In 2005 Nancy and I moved to Houston to slow down and enjoy the oncoming winter of our lives. But I couldn’t stop helping business leaders. In 2007 I was challenged by Vistage International to build their next Houston-based CEO peer group. It was a daunting task to recruit sixteen successful and thriving business leaders in a community I hardly knew. But we did it and in 2008 I was honored with the ‘Rookie of the Year’ designation for the Southern Region of Vistage.
I loved the work! Like management consulting, business coaching involves working with smart, talented, and highly successful people. Coaching fell right in line with my passion to serve business leaders. In a real sense I found it similar to consulting for the CFO of Phillips Petroleum, the CIO of CONOCO, the founder of Walmart, or the Governor of Indiana. I’d like to say I was a great coach right off, but that was not true. The problem was I had thirty years’ experience consulting. At coaching sessions I morphed into a consultant. I showed up for a session expecting to coach a CEO but instead a human being showed up!
What does that mean? My career had focused on solving business issues but coaching is not about business issues. It’s about helping people in business become better people and thus better leaders. Initially I struggled with the difference between mentoring, consulting, and coaching.
For an entertaining short on the difference watch the video here: ‘What is Coaching’
After four years as a Vistage coach I took inventory of my efforts. I loved coaching. It fit my passion to serve. But I wanted to be a better coach. I wanted to have a bigger impact my client’s success, not in business but in life and business.
In 2011 I entered a grueling coach-training program with one of the world’s largest and most successful coach-training programs: the Coach Training Institute of Rafael, California. There’s a saying: “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” but I can now say, “not true”! Two months after completing the entire CTI coaching series I passed both the oral and written tests to become a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC). Three months later I was certified by the International Coach Federation as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC), six month later Vistage honored me with the their Chair Excellence award, and two months later I was designated a Master Coach with the world’s largest CEO membership organization, Vistage. In 2013 I enjoyed working with thirteen business leaders. Today I work with over fifty business and non-business people. Life is bliss when you live your passion and serve it well.
Coaching allows me time to write, fish the streams of America with Nancy, and visit and spoil our six living grandchildren. How blessed can one be?
Jay W Curry, May 2014