The Consummate Coach

This is a phrase that Donna Steinhorn and I came up with the other day and I've been thinking about it ever since. It has a nice ring, but what does it mean, really? What would make a coach a consummate coach? What accomplishments would such a coach have under his/her belt?

For that matter, what would constitute an "accomplished coach"? I like both of these phrases and think they might describe useful benchmarks for those of us who are committed to excellence. You know, there's the "being" aspect if excellence, but there's the "doing" part, too. I think benchmarks are useful in measuring how we're doing.

I think Consummate Coach includes Accomplished Coach, so I'm going to throw out some ideas for what I think it might mean to be accomplished. I'm curious if you agree.

I think an Accomplished Coach probably has graduated from a coach training school. Not just a short program, but a full accredited program. They usually take about two years. 

They probably have at least one coach certification.

They're experienced. But how experienced? Maybe they've coached 100 people, like the folks who take the experienced coach 

Or maybe we measure their experience in hours of coaching, like the ICF. Does it have to be 2500 hours? Does 500 hours make a coach accomplished?

What if it's both hours and # of people coached? 100/500?

Do they have a full practice? I think so. Or is it how much they make? Six figures (USD)?

Have they written a book? Become internationally famous? Appeared on Oprah? What other accomplishments do you think are important before you can call yourself an Accomplished Coach? What benchmarks (goals) have you currently created for yourself? Are there steps along the way?

How many of the above benchmarks have you already accomplished? Do you think of yourself as an accomplished coach?

OK, back to Consummate Coach then. What separates a Consummate Coach from a coach who is merely accomplished? I'm thinking we all can become accomplished coaches, but can we all be consummate coaches?

Perhaps Consummate Coach brings us back to the "being" state, again. It's a superlative state, but may not be as easy to measure. Perhaps we can't define it, but we know it when we see it? Hmm, I'm not sure.

What would distinguish a Consummate Coach from an Accomplished Coach? Do you know any coaches who you believe deserve to be called "consummate"? Who would they be? What do they have in common? Or are they uniquely different from one another?

That's what I want to talk in Tuesday's Confab. If you're not on the new mailing list, go to and register to receive announcements and bridgelines.

Copyright, Julia Stewart, 2005

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