Mike. “In all cases, we focus on delivering desired outcomes by assessing and understanding the current state, trying to isolate and work backward from symptom to root cause, so we can make appropriate recommendations.”
He goes on to acknowledge that mentors, coaches and teachers are available—but it’s up to us to find them and seek their wisdom and knowledge. “If we can replace hubris, pride and ego with an open mind and a willingness to just talk about what the next best direction might look like together, poor outcomes can be avoided.” It’s important to find an advisor who is experienced, transparent, objective, and has their client’s best interest at heart. “Someone who is willing to tell the hard truth sometimes, knowing that it’s the end result that matters,” Mike affirms.
What motivates Mike and his Wingman Associates team is when a client recognizes the value they bring, and as Mike shares, that can only happen if his team stays true to who they are and remain in their wheelhouse. He adds that “truth and transparency go a long way.”
With Wingman, clients will find an approach that is not only flexible but individualized, basing the frequency of client engagements on the need and sense of urgency the client has. In addition, Mike and his team never charge clients while getting to know them, as they are aware that it takes time to build relationships and trust. “We invest that time because it’s impossible to know up front exactly what they may need or if we’re even the right firm to accommodate them,” says Mike. “We want to be compensated for the results we deliver and not just the effort put in. Both are valuable, but everyone’s needs and cash flow are different, hence our flexibility.”
Once Mike has established the client’s need and his ability to meet them where they are and work on a solution together, it’s time to figure out what works best for them. “We designed our organization to be in the best position to meet the needs of our clients versus immediately putting them in a box and moving them through a program or process just to get them to the next level,” he states. “We want to be different from other coaching or consulting firms, so we concentrate on the outcomes the client desires instead of a program someone thinks they should be on within their system.”
Mike also has a podcast, Stop Winging It, which is part of the company’s branding. He calls it “a source of joy and fun.” During these podcasts, he speaks with past associates and a variety of business leaders, as they delve into the heart of their journey. “Most of the folks we interview are business owners, leaders or entrepreneurs who have a great story to tell and want to share their challenges and successes,” says Mike. “It is our hope that by sharing, others will learn from those who have gone before them and better understand why we’re all in this together and can be wingmen to each other.”
Mike is an elder in his church and shares he has a heart for the men in his community. “There are not enough opportunities for men to get together, learning and serving side by side, which ties us together and reminds us that we are not alone,” Mike says. He has been leading annual Men’s Retreats through his church and other organizations to help bring men together to learn from each other and remind them that life isn’t meant to be done alone. In addition, he heads service projects to support the community at large.
Mike has his own wingman, his wife Jane of 40 years. They have lived in the Northwest for the last 25 years, have four children who reside up and down the West Coast, and two grandchildren.
If you’re in need of a wingman to help you on your mission, Mike and his team are ready to answer your call.
3311 Grandview Street Gig Harbor, Washington 98335