School of Coaching Mastery

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Thomas Leonard and Professional Coaching: Ten Years Later

Posted by Julia Stewart

Thomas Leonard RIP

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Thomas Leonard, the Founder of the Coaching Profession. Nostalgic coaches everywhere are marking this day in whatever ways are meaningful to them. (Here's a Facebook group that's giving away free coaching, today only.)

If you missed knowing Thomas, well you missed the man who inspired a profession that is still one of the highest paid and fastest growing in the world. No small accomplishment for a man who died suddenly of a heart attack at only 47.

Here's what you don't usually hear about Thomas: he was a genius marketer. He could even write a sales page (You know, those awful web pages with yellow highlighting that try get you to buy stuff) that you'd read to the very end, even when you knew you weren't going to buy the product, because his writing inspired and enlightened you instead making you want to commit harakiri.

So the next time you find yourself saying, I wish I could just coach without all the marketing and sales, consider upgrading, instead.

Thomas called coaching, "advanced communication skills", which is what great marketing is, anyway. Today, I don't find many coaches who remind me of Thomas, but some great marketers do. (Here are two marketers who elevate marketing to advanced communication: Seth Godin and Chris Brogan.)

I pay homage to Thomas pretty much everyday, by taking what I learned from him at his two coaching schools and always looking at what the next step needs to be in the profession and if I think I can create it, I do. Such as taking his brilliant Values- and Needs-based coaching and integrating it with Strengths-based coaching to get the full picture.

Years ago, I discovered the rough draft of Thomas' bestselling book, The Portable Coach, on the web via the Wayback Machine, which Thomas offered to the world to use freely. It's a detailed account of his 28 Principles of Attraction (not to be confused with the Law of Attraction). I took what he wrote verbatim, typos and all, and split it into 10 weekly, easy-to-digest ecourse lessons that show up in your inbox. It is, of course, free.

Want to become irresistably attractive to the best people and opportunities? Thomas will teach you for free:

Topics: professional coaching, Facebook, Thomas Leonard, Thomas J Leonard, Law of Attraction, coaching schools, Seth Godin's Blog, Chris Brogan

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