Age: Late Fifties
Tell us about your background.
I left a Fortune 100 company in 2012 to create the life of my choosing, which included coaching. I’ve been fortunate to have had some really cool and enriching experiences, first as a naval officer and then as a Learning and Development Director at the major company. As a leadership instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy, I worked with 1,300 freshmen. I’ve managed a $450 million program for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and I’ve coached new and emerging executives as they transitioned to positions of greater responsibility. I love nature, creating beautiful gardens, and tending the 75 acres that comprise a future retreat center. I have master degrees in Finance, International & Strategic Studies, and Human Performance, as well as certifications in several assessment instruments for individuals and teams.
Are or have you been married, and what’s your view on marriage?
I recently married Kate, my partner of 23 years, because we finally could. My Navy career came to an abrupt and premature end in 1997 when my relationship with Kate came to light. This experience taught me a lot about leaning in and asking for help. It taught me a lot about resilience. I was closeted for years, living in fear of being found out. The real gift of this experience was to shine a light on shame, move beyond it, and to open up my heart to greater connection with others. This adversity, as painful as it was at the time, served to strengthen our relationship.
I view the decision to marry or not as an individual choice, and one that should be available to everyone. Beyond that, my view of marriage (like any relationship that matters) is that it requires ongoing care and attention. Assumptions can come up that benefit from clearing. There’s a need to align with one another on an ongoing basis about expectations, dreams and needs. We’re not only in our own process of life; we’re joined with another in the experience. That creates a need to balance and honor both the “me” and the “we.”
What brought you to coaching?
The constant theme in my life has been around bringing out the best in others. This showed up in early teaching experiences, in leadership, as an internal consultant working with leaders and their teams, and ultimately, in coaching. My introduction to coaching was serendipitous when my former company sought out people to train as internal executive coaches. Going through the coach training changed my life. What an amazing way to be in service of the growth, dreams, and goals of others! What an amazing way to live my life on-purpose. I love the way the universe calls with what we need. We just have to pay attention when the phone rings!
I’m passionate about making a difference & I believe it’s an honor to be with someone who is on a journey to create something vitally important for herself.
What is your mission as a coach?
Fundamentally, I believe that we all want a fulfilling life, with no regrets and no ‘woulda, coulda shoulda’ sentiments. It charges me up to see clients seek this. A friend gave me a block of wood with the inscription, ‘Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.’ This has become my mission—to help people create the life they want and to be the person they want to be as they live it. This is a life of aliveness and choice, a life lived on purpose; a life rich with what matters most.
Are there any particular life experiences that inform your coaching?
Two recent experiences most inform my coaching: The first, a 10-month leadership program through the Coaches Training Institute, fine tuned my listening and gave me much greater range as a leader and a coach. The second experience is a certification program for Equine Facilitated Learning and Coaching. Horses are amazing and wise teachers! This experience is teaching me to open up my perceptive abilities and intuition.
What famous women do you most admire?
I admire women of strong convictions who are fiercely courageous and passionately advocate for what they believe. They are self-determining and plant their own garden. These women include Maya Angelou, for her wisdom, clarity, and grace and her ability to cross lines of race through her elegant prose; Lynn Twist, for challenging our relationship with money, her conscious philanthropy, and her focus on a just and sustainable world; Amelia Earhart, for (literally) flying in the face of conventional feminine behavior in pursuit of her dream, and Oprah Winfrey, for bringing so much to everyday women and bravely demonstrating her humanity.
How do women most sabotage themselves?
Women are more apt to presume they aren’t capable, especially when presented with new challenges. They are more likely to minimize their past experiences and not accept that they are resourceful, capable, and equipped for the challenge. The sabotaging inner talk that comes with this often is further fueled by buying into an image suggested by others; by seeking validation from external sources.
What kind of client do you most enjoy working with?
I love coaching clients who are in key passages of their lives, whether personal or professional. I also love to work with passionate and motivated people who willing to look deeply inside themselves and are keen on making the transformational changes necessary to reach their goals.
Where and how often do you meet with your clients?
Almost all of my coaching is done via phone. I’m open to Skype calls and meeting in person. Logistically, it doesn’t work as well. We generally meet for two 60 minute sessions per month. I find that this session duration and frequency allows time for insight and shifts—both within and between the sessions. That said, if you would like a different arrangement just ask and let’s see what we might design together.
Tell us about your workshops and presentations.
One innovative workshop features horses as teachers/coaches and can be taken individually or in a group. Designed to jump-start insight and change, they include different ground-based individual activities with the horses, typically in a 60-foot round pen.
I’m also certified to deliver workshops on The Bigger Game®, which were created to inspire executives, leaders and individuals to get out of their comfort zones and invent the lives they want. It was designed with the premise that life itself is one big game, so why not play it with excitement, fulfillment and challenge? At its core, The Bigger Game helps people find their compelling purpose. It is an innovative model that guides us to create a set of circumstances that will intentionally design who we want to become.
What is the most important thing new clients should know about you as their coach?
I’m passionate about making a difference and I believe it’s an honor to be with someone who is on a journey to create something vitally important for herself. It’s nothing short of sacred to witness moments of doubt, of truth, and of triumph. One of my signature strengths is that I create safety that permits my clients to step into their full range of humanity—messy, gooey, juicy, and beautiful. I’m likely to hold you bigger and more capable than you’ve ever been held before. Consequently, I’ll challenge you to step out of business as usual and not settle for playing small.
Barb is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (C.P.C.C.) and a graduate of CTI’s Co-Active Leadership Program. She’s certified by the International Coaching Federation. Reach her by calling (315) 841-8370 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.