The Power of Coaching

I place my recent experience as a Segal Fellow Coach in the category of things I feel guilty about. Why? Not because I didn’t show up on time or give it my all, but because I got so much out of the experience. I can almost hear Eli knowingly chuckling about the power of service to help transform those who serve.

I am grateful to my Segal Fellow Alan Ratliff who during the time we spent together gave me a window into his dynamic and highly complex work informing GBLT (gay, bi-sexual, lesbian, and transgender) policy development on the state-wide level.  Over fancy salads, Japanese noodle soups, and something Thai that I am still not sure about, I learned about the disconnects between public officials and a new generation of youth leaders and activists in this arena.  Alan is bravely in the process of positioning himself as a bridge.  He is learning to speak the languages of multiple stakeholders and helping them find new ways to first “hear” one another and then, hopefully, work together.  Like most Fellows, he is a pioneer.

“If you are not at the table, you are on the menu”

Participating in the UN Conference for Global Change was a one of the most engaging six hours I have spent all year. Last month, I sat in a very outdated hotel meeting room at the end of a long table, surrounded by business leaders, United Nation’s staff and other NGO leaders. Everyone was committed to leading, learning and/or exploring CSR. The group was convened by the newly established Foundation for Social Change and the United Nations. It was the most powerful information sharing I’ve experienced in a long time.

Why so engaging?  Because the corporate and NGO leaders who presented their cases were well past searching for a business case for CSR, they are blazing the trail of corporate sustainability.  They were pioneers helping their businesses use CSR to be relevant, profitable survivors in today’s complex and competitive business world.