Over ten years ago, I conducted a group coaching program for executives. The participants got fantastic results and I got some nice publicity, including the cover of the Washington Times business section on May 26, 1997. That is me in the photo at right, framed by a black rope.
To give you an idea of the enduring results from my executive coaching, here is a letter from a participant, reprinted with her permission, written more than a year and a half after she completed the course. Be sure to scroll down to see me at her wedding, one of the results she credits to the coaching.
November 9, 1998
I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to write you and tell you what’s been happening in my life since I took your course, “Genuine Success: Vitality, Service, and Outstanding Performance” (VSOP), in the summer of 1997, but here I am.
No, I want to correct that. My life has become very full. Also, I think I was avoiding thinking about how life was before your course. I so wanted change in many areas of my life and didn’t know how to do it. I’m not saying I wasn’t successful. I am a professional with the federal government earning a good living. By most accounts, I was doing fairly well. But fairly well wasn’t good enough. I wanted a life that fulfilled my inner goals, that made all my dreams work well together. Everyone in my life was urging me to compromise. That it simply wasn’t possible for all the things I wanted to coexist. They were wrong. Your course showed me how to make it happen.
My life in a nutshell before and after VSOP:
Life Before VSOP Life After VSOP Good job but no promotion in 7 years Promotion 1½ months into taking course No understanding of “power” office politics Able to communicate better with supervisors Brainstorming better/Contributing more ideas to projects Better at navigating office dynamics, getting work projects through Complimented for conducting terrific meetings Productivity slump Improved productivity Lonely Met and married husband in 97 days (April 1998) Bought home Improved relationship with family Wanted to expand my volunteering Assist husband with conducting religious services at nursing home twice a month, and developing a new church Started production company with 8 others Planning new holiday volunteer activities Wanted to expand hobbies Drawing again, after two decade hiatus Returned to singing Jogging again, after more than ten years
I could go on, but you get the point. It’s amazing when I look back to see how much has changed for me after studying the principles of your course. I started out wanting to shake a few stale things up in my life, but I got so much more.
I have to apologize to you to. At first glance, I didn’t think your course was going to work. But somehow, the way you designed it caused brand new ideas to occur to me about what I wanted to change, and I began to act. Very gently, areas in my life that hadn’t moved for decades improved, and I’m still growing. I listen to people better. I’m less attached to my own point of view, yet I remain ethical. I look for the solution, how to keep things moving toward the best outcome. I recognize the big contribution that is now and am rewarded for it. Recently, my husband complimented me on the extraordinary growth that has occurred in me in the seven months since we’ve been married, and how much he feels this has contributed to his growth.
This all sounds like stuff people would seem to naturally know. But knowing it and living it are two vastly different experiences. Before, I lived like there could only be one real victor in a project and a lot of helpful wanna’ bees. Now, after understanding “flow” and the development of the thought process for a project in your course, I see and live “leader” as a contributor to the “flow/success” of something.
I still draw on other things from the course you taught me. I use the centering practices you taught before tense meetings or giving speeches. They’re a big help. After learning the skills I had in common with successful people, what was missing, and how to work on them, I have taken on projects to build these skills and feel more accomplished and directed. These successful experiences have buoyed my confidence and energy. I’m getting much more done in the same amount of time. There’s no place to go but up from here.
Thank you again for helping me and others with this course. I wish you much continued success.
© 2009 Tony Mayo