Us Versus Them
Landline-less at Last

To Be One's Best Self

For the last six months, I have been coaching a young woman who works for a non-profit. Its CEO recognized her leadership potential and thought that outside coaching might be helpful.

I accepted the assignment as a volunteer.

We met every three weeks and stayed in touch by email in between. Our “office” was a quiet coffee shop in Harvard Square or, when the weather was good, a park bench. One time we met at her workplace because I wanted to see it.

We worked on her ability to manage up and manage down. We discussed her career trajectory. We strategized about whatever was on her mind.

Last week, our six months were up. At our last meeting, we talked about the progress she had made. I was delighted to hear that she is getting a big promotion and that they have asked for her help in defining the job they are creating for her.

I don’t take credit for making that happen. I do take credit for helping her become more planful about her future. In the note she handed me as we parted, she thanked me for helping her to reflect on what she can do to become her best self.

The funny thing is that I think I gained as much or from our time together as she did. Maybe more…


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I love this story. As elders we have so much to give, and it's so fulfilling to be able to pass on our knowledge and experience. The young woman was so fortunate to have this coaching from you, and I can well understand how you received just as much from being able to give. The CEO deserves a medal as well as you.


Thus this is your life's purpose. I know I feel the same about our career talk. (More soon)


Maybe purpose is grandiose - I'm pretty sure we don't have a soulmate mission in life, but many gifts :)

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