Why Do I Coach?


Executive CoachingI’ve always been the go-to person to resolve conflicts, to answer questions, to connect resources and people. Touching others and helping them see and live life from a broader perspective has always driven me, whether I was an elementary school teacher, a start-up staffer, an adviser, coach or part of the management team at a nonprofit or tech company.

So when people ask me ‘why do I coach’, I have to really think about it – it has been a part of my modus operandi since first memory. But a good question deserves a reasonable response. And I’m also leveraging the thoughts of some of my heroes to make my point.

  1. Connecting a leader with his values has rich rewards for all.
  • Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost. John Quincy Adams
  • The key to the ability to change is a changeless sense of who you are, what you are about and what you value. Stephen R. Covey
  • Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things. Peter Drucker
  • The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch and do nothing. Albert Einstein
  • Those who stand for nothing fall for anything. Alexander Hamilton
  • Three Rules of Life … 1. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. 2. Don’t be trapped by dogma which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. 3. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Steve Jobs
  • We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right. Martin Luther King
  • Knowledge will give you power, but character (will give you) respect. Bruce Lee
  • Integrity is doing the right thing even if nobody is watching. C. S. Lewis
  • Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are. Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be. Socrates
  • Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. John Wooden
  1. Opening hearts and minds reveals possibilities for the direct recipient and for all those they touch.
  • My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. Maya Angelou
  • In the end, it is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. It’s impossible to have a meaningful life without meaningful work, done with people we love doing it with. Jim Collins
  • Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition. Abraham Lincoln
  • Technology and social media have brought power back to the people. Mark McKinnon
  • From the streets of Cairo and the Arab Spring, to Occupy Wall Street, from the busy political calendar to the aftermath of the tsunami in Japan, social media was not only sharing the news but driving it. Dan Rather
  1. Helping someone elevate from management to leadership raises the waters for all.
  • If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. John Quincy Adams
  • Leaders are people who believe so passionately that they can seduce other people into sharing their dream. Warren G. Bennis
  • You cannot get through a single day without having some impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make. Jane Goodall
  • The day people stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. Colin Powell
  • To handle yourself, use your head. To handle others, use your heart. Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the ONLY thing. Albert Schweitzer
  • A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves. Lao Tzu
  1. Helping people align thinking, speaking and acting provides a tangible shift of perspective and results.
  • There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. Maya Angelou
  • The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward. Amelia Earhart
  • First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. Mahatma Gandhi
  • Not the cry, but the flight of a wild duck, leads the flock to fly and follow. Chinese proverb
  1. Teaching others how to ask the right questions releases the potential within and around them.
  • The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life. Confucius
  • Leadership begins by asking how you can make things better. Jeffrey Fry
  • The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions. Anthony Jay
  • The best leaders are the best note takers, best askers and best learners. They are shameless thieves. Tom Peters
  1. Being the mirror for others helps others see themselves for their possibilities rather than their limitations.
  • The psychic task which a person can and must set for himself is not to feel secure, but to be able to tolerate insecurity. Erich Fromm
  • The Roots of Violence: Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Knowledge without character, Commerce without morality, Science without humanity, Worship without sacrifice, Politics without principles. Mahatma Gandhi
  • Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves. L.D. Marquet
  1. Understanding the past helps us forge a stronger present, a more promising future.
  • Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail. Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • For a tree to become tall, it must grow tough roots among the rocks. Friedrich Nietzche
  • Accountants are in the past, managers are in the present, and leaders are in the future. Paul Orfalea
  • What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise. Oscar Wilde
  • When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. Lao Tzu
  1. Learning from all those around you and sharing that wisdom and strength emboldens and empowers all.
  • I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou
  • The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible -and achieve it, generation after generation. Pearl S Buck
  • Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. Henry Ford
  • If I could see further than others, it was because I stood on the shoulders of giants. Sir Isaac Newton
  1. Dreaming together of the future helps create a stronger, more tangible present.
  • Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it. Maya Angelou
  • Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. Winston Churchill
  • Don’t tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results. General George S. Patton Jr.
  1. Releasing the magic in each of us inspires and connects all of us.
  • The great leaders are like the best conductors. They reach beyond the notes to the magic in the players. Blaine Lee
  • Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Wilfred Peterson

In the end, I conclude that to me, there is nobler act than to work with others to create a bigger, better world for us all.

For more information about Linda Holroyd and FountainBlue’s Head-Heart-Hands approach to executive coaching, visit http://www.whenshespeaks.com/coaching. 

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