Name: Tamur Tohver
Title: Founder, Producer, CEO, Executive Coach, Trustee
Organisation: Tohver Studio
Tamur has accumulated over forty years of practical, academic, psychological and creative experiences as a world-class Theatre Director, Executive Producer and Educator. His expertise lies in producing and directing theatre, radio, TV, and film, teaching, leadership and self-cultivation coaching internationally. He is a successful executive with profound expertise in management, ensemble building, vision conceptualisation and integration, and realising these concepts. He has managed teams ranging up to 150 employees per project, overseeing hiring, training, and professional development initiatives. He has led and produced numerous assigned projects, closely collaborating with teams to develop complex commissions from inception to completion, recruited collaborators, conducted R&D for ideas, and managed logistics to deliver projects to the highest standards, around 3 million.
Alongside being a top executive, today, he has transferred all these experiences into Executive and Self-Cultivation Coaching. He has a distinguished record in Education spanning Teaching, Research, Personal Development, Leadership, and Communication skills, contributing to the holistic growth of partners.
He has shared his craft in universities internationally and is currently a Manchester Metropolitan University (UK) PhD candidate. His research focuses on horizontal collaboration, self-cultivation training, consciousness and immediate transmission between partners.
Tamur's freshest enterprise, the Tohver Studio self-cultivation treasury, provides leaders with a balanced mind and sharpened senses via bright Zero Zone Praxis.
According to Tamur, there is only a message about goodness, balance, and the possibility of reaching everything one needs. Tamur is a realist who believes in miracles and evokes them.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Tamur's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
Inspire people to trust themselves and encourage them to let their egos go as the current world is built upon achievement.
The crucial pillar for my leadership is The Eightfold Path: embrace the right view (attitude), intention, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness and concentration.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
My path is almost usual: I was promoted from a top specialist to a senior manager while relatively young, thanks to this public broadcasting company's needs and visionary leaders back then. I was overnight responsible for a budget of about half a million, and the field was creative leadership, where all rules were floating except one - the budget. I received great authority and tried to fulfil the given trust as best I could, mainly through self-study and experience. Due to the renewal of the company's philosophy and corresponding working methods, I had to revitalise my department as unique. I didn't dare to ask for advice, and no one knew how.
In this first commitment (a large public broadcasting company), we didn't have office hours but airtime: quality production had to be on the air at a specific time. That was the only milestone. Another peculiarity of the industry is that there are no days off or public holidays, as entertainment and art are active when others are on rest. This taught me from an early age to take responsibility for my life. It creates a natural activity flow in which partners and deadlines can be planned in equal amounts, as well as being completely free from them. It only seems that the creative field is free-flowing; in fact, the sums, risks and deadlines can be easily higher than in some established industrial fields. One of the most significant oddities is that everything depends on the will of the people alone, which even contracts cannot guarantee—working with people.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I never work. I always create, produce, learn, lead, teach, rehearse, train, etc. This makes a specific approach to all the activities I have carried throughout my life.
I get up around six o'clock and start with physical and perceptual Dharma Swasti yoga. Breakfast will follow; thus, I’ll be physically and mentally ready. Further activities depend on the period. If I'm currently directing a show or teaching at a university, the first half of the day is a rehearsal or training/lecturing. Writing (books, articles, research, projects) or self-cultivation also happens then. During periods of development, we deal with enterprise and production build-up, project elaboration and funding similarly before lunch.
All evolution meetings remain in the second half of the day, as well as private students and conducting partner development training unless it is a full-day activity.
My family. Sometimes, the courses must be held on weekends or evenings, so there is time for the family every day instead of just on the weekend. Similarly, personal physical training is also divided into evenings. But the night is quiet at 10 or 11, and the mind is calm. Despite the different geographical locations of my doings, I have learned to stick to this division. Naturally, the bodymind is prepared, and the head is bright in the morning. Everything plans itself if you allow this to happen. The ability to focus and keep things in different drawers helps.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
You have to leave space for people to create their conviction into your joint goal, to allow them to contribute and make this ambition their unique journey and milestone. By doing so, please also consider their pace and way to contribute. In many cases, if there appears to be a confrontation between the team and leader, the problem is that the leader forgets of being ahead and using different methods from the team.
It is worth thinking about your people not as a team but as an ensemble. The latter incorporates mutual tuning, creating a shared space. From this, design attitudes and goals based on people's real needs. Increase their understanding of personal input as a personal goal.
The right leader decides to create the welfare of others and happiness in society- and this is the higher goal beyond the craft. This reminds me every day.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
I have to admit I haven’t read any direct leadership books. However, there are some which have encouraged me on my path. The first is Charlie Chaplin’s My Autobiography, and the second is The Magic Lantern: An Autobiography by Ingmar Bergman. They repeatedly end up at the same point: another failure. But they maintain specific discipline, carrying the same message: never give up, as you do not know what you can find behind the next corner. There always remains the possibility.
The second thought can be found in T. Harv Ecker’s Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: change your mind to make it possible.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Never put your career before your family, and never take it personally.
Career comes and goes, but family will always support you in your ups and downs. This is not your life; even if it seems so, everything passes. And the other side of the same coin: never concentrate on an achievement and improve your listening skill.
If you focus on doing instead of achieving, 100% of your energy empowers you. If the goal is achievement, you make yourself dependent, as a desire for achievement always includes the question: in whose eyes? Based on what scale? It is almost impossible to fulfil such wishes - these do not depend on you but are based on other people's opinions. If the market demand or management of the company changes, you're in trouble again, and your energy flows not on doing but...? Instead, always focus on just doing and trying to be perfect in your thing; the result/quality will follow as a side effect. This does not mean letting the final goal go; it just means avoiding attachment to it and focusing on the real target. Otherwise, you will suffer. Secondly, it comes as part of the first but is usable independently- stay flexible in everything but the goal. Seems contradictory? If you use the third tool - deepening - you will notice it is not. You can achieve your goals only via other people. The only key to engaging them is to convince them; therefore, you must allow them to contribute personally. This is called flexibility in leadership or invisible leadership.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
Do not ever be afraid of letting go.
I had an outstanding position in an exceptional company and a guaranteed high income, and the management always considered my opinion. But I no longer felt any personal progress. And at the same time, I did not dare to give up my position. So, I struggled until the corporation's top executive (simultaneously my primary senior), understanding my hesitation and growing frustration, offered me a plea deal which included significant financial compensation. He asked me to leave, even this was not in the company's interest. This came as a shock to me. However, as an experienced leader, this way, he prevented my burnout. Ten years later, at the anniversary of the same company, he admitted to me that he still suffers from that decision sometimes. And I was happy to tell him that he did me the only possible good deed at that time by letting me go as I wouldn't have been able to leave. With that, he opened up a whole new world to me by making me independent and responsible at once. This was enormous growth for me.
Thereby, I became the leader of my own life. This opened an absolutely new field for me: invisible leadership. I established two new companies and my own lifestyle.