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Coach in the Spotlight - Stephen Luck

Posted 267 Days Ago in: Coaching Articles

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I would like to start by telling you a short story of a wise old man that lived high in the Himalayan Mountains. Periodically, he ventured down into the local village to entertain the villagers with his special knowledge and talents. One of his skills was to know the answer to ALL questions.

I would like to start by telling you a short story of a wise old man that lived high in the Himalayan Mountains. Periodically, he ventured down into the local village to entertain the villagers with his special knowledge and talents. One of his skills was to know the answer to ALL questions.

A few young boys from the village decided to play a joke on the wise old man and discredit his special ability. One boy devised a plan to capture a bird and hide it in his hands. He would then ask the wise old man what he had in his hand, knowing that he would correctly state that the object in his hands was a bird. The boy would then ask if the bird was dead or alive. If the wise man said the bird was alive, the boy would crush the bird in his hands, so that when he opened his hands the bird would be dead; if the wise man said the bird was dead, the boy would open his hands and let the bird fly free. So not matter what the old man said, the boy would prove the old man a fraud.

The following week, the wise old man came down from the mountain into the village. The boy quickly caught a bird and cupping it out of sight in his hands, walked up to the wise old man and asked,

"Old man, old man, what is it that I have in my hands?"

The wise old man said, "You have a bird." and he was right.

The boy then asked, "Old man, tell me, is the bird alive or is it dead?"

The wise old man paused for a moment while the boy waited with anticipation for his opportunity to prove him wrong, and then said: "The answer, my young friend, is in your hands. The answer is in your hands."

I love this story, and whist I certainly don’t consider myself to be a wise old man, I think there are definitely parallels to coaching. People don’t always know or believe that the answers truly are: “In their hands”. Coaching helps them find these answers for themselves.………… It certainly worked for me.   

I was born and raised in South Africa, and when I completed my two years military service as a paramedic, it was suggested by a careers advisor, that as I was a “people person”, I should perhaps consider a career in Hospitality. So, after graduating with a Diploma in Hotel Management, I began my career in the International Hotel Industry. I then spent the next 20 years working and progressing my career in Hotels, whilst I continued to enhance my education, completing a Certificate in Managerial Accounting & Finance and a MBA in 2006 .

Looking back now, my career gave me great technical ability in the running of hotels and optimising their business performance, but I don’t think I was ever truly happy. In fact, I increasingly found myself focusing my attention on nurturing and developing individuals, helping them enhance their performance and progress their careers. In a way, perhaps I was starting to find my true passion and calling.

To further enhance my ability to help others effectively, I completed diplomas in Personal Performance Coaching and Corporate & Executive Coaching though the Coaching Academy. Finally, in 2013, after facing redundancy for the 2nd time in my corporate career, I took the plunge, entering the scary world of self-employment and started my own coaching practice.

I now work with Individuals; Teams & Businesses who struggle to develop a clear vision of their future, which results in them feeling stuck and frustrated with where they currently are. I enable them to develop inspirational goals, to identify and implement the most appropriate actions need to sustained motivation, enhanced performance and set them on the path to future success. I can’t think of any job more rewarding than that, and I can honestly say that the past three years have been the best of my life so far.

Perhaps for the first time, I can honestly say that my future “is in my hands."

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