From Wilderness Guide to Executive Coach: Can it be done?

For the past four years, I've been writing a blog about my bilingual journey with my daughter in my non-native language of German. As the years have passed, and our now five-year-old daughter has gotten older, I've noticed that I've blogged less and less. While it's partly because I have less time now, I simultaneously find that the stress that I experience now in that process--while still there at times--pales in comparison to the fear and overwhelm that I first felt when I started the journey. I needed community and support in those first years, and I needed a way to process the depth and challenge of the experience. 

While this next journey is very different, I'm noticing that there are quite a number of similarities as I sit here in the same skin, peering out through the same eyes, having fears and doubts with the same amygdala that dragged me around back then: Can I do this? Is it possible for a foreign language teacher and wilderness leader to don a business suit and coach executives?

Many say no. How can I possibly relate to, much less support and guide, an executive in corporate America when the majority of my time has been with youth in the classroom and the high desert of Idaho?

Others say yes. Whether they believe it or not, they want me to succeed. They, too, want what's best for us, for our future, for their children, for our children, and perhaps, like me, for all life on this beautiful blue orb.

For this reason, I write this blog, for I imagine that sharing in this manner can similarly serve to support me and others as it has in my journey with my now bilingual daughter. While I'm not aware of very many coaches who seek to support executives in their process of mitigating climate change, there may be others of you out there, or perhaps simply those of you who might share my curiosities regarding conscious leaders and the challenges they face. 

The other night, I heard this fantastic speaker by the name of Patti Dobrowolski. From her presentation, I was completely inspired, and connected to the passion of what I really want: to have big impact, to really make a difference towards curbing climate change. Big impact will take Big Bold Steps, as Patti posits. And the first one I wrote down is to share my idea with 50 top executives. Clearly, I wasn't thinking when I wrote that down, because were my amygdala to have a say, that goal wouldn't have come anywhere near the paper.

But I'm clear: if I'm to discover if executives are my mountain top, the place where I can have big impact, then I need to discover all sorts of details about the world 'at the top'. 

And thus, my exploration begins. At 1 am on a Friday night, I write my first blog entry and officially start on my journey through the exploration of conscious leaders and the challenges they face. Some of what I'm eager to explore is...

  1. What is not working for executives and change makers?
  2. What are their struggles and how can they be more effective - what can we learn from their struggles?
  3. What challenges are they having in feeling like they are making a difference?
  4. How do they deal with isolation?
  5. What are the emotional struggles/ interpersonal struggles that they have while balancing personal/professional life?
  6. What is the story of their struggle to make a difference and be successful?
  7. What is hard for them?
  8. How do they balance it all?
  9. What is their family like?
  10. What is their relationship with the rest of their organization/staff like?
  11. Have they given anything up to be where they are?

I'm excited. I feel well-supported, curious, and ready to dive in--not such a rare experience after blogging and listening to Nahko Bear, another newly found source of inspiration. Naturally, there's trepidation too--I just outed myself to who knows how many, and made an unofficial commitment to the world to interview 50 top executives.

Yikes. Here we go...