View this issue online at www.todayscoach.com/Feb2004/021004.html
life used to suck and
I used to be well-intentioned, but frankly, a
It's all gotten a lot better in the past 10
This coaching stuff really does work.”
see Thomas every day when I pass my refrigerator.
His photo and obituary have taken center stage there for
a year now. But I didn't really need them
there...because even without the visible reminder,
he speaks to me. Often he laughs at me. The
interesting thing is that I have heard the same thing
from many others...so I know I haven't lost my mind.
I'm not sure what's actually going on here...is it a
trick of the imagination, memories, or his actual
presence (I have an open mind.) But does it really
been privileged in this year, to connect with many
people who knew t longer and better than I did. We
swap stories of his emails, his foibles, his
proliferation. And most of all how he touched and
changed our lives. I am grateful for having known
him for the short time that I did.
of you knew t, or had met him at one of the live events
or his tours. Below we share two of your personal
thoughts and conversations. Some of you never
met or spoke to him, but have voiced how you feel
like you knew him from his emails, his R&D, his
programs and ezines. And some of you never
even heard of Thomas, but you are reaping the
benefits of the industry he envisioned all those years
ago. For all of us, I say "thank you t."
be removing that photo and obituary from my refrigerator
today. I never really needed it there.
Because in the absence of t from the world as we know
it, I have the presence of t in my heart and mind.
of Content Development and Innovation, CoachVille
Schools of CoachVille
Dean, Thomas Leonard Coaching School |
Director, Schools of CoachVille
on a Friend . . . From a Friend
hard to believe that a year has passed since I got the
phone call informing me that Thomas had passed on.
The news shocked me into oblivion and I found myself
unable to work for days. I met and began working
with t about 4 months before we opened the doors of
CoachVille. I remember being boggled by the amount
of work a team of 5 was able to accomplish to make
CoachVille a reality. One thing about t is, he
created a work environment of other creative people who
could perform the multi-tasking of 20. After we
opened CoachVille to the public, about three months
in, I received an
email from Thomas that we had already reached nearly 50%
of our first year's membership goals! A process he
projected to take 183 days, took less than 90.
was it about t and his work environment that created
this amazing success? I think it was the
"Ville" in CoachVille. While t was a
loner in many aspects of his life, he learned that
"It takes a village to raise a child", as the
saying goes. CoachVille was his child at that
time, and while he was proficient at making unilateral
decisions, anything big that would affect
the whole village, he asked for input on.
lessons, gifts and wisdom that he shared with us all are
countless. Every one of us who is involved in
coaching in any way, can thank Thomas for making our
industry what it is. Thomas' passion for improving
the lives of tens of thousands of people, is a driving
force for each and every coach in their own practice, in
their own way. Even those who never had the
opportunity to meet him in person benefit from his
relentless trail blazing efforts to this day and will
continue to do so.
tip our hats to t with this issue of Today's Coach, and
invite you to celebrate his life, his passion, his wit
and his wisdom in your own way on this profound
anniversary. We also invite you to
subscribe to the "conversations with t"
ezine. This is a new periodic publication exploring many
anecdotes and experiences that individuals and
groups have had with Thomas that have impacted their
lives and businesses. Experiences like the one
featured below. To subscribe, visit http://conversationswiththomas.com
and simply fill out the form you will find there.
Micklin, Web development consultant, self-awareness
coach, renaissance woman
people are like bath salts...
Contributed by Kristin Taliaferro, www.KristinCoach.com
time I worked with him, Thomas and I spoke often. He was
quite the speedy e-mailer, too! If you’ve ever worked
with him, you know what I mean. Thomas once said his
ideas hit him with such fierce velocity he was utterly
defenseless. Well, his emails hit me the same way! When
Thomas had an idea, he’d shoot out an email to share
it. He always said he created his best work in
collaboration with others, and I do believe that’s
true. Night and day, those emails and ideas were flying.
Did he have a team of elves helping him? Surely, no
HUMAN could produce and work as much as he? I wondered.
you up to?” he asked one day with a phone call.
“I’m making bath salts”, I replied.
You have way too much time on your hands.” Thomas said
This led us
into what I like to call the “bath salts
conversation”. Although, it really wasn’t about bath
salts, it was about balance.
you ever do anything just for the fun of it?” I said
“Sure, I could buy bath salts (and I do) but it seemed
fun to make some for gifts. Do you have anything like
that you enjoy doing ?” I wanted to know.
to create.” He said. “I also like to go to movies
and read. But, mainly I like to write and create”
(coaching tools, logos, designs etc)
to self – Don’t expect any handmade gifts from TL at
Christmas. Definitely not any bath salts!
honest, that conversation left me with the nagging
feeling he was a bit too focused on work. Sure, he loved
it! But, isn’t there more to a balanced life? What
about people? What about silly hobbies? Working
constantly seemed a little too one dimensional to me, to
tell you the truth. Sometimes, I felt sad for him.
tour finally reached my hometown. After working with him
for months, I was going to meet him face to face for the
first time. The RV rolled in, and there he was. Why was
I nervous? Even though we were friends and colleagues,
it was kind of like meeting a rock star. I felt
star-struck for a moment.
I said as I walked into the RV. “How are you doing?”
haggard from the long trip, he said “A little
I could see
from his face he was tired, yet energized. Traveling
thousands of miles for months, going from city to city,
would fatigue just about anyone. But, imagine if you
were facing one of your biggest challenges along the
way. Did you know speaking in front of large groups was
one of Thomas’s least favorite things to do? He said
he wanted to “over-respond” to his aversion, by
putting the tour together and placing himself in front
of large groups week after week. And, he did just that.
What a brave guy. I think he ultimately learned to love
being in front of the room.
presentation, I sat back in the audience and noticed how
Thomas’s presence filled the whole room. OK, he had
the touring bus and the coaching groupies, maybe he
really WAS a rock star. The only other time I remember
feeling so in awe of someone was during the Elton
John/Billy Joel concert. Two Legends. Thomas was a
legend, too. He had that same “star” quality about
him, even though I’m sure he didn’t suspect that
about himself at all.
of the people in the audience filed out of the room,
following the presentation, I remember sticking around
to meet with Thomas and wish him well on the next leg of
his trip. In the front row, there was one person
remaining, however. I don’t know her name but she had
a “lost” look about her. She wasn’t a coach, I do
remember that. She could very well be one by now,
though! I recall some of the thoughts and questions this
woman had and I remember asking her if she needed help
finding her way home. There was this unmistakable lost
or confused look about her. It was unnerving.
saying our goodbyes, I went home. The lone woman from
the audience was still sitting there. She wouldn’t
budge! “Should I help Thomas out by moving this lady
along” I wondered?
following day, I received a call from Thomas.
that lady from last night?” he quizzed with a buzz in
invited her for coffee and we chatted for a couple of
hours in my RV. I think I may’ve helped her.” Thomas
said with pride.
And it was
in THAT moment when I realized what really mattered MOST
to him. People. Sure, he wrote and created scores of
information to help people, but what mattered the most
to him was actually helping them WHENEVER and WHEREVER
he could, no matter how TIRED he was. While other
experts might just say “Read my book”, Thomas said
“Come in for some coffee and let’s talk.”
So you see,
Thomas’s bath salts were people. They were his hobby
and his life. He loved people. And without a doubt, they
loved him too.
experience more stories of Thomas Leonard by subscribing
to the special ezine “Conversations with t” at www.conversationswiththomas.com,
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