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WHY I BECAME A COACH

In late 2004 I had a professional and philosophical awakening that led me to a two-year long course of study at the Coaches Training Institute in California and certification in professional Co-Active coaching with a specialization in coaching organizations and relationship systems.

My awakening: It is my contention that the majority of non-profits have many of the tools they need to succeed. While these tools may take on different shapes and sizes (for example a planning discussion vs. an actual strategic plan written by a consultant) these organizations do have boards, staff, donors, money, computers and other infrastructure, planning, a defined mission, and consumers and yet, they are still struggling. I concluded that with all of these tools in hand, there is still something holding organizations back from fully stepping into the task. I became very curious.

Non-profit organizations exist in a fast-paced, ever-changing world where the common questions of the day include--“how do we…? or “why is it…?” or “who did…?”—and are often answered with “no money, no time, no staff, no leadership…” Money, time, personnel, and leadership are often short and urgency is great. I get it! And I wonder what could be if we ask ourselves questions like these:

  • What could be for my organization if we had all the resources we needed to meet our mission? Where do I see myself in this place? What do I bring that will push us over that edge?

  • What impact could we have in the world if every member of the board was able to speak fluidly to the issue and raise funds as a result? What if there was no fear/hesitation?

  • What does organizational stability look like for my organization? What can I bring that supports stability? How will I bring it today?

  • What am I afraid of in my service to my organization? What holds me back from being really present to the demands placed on me as a member of this board/staff?

  • Assuming that my organization has met its mission in our lifetime… what is my part of the legacy?

  • Describe the value of staff (not what they do, but how they are). What do you see in them that lights up your cause?

  • Name the biggest frustrations you experience in serving your organization. What about these frustrations can’t you be with? How is your service to your organization affected by your inability to be with these frustrations?

  • What about my service to my organization brings me the most joy/fun/ease? What do I want more of?

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