Vistage/TEC Executive Business Coaching before it had a name

Leave the first response May 1, 2008 / Posted in Mindful Leadership

The past 22 years of being a TEC Chairman then a Vistage Chair (when TEC changed its name) I work with CEOs, company presidents and managing partners. Vistage/TEC (as some partners have kept the TEC name) has been doing for 50 years. Finally there’s a set of names tht gets a little closer to what we do: Executive Coach, Business Coach, or Business Mentor. Now my adult daughters can tell friends what it is their Dad does.

Red Scott who I mentioned in the previous post has a statement that many of us Chairs continue to use: You’re either green and growing or ripe and rotting. I took it one step further and said that if you’re rotting you’re composting in order to once again become green and growing. It’s the Zen mind, beginner’s mind.

One of my fellow Chairs, Pat Hyndman, became a member of TEC back in 1968, In San Diego, he was president of PHD Leasing. They leased Ford truck. If you’re from around here you probably didn’t know the “P” was for Pearson Ford, the “D” was for Drew Ford and, yep, the “H” was for Hyndman. Pat will be 94 in December ’08 and besides being a member of TEC, he became its President and then he became a Chair which he has done for around 20 years. Pat is truly one of those that is green and growing.

I mention all this because tomorrow I will join about 25 other Chairs at the Vistage HQ here in San Diego to continue our green and growing with a development program nicely titled: The Journey from Self to Others: Turning Stumbling Blocks into Stepping Stones.

As part of our development we all did: Strengths Finder 2.0. So for $11.97 you can benefit from all the research collected by Tom Rath and The Gallup Organization to see/discover your top 5 strengths.

Some great work and growth ahead for many of us as a good percentage of us were raised to overcome our weaknesses. They revision the old maxim “You can be anything you want to be” which we know isn’t true when you think it through, e.g. a 5’5″ NBA center will not happen or a 125 pound nose guard will be like the one dinosaur saying to his buddy who just squashed a cave man: “Nice carbon footprint.”

I am blessed to have this community of men and women who are fellow Chairs doing what James Hollis writes about in Finding Meaning In The Second Half of Life: How to Really Grow Up. For me and many of my fellow Chairs it is using all our skills that made us successful and working on ourselves as we deal with those parts of ourselves that we either don’t like (Shadow work) or that part of us, call it soul, or being aware, awake and mindful that calls us to be more than we are able or capable of being. In a way its accepting our strengths and developing them as old age is only a state of mind…as Pat Hyndman shows so clearly.

While Vistage sees Chairing as good work, I see more and more people coming to Chairing as a way to be in a community of people that continue to care about each other and challenge each other endlessly as part of growth: mind/body/spirit. It resonates with James McMahon’s Radical Self Acceptance; Hollis’ Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life, and Thayer’s Leadership: Thinking, Being Doing. I’ll write later about the Keepers of the Flame. A group of Chairs who have been doing the work for 10 years or more. All are about being responsible for myself and all that means in becoming, getting back to the “You can be anything…” maxim: You cannot be anything you want to be — but, you can be alot more of who you already are. So each of us, hopefully with mindfulness and intention are becoming more present and learning to become all we are capable of.

I am reminded that even those that are the best in the world at what they do will have guides, coaches who focus on the strengths and keep mind/body/spirit here in this moment.

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