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My Story: Why I became a Certified Professional Coach to stressed nonprofit executives

I was chatting with Stephen Nill of CharityChannel fame last week, sharing with him my work as an executive and leadership coach to nonprofit leaders. Before I knew it, he invited me to tell my story by posting this guest blog. He asked me to address how and why I got into executive and leadership coaching and how it can help nonprofit CEOs and executive directors do their jobs better with even greater satisfaction.

I didn’t have to be asked twice!

iPEC - Institute for Professional Excellence in CoachingI’m Kathy Wright and I’m a Certified Professional Coach. The 350+ hours of training I’ve had through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching has equipped me with many fabulous tools I can use to help busy professionals manage change (which is constant, right?) and increase their productivity with less effort, less stress, and more fulfillment. Sounds pretty great, doesn’t it?

Coaching is the perfect next step for me as I fulfill my OWN life mission to help others succeed with their life purpose. I think back to my days in Toastmasters when my favorite part was to see the awesome changes in people as they became more confident in their speaking so they could achieve their goals.

Velma is a great example of someone gaining that kind of confidence. About twenty years ago, I was president of our local Toastmasters club so my name was in the newspaper (how quaint!) as the contact person. One day I got a rather tentative call from Velma. She said her daughter had encouraged her to call and she had finally gotten up the nerve. Velma had a dream and her inability to get up in front of people to speak was getting in the way of her fulfilling that dream. Velma was 76, and she wanted to read the Bible during her church services.

The first time Velma got up to speak at our Toastmasters Club, she got about a minute into her talk and had to sit back down because she was flustered and couldn’t continue. But, through our encouragement and her determination, she eventually realized her dream. Not only that, she became an officer in the club and helped others achieve their own successes.

Helping people like Velma achieve their dreams is what lights my fire! That’s why I adore coaching.

I especially love coaching executives and entrepreneurs. I understand them. I’ve been there. I love them! These are people who are high energy, git ’er done, juggling many balls, exuding confidence, who have lots of ideas but…have the same gremlins as anyone else. Am I smart enough to do this? Am I good enough for this job? Will I be successful? How can I get all this done? Should we go down this new path? And, a lot of times, they just don’t have a safe place to let it all hang out…to talk through what might be getting in the way of success.

That’s where your coach comes in. I have studied leadership and applied the principles in my life and work for more than thirty years. My master’s degree is in Human Relations where I studied leadership and organization development. I have been an executive director. I own my own business. Many of my friends are entrepreneurs.

Here’s the bottom line: Partnering with me can help you as a nonprofit executive to increase your energy, set aside the voice of your “I’m not good enough” gremlin, and help you achieve your highest life purpose.

Since I was asked to mention how I package my services—Stephen Nill thought it would be a great way show how a member of the CharityChannel professional community (me) was innovating—let me mention one of two programs I’ve created for CEOs/executive directors/nonprofit leaders to partner with me as their coach (I also do one-on-one business coaching, but that’s not necessarily for executives in the nonprofit world):

Master Practitioner - Energy Leadership IndexEnergy Leadership™ Circle. Exclusively for people serving as CEO or executive director of a charitable organization. The group consists of a small, dynamic cohort, no more than eight, meeting twice per month online. These sessions will be part training, part coaching (both group and individual) and part peer interaction. It’s much like a mastermind group but with the added benefit of training and coaching! Learn more about Energy Leadership Circles here.

Included in both one-on-one coaching and the Energy Leadership Circle is a personal Energy Leadership Assessment and debrief.

Kathy Wright, MHR, CPC, ELI-MP

About the Contributor: Kathy Wright, MHR, CPC, ELI-MP

Kathy Wright, MHR, CPC, ELI-MP, is Chief Operating Officer of the Institute for Conversational Fundraising. She works with charitable organizations to help them raise larger gifts and build meaningful relationships with their donors by mastering the art of Conversational Fundraising.

She is a veteran member of the CharityChannel professional community and serves as a comprehensive editor for books published by CharityChannel Press.

Kathy brings over 25 years of professional experience specializing in capacity building, fundraising, management, leadership, and training. She has earned a Master’s Degree in Human Relations with an emphasis on Leadership and Organization Development. Kathy’s passion for excellence and for helping nonprofit organizations achieve their goals has led her to serve on numerous boards and committees, bringing active involvement and sage advice to those organizations fortunate enough to attract her attention.

In addition to her community role as a consultant, fundraiser and teacher, Kathy has been a guest speaker at numerous civic groups, schools, and businesses.

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