“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? 

Or am I trying to please people?”

- Paul to the Church in Galatia

He was sort of unnerving, but in a way that made me totally comfortable.  Even in this first meeting, he seemed to know more about me (or at least more of the things that really mattered) than I knew about myself.  He didn’t seem to need anything from me or particularly care what I thought about him.  That was the unnerving part.  

The fact that he cared so deeply about the deepest things about me was incredibly disruptive, but intriguing at the same time.  It was as if I had stumbled into a conversation I had been desperate to have, but didn’t know I needed.  The fact that I was 23 years into a successful banking career didn’t seem to faze him.  He knew I was born to be a professional coach and referred to me that way in our very first meeting.

“You are a coach, so let’s talk coach to coach.”

There was a certainty about who he was that made his certainty about who I would become, surprisingly acceptable.  Even though I knew that following his line of thinking would be wildly disruptive and likely dismantle everything I had assembled around myself… all of the things to keep life manageable and safe.  What I didn’t know was that the walled city of my life was actually keeping me from living the abundant life I was desiring.

Coming to the conclusion that I wanted to do what he did came quickly.

Going through a Lifeplan retreat with him made it incontrovertible.

But if you had told me that in 6 short years later I would be working with dozens of individuals and businesses of every size doing exactly that, I would never have believed it was possible.  

I realized, almost immediately, that the biggest changes required of me would not be vocational, but would be in terms of my confidence and identity.

I wrongly assumed his financial independence was the source of his audacity.

His guileless ability to not care what I thought and say exactly what he was thinking, as it turned out, came from something far deeper and more valuable.  His conviction and almost unnerving sense of identity came from his Creator.  He believed that everyone was created for a particular purpose and that their lives, the lives of others around them, and the Kingdom at large, were better served by them finding and living into that identity.

I know now that what made him such an effective coach was his clarity, conviction, and his faith.  None of that has anything to do with money or power.  I knew that if I was going to be an effective coach, I needed to find the same.  The non-negotiables for my coaching and our entire coaching practice were inspired by what we saw in him.

Our “hills to die on” - the things that everything else rests on in terms of our client engagements are:

  • We ask the questions that no one else will ask. 
  • Say the things that no one else dare say.  
  • Always propose the right thing for the client, regardless of the implications.
  • Provide value at every engagement.
  • Do everything in our power to make sure the client realizes the desired outcome.

We are honored to operate out of the DNA of this founder.  We’re ensuring that none of those essential ingredients are lost by putting the right guiding principles in place to make sure that we don’t.  Just like we do with our clients.

  • What are the hills that you will die on?
  • What are the essential ingredients that define your organization at the highest level?
  • Have you captured them, celebrated them, and institutionalized them in a way that will ensure they continue?