It was almost a year ago that I first started to look seriously at coaching as a possible career move. The field is still very much in its infancy in Canada, especially as compared to where things are in the US. As such, it is one of the most misunderstood fields in which I have ever been involved.

Today I want to take you through the evolution of my thinking on the subject, because it could be eye-opening for many of you.

Let’s start about 10 years ago, when someone I know was looking at making a career move into coaching, and they asked my father for his opinion. I was not there at the time, but later my Dad told me that he could not understand why anyone would want to make a career out of “helping losers”.

As usual, Dad looked at everything through his one-and-only lens; if he did something or liked something, it was good, if he did not do it or like it, it was stupid and useless. Thankfully, people evolve from one generation to the next, and I am able to see things from different perspectives, and I can state unequivocally that losers don’t hire coaches.

Dad and I never had the conversation that I could now have with him about what coaches do, and what kind of people hire them, and that is too bad for him. If you keep reading, hopefully you will emerge more enlightened than him.

That “helping losers” mentality stuck in my head until January 2013, when I began the Family Enterprise Advisor program. At lunch on the first day, when I mentioned to a classmate that I was contemplating additional training in other related fields, like conflict resolution, she replied “Yes, and coaching”.

I was skeptical at first, and she saw the quizzical look on my face, so she then explained a bit about what kind of skills good coaches have and how they can be so helpful in family business situations. The fact that she ran her own coaching business made me take note. But I filed it away for the next few days.

Getting back to my office the following week, I decided to Google “coach training”, and I quickly realized a few things. First of all, it is a huge and growing field, and second, well, how the heck can you tell who is really good and credible and who is really not great and a waste of time?

So I got back to my classmate, Julie Morton, of Conscious Legacy Coaching, and asked her for her advice, in order to zero in on the right kind of coach training for me. She came back with only one real recommendation, CTI, the Coaches Training Institute.

So I signed up for their first course, Fundamentals, and a couple of months later I returned to Toronto to see what this coach training thing was all about. Three full days later I emerged, and I could only shake my head in disbelief at how powerful the experience was for me.

To wrap up this week’s blog I will fast forward and tell you that after that first session in Toronto in April, I continued to take the second course, Fullfilment, in Montreal in December, and then gathered some momentum and took course 3, Balance, in January, with most of the same group.

In February I will be back for Process, and then finish up with Synergy in March. In the meantime, next week I will try to explain how the program has changed my view on so many things, and tell you why I am excited about what I have been learning.

Steve Legler “gets” business families.
He understands the issues that families face, as well as how each family member sees things from their own viewpoint.
He specializes in helping business families navigate the difficult areas where the family and the business overlap, by listening to each person’s concerns and ideas.  He then helps the family work together to bridge gaps by building common goals, based on their shared values and vision.
His background in family business, his experience running his own family office, along with his education and training in coaching, facilitation, and mediation, make him uniquely suited to the role of advising business families and families of wealth.
He is the author of Shift your Family Business (2014), he received his MBA from the Richard  Ivey School of Business (UWO, 1991), is a CFA Charterholder (CFA Institute, 2002), a Family Enterprise Advisor (IFEA 2014), and has received the ACFBA and CFWA accreditations (Family Firm Institute 2014-2015).
He prides himself on his ability to help families create the harmony they need to support the legacy they want. To learn how, start by signing up for his monthly newsletter and weekly blogs here.