I’m delighted to share the news that I am now a certified executive and leadership coach and Sea Change now offers comprehensive coaching packages for nonprofit leaders.

Why Coaching and What’s In It For You?

I need to start with a couple of confessions.

First, until 2016 I didn’t realize what coaching was. I thought of it as a form of cheerleading, but with a corporate slant. “C’mon, you can do it! Three more…two more…”

Thanks to Robert Gass and his Art of Transformational Consulting workshop, Alia and I came to learn what coaching really is: a deep and powerful technology for helping people make big and sustainable changes in their lives, changes that then ripple through their larger worlds.

That discovery came alongside another ‘aha moment’ that has changed the course of Alia’s and my career trajectories. We came to realize that what was really holding back our clients’ work wasn’t lack of technical know-how. The biggest obstacles were the cultural conditions that make getting things done so damn hard at most nonprofits. That led to our Inside Out Fundraising report on cultural barriers to good fundraising.

And it led me to a retreat center in a cozy sylvan valley north of Asheville, North Carolina to begin 15 months of intense training in developmental coaching.

The particular flavor of coaching I chose is called Presence-Based Coaching. It blends more traditional coaching methodologies with mindfulness, somatics, neurobiology, and adult development theory. Its founder and my teacher, Doug Silsbee, describes it like this:

“Developmental coaching and Presence-Based Coaching in particular are not primarily around seeing where you want to go and then developing action steps to get there, although that is part of it. More deeply it’s about taking this person that we’ve become, looking deeply at this person and saying ‘what are the capacities that I bring to this and what do I need to develop within myself so that I can meet this enormous challenge that is in front of me to do?’”

I won’t lie, it was a long and sometimes arduous 15 months. You can’t become a good coach without getting up close and personal with your own demons, habits and limiting assumptions. You become intimately familiar with your own triggers, and more importantly you learn how to manage, or at least make friends, with them.

But it also makes a difference. It did for me. And it’s teachable.

Changing organizations requires changing culture. And changing culture requires personal change and transformation.

Coaching is a personal journey. As a coach, my job is to support your journey, to serve as your champion, and to walk alongside you as you explore new ways to be in the world.

And I am so excited to embark on that journey with you.