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Why I am a Coach

As soon as I took my first Psychology course in High School I was fascinated. However, in search of better career opportunities, I studied Computer Engineering and Mathematics, and graduated with honors (Cum Laude). The job offers when I graduated were great and I had a fast-track, successful career at IBM, Accenture and PwC, where I became a partner and launched a branch office which grew from inception to $2 million in revenues and 20 consultants in less than two years.

Fifteen years after graduating from college I was able to afford two sabbatical years, during which I went to Boston and finally got my long-desired Masters in Psychology at Boston University and also a Masters in Public Administration and International development at Harvard University.

Why was I so interested in Psychology? Through it, Little Miss Why found answers to the great Why’s of life: Why are some people happy, or seem at peace with themselves? And, on the other hand: Why are others sad, or seem anxious or worried?

I had a great mentor who helped me find answers to these big questions; he was Coach to the Managing Partner at my local Accenture office (Arthur Andersen at the time). I worked with him, both at the personal level and in a successful transformation of our office where we grew 500% in 2 years. He was also a head-hunter (recruiting services) and taught me that the question is not as much Why? or How?, but rather: Who?

And I realized that happiness is a decision, a habit we develop based on our self-talk. I thought I’d become a Counseling Psychologist, but that was limiting for my entrepreneurial, curious soul. I worked at Harvard as Director of Diversity and founded a staffing and executive search company, Cipher (see www.ciphersearchservices.com) which I still operate. Later on, Seligman’s research on happiness and positive psychology rigorously ratified what I had learned through my own life experiences, and I became a member of Seligman’s Vanguard group of Happiness Certified Coaches in 2003.

I created Cipher Search and Staffing out of thinking that solutions to organizational problems revolve around key players. I still believe success is about the people, but people, especially leaders, need to sounding boards (coaches) to broaden their visions, role-play scenarios and make their own mental filters explicit. I coach from the conviction that thought creates and dictates our outward experience. Thought is the Why of success of those key players in organizations.

Your company can only be transformed if its leaders transform. Coaching is transformation from the inside-out.

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