Tuesday, December 7, 2010
The date, September 11, 2001, after a successful career on Wall Street spanning over 25 years, I had just arranged the sale of the venture capital firm I was the CEO of, and watched the horror unfolding out my apt window facing the World Trade Center. My office was across the street overlooking the fountains. It was a beautifully sunny day. I had decided to stay home. I was in shock. I lost friends and colleagues and was in a deeply emotional state for several months.
I contemplated my future. What was in store for me I wondered. I looked back at my career/life and realized that what I enjoyed most was helping people to achieve their personally relevant goals. I had been a mentor, advisor, coach and didn’t even realize it at the time.
I decided to try my hand at being an independent business consultant. That lasted two years but wasn’t truly fulfilling for me. I would advise a company as to what to do, get paid and leave. One day I was introduced to a woman who was becoming a coach. I had no clue what she did but when she explained the process I was so intrigued that I asked her to coach me for a few sessions. At first I was skeptical. I am not one to open up easily but the process amazed me. So much so that I researched for an ICF certified coach program in the area, chose IPEC and enrolled.
Upon graduation I wondered how to best move forward in this new career. I had heard about the ICF and found the local chapter in NYC. I got the nerve up to attend a monthly meeting and was happily surprised how welcoming everyone there was. There were new coaches, coach wannabes and seasoned coaches attending. I networked, made friends, partnered with other coaches, and after several months was asked by the outgoing President to run for the Board.
My experiences as an active member of ICF-NYC are unforgettable. Over the next few years we focused on giving value to our members. We brought in informative speakers on topics members told us they were interested in. We offered workshops focused on how to grow your coach practice and improve core competencies. We organized groups of coaches to go out into the community and help those that weren’t able to afford our services. From helping college students, to career fairs, to local community groups we got members involved. I was elected chapter President in 2007. We won three global awards over those years. I hosted several webinars sponsored by ICF Global on our chapter best practices, wrote articles for Coach World, volunteered my time as part of the global chapter leader mentor program, spoke at three ICF annual conferences and now host Coach Chat Radio.
This past year, as Past President of the NYC chapter I have focused on mentoring those on the Board who will continue the legacy of our chapter achievements. This being my last year on the local Board, and with a lot of encouragement, I decided to run for a global board seat, was nominated and won the election.
As a new Board member I plan to offer my years of experience in business as a former CFO, COO and CEO, as well as a former chapter leader of one of the most successful chapters in the ICF to help our global organization advance the profession of coaching throughout the world.
For those who have sitting on the sidelines up until now, what can you do to contribute your passion and skills to expand the profession we care so much for?
Bernie Siegel, PCC, incoming 2011 Board of Directors member