What does it mean to be a Professional Coach?

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As a fully committed professional to the field of coaching and all the sub-specialities it gets associated with e.g. Human Performance Improvement, Talent Development, Leadership Development, etc…….my latest milestone in my coach journey to the International Coach Federation’s (ICF) Professional Certified Coach rank has provoked internal thought about what it means to advance / deepen / master my craft.  

Once upon a time, I was a sports coach, and later in my career I operated as a life coach.  Now a large portion of the coaching I’m involved in centers on leadership coaching e.g. business coaching.  

For the first coach specialty, I was trained via apprenticeship by my former football coaches.  The latter two, I trained and later certified in, hence, my affiliation with the ICF. 

When I served as a sports coach for kids, there was no question what I did for work. Sports Coaching is a recognized profession that resonates with sports enthusiast and non-sports enthusiast alike. 

As I entered the world of Life Coaching, there were questions about the work I did in that domain. 

What’s a life coach? I know how to live my life – I don’t need someone to tell me how to live!!!

Now that I spend much of my time as a coach working as a Leadership Coach, I have come full circle to appreciate the nuances of having worked in all three tracks of coaching e.g. Sports, Life, and Business, to realize there are more similarities than there are differences……or at least I see more in common. 

And while “Leadership” has become a buzz word most people recognize, which makes what I do easier to understand, the question still remains – what does it mean to be a professional coach?

And how we answer that question then leads us to the next question – how does one deepen and / or master their skills as a coach?

I’d love to hear your thoughts…….


About David

David is a sustainable leadership development advocate and practitioner, who is passionate about creating the conditions for people development and organizational success.  His passion for sustainable leadership is grounded in the belief that all people and organizations can “disrupt” their performance when the right conditions for success are intentionally cultivated with all stakeholder needs front and center. 

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About the Company

David Ribott International is a socially conscious coaching and consulting company empowering clients who are committed to a triple-bottom-line approach focused on people, performance, and profit by cultivating leadership effectiveness.

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