This is a guest post by Karen Kimsey-House to celebrate the launch of her new book, Co-Active Leadership
I remember the weekend when my nephew Cotton graduated from high school. Never was there a nephew more ready to move the tassel to the other side. He was clear-eyed, restless and eager to make his way in the real world. Like a snake shedding its skin, he wriggled and turned, committed to freeing himself from the safety and smothering sameness of his old life. I looked at my nephew, this handsome man-child and was struck by the power of this transition.
From my view, much of our world is in the middle of that same transition. Some are wriggling intently, struggling to get free of attachment to outmoded structures that encase our Spirit and hamper our evolutionary progress. Others are clinging desperately to the old skin, trying with all their might to crawl back into a shape that is no longer alive.
This is true of the profession of coaching as well. Our world is changing and coaching must change as well if it is to fulfill its destiny. I love coaching…love the idea of personal fulfillment. I’m grateful that I have the tools to bring people into a deep understanding of what fulfills them and be at choice about what they create in their lives. I’m grateful that I have been blessed to teach others to work with people in a way that is life-affirming and whole.
As the world changes, however, our clients need more from us than just our support. They need us to call them forth, with love, compassion and rigor, consistently asking them to turn outward towards the larger world. What is their piece? What is the part that they are to play in the great unfolding story of evolution that is happening all around us? Who are they in the matter of the changing times? It just won’t do to allow our clients to cling to that dead old skin. We know better. And they do too.
Coaching is a global conversation, thriving on all continents and in almost all countries around the world. We have the technology to effect massive change in the way the human beings of this planet work in relationship with each other. I believe our destiny is far beyond making sure that our clients are happy with us and are getting what they want. What is the part that we, as a profession, play in this global unfolding?
Our profession was born into celebration of the individual and a commitment for people to be individually unique and magnificent. The time has come to put our attention on the whole, the collective and the undeniable relationship that we have with every other speck of life in this wondrous universe. We belong to one another. Whether we like that or not is of little consequence. It’s sort of like standing out in the rain and having a disagreement with a hurricane.
What to do about the challenges that we face remains something of a mystery. I believe that our work as coaches lies in the who. Who will we be? How will we use our incredible vision, talent and skill to empower our clients and others to look beyond their own personal fulfillment and towards what is honestly needed for the greater good? As coaches — regardless of our background, where we were trained, what kinds of models we use or the kinds of clients we work with — where do we stand together? This is not just idle rhetoric. I’m really asking. In the giant puzzle of tomorrow, what is our piece? Where do we stand together? I challenge every coach who reads this blog to give thought to and respond to that question.
Some years ago, I had the opportunity to read a beautiful message from the Hopi Elders that serves this calling forth. The other day, I came across those words on YouTube, set to beautiful music and images.
We are in the midst of a great transition, a great turning that will change the dream of the world forever.
What is our piece?
Originally published at thecoaches.com.
Karen Kimsey-House is the co-author of Co-Active Leadership and Co-Active Coaching. Additionally, she is the co-founder and CEO of the Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post. Learn more about Karen’s work at http://www.thecoaches.com or connect with her on Twitter @kkimseyhouse