Archive for 'Thomas Said…'

Are you giving clients what they REALLY want?

Many coaches believe that clients need them to dominate the conversation and forcefully plow through the thickets ahead.

There’s certainly a time and a place for that, but we as coaches also must be sensitive to our client’s needs to be heard.

Some of your client’s most profound shifts may come as a result of letting them walk through their own concerns, frustrations and roadblocks as you stand supportively by their side.

When asked what were the top things he wished he knew early on as a coach, Thomas Leonard replied:

All the client needs much of the time is to be ‘heard

It is OK to just be with the client for a while and say absolutely nothing.

Your value as a coach is not diminished by silence. The appropriate time will come for you to interject and bring more clarity or guidance to the situation.

Action Plan: When coaching, be still.  Give your client a chance to talk.  Let them hear, out of their own mouth, what’s holding them back or what they are still using as excuses.

Give them the assurance of knowing they can speak openly and honestly without the fear of dismissal or judgment.

What are your thoughts on allowing clients to be “heard”?  Is this a struggle for you?  Do you agree with Thomas on the importance of this?  Please leave your insight in the comments section below.

What are some questions you can use to engage in provocative conversations?

I hear what you’re saying. You are a responsible person but you feel trapped and with no options. And I’m just wondering, why are you having any problems at all in your life?

2. What do you think the real truth is here?

3. Are you sure about that? I have a sense that there’s something more. Are you sure it’s about …(i.e. losing someone or something or approval)

4. Is this the kind of life you want to have?

How Do You Learn About Engaging in Provocative Conversations?

Practice the three sets of questions; the duh, the deep and the doubting.

Listen to others in their conversations. See if you can pick these questions out in the dialogue.

Try NOT using these types of questions and watch how boring things can get!

Ask yourself the questions around your own life. Is your life problem free? Why not? Great coaches walk their talk.

What Mistakes do coaches make with engaging in provocative conversations?

1. They stay on the surface accepting their client stories at face value.

They are not careful about being seduced to just follow where the client wants to go, thinking they are letting the client appropriately “set” the agenda. They may actually be letting the client lead them astray.

2. They fear asking deep questions.

They are concerned about prying into private areas. They don’t realize that their job is to navigate with curiosity so that the client can see more truth and do something about the truth if they choose to.

3. They don’t have a relationship with problem free living

Since they are not on a path to problem free living they don’t know how to talk about it. Even if you are not there yet, your process will be highly valuable to your clients.

4. They misunderstand the distinction between provoke and evoke.

Consequently their sessions focus on evoking more of the client story rather than provoking them to see more and want more for themselves.

How will you engage with provocative conversations in your coaching?  Share with us by leaving your comments below.

So What Does “Use Technology Relentlessly” Mean?

3Example #1: Be on the lookout for new technology. Be willing to try it at low risk, and low cost. Hone your instincts for new tools that will last. Claim territory using that new technology.

Example #2: Bend technology to service your market. Don’t just be a user. Be someone who helps others become users. As the saying goes, the people who succeeded most during the gold rush were the ones who manufactured and sold gold pans and scales.

Example #3: Make technology relevant. As a business strategy, no matter what market you’re in, if you can put a human face of technology, you will stand out. Demos, examples, stories, endorsements by people who are techno-phobes, are all examples of exactly HOW to use technology relentlessly in support of your leadership position in the market.

There are dozens, if not hundreds of ways in which we used technology relentlessly to build a thriving multi-million dollar business in the coaching field.

Still today, there are new technologies that certain coaches are maximizing to stand out in their fields.

The 24-hour coaching website that makes use of online chat windows to provide just in time coaching for executives being laid off.

The daily accountability website that enables academics to complete their dissertations.

The coaching-by-cell phone services being offered to Generation Y and younger, by career coaches.

What exotic, or more mundane, yet unleveraged technology is applicable to your market?

First things first, ask…

Coaching Question #1: What technology does your market naturally use?

Coaching Question #2: In what way can you package your coaching services to leverage those tools?

Coaching Question #3: What tools are other million- dollar coaching businesses using in their markets, that can cross-over to yours?

These are the first three question we invite you to ask, in order to begin to apply this strategy.

Exciting, isn’t it? We have to agree, which is why it’s the first out of 12 strategies in the Thomas Leonard Success Strategies Program. It was one of the signature ways Thomas looked at the world, and once you’ve caught that mentality, it is hard to slough off.

Because there’s more to this than something to do. It’s a mindset shift and affects how you look at technology. Not just as a shiny piece of tin foil that distracts you from your main task – to make money and meaning sustainably as a coach.

No, embracing this mindset shift will allow you to integrate the right pieces of technology into your bottom-line focused business strategy. That’s even more exciting, to me.

Your market and your clients – more of them than you perhaps imagine – are waiting. And we hope you’ll seize the moment to think through this strategy for yourself.

Add your thoughts and comments below.

New Release | A Japanese Language Edition of 52 Thomas Leonard Quotations

As part of a multiple-language project, we’re excited to release this completely no-fee ebook for coaches and non-coaches.

Thanks too, to the Japanese Coaching community for their willingness to help us with the perfect Japanese title. Once it’s settled, the appropriate English translation and title will be placed on t he above cover.

Got a language you want to help translate? Interested in a print version of the above? Hit reply to let us know – we don’t have unlimited amounts of time, but if you’re interested in contributing, we’re interested in hearing.

Click here to claim your copy now.


Happy Birthday, Thomas! The 2nd Annual Commemorative Birthday Gathering Held By Coaches in Japan

On Saturday, July 30, 2010, 25 coaches gathered in Yokohama, Japan for an afternoon of celebration on the occasion of Thomas Leonard’s birthday.

As part of the festivities, they studied the first section of the Full Practice 100 materials, listened to a pre-recorded audio message from Mentor Coach Andrea J. Lee former General Manager of Thomas Leonard’s team, and enjoyed birthday cake.

The depth of friendship, love and respect toward Thomas remains very strong in Japan, and even though the economic climate has made it challenging to succeed especially in the last few years, enthusiasm and commitment levels to the coaching profession remain high.

As Global License Holder of Thomas Leonard’s intellectual property, we were excited to launch the Japanese edition of 52 of Thomas’ quotations in ebook format at this party.

Coach Leslie Nielsen was instrumental in making this brand new publication possible through her dedicated translation, interpretation, and patience.

On behalf of Thomas, a big thank you to Leslie-san, and the many coaches in Japan who continue to create change for good.

Click here to check out the Japanese publication now.

Lesson #19 How do you coach a first time business owner who is completely over his/her head?

Given almost no one had Entrepreneurism 101 or Running a Small Business in high school or college, it is completely natural for business owners to get in over their heads from time to time.

Here’s how you can help.

index_clip_image001Where ignorance and optimism meet, arrogance follows.

The great part of entrepreneurs is that they are quite optimistic, naturally driven and open to learning by doing.  The downside of entrepreneurs is arrogance (meaning that they overestimate their ability to handle things well, or they can’t collaborate/learn essential things until it’s too late).

index_clip_image001Entrepreneurs are different than you and I.

Most entrepreneurs are idea people and in some cases, idea-chasing people.  Ideas breed opportunities and opportunities breed ideas.  A dizzying loop if you’re not an entrepreneur yourself.  Logic, linear planning, management and follow through are not generally the gifts of the entrepreneur.  The wise ones outsource these functions or have been lucky enough to attract folks who can handle the entrepreneur’s ways.

index_clip_image001Entrepreneurs are prone to get in over their heads financially.

This again, because they are naturally optimistic if not dreamers.  That is their function in life.  Entrepreneurs are key to what drives innovation in many countries and are the backbone of business creativity in the U.S.  Remember, entrepreneurs have a different relationship with risk than you or I.  To them, it’s a greater failure to have not tried their best, even if the project/business didn’t make a lot of financial sense to the accountants of the world.  Entrepreneurs see so much that could and should work out.  And, on the downside, entrepreneurs are often ahead of the marketplace or get more excited about the idea/product/service/opportunity than they do about testing it out to make sure enough people will actually buy it, and buy it quickly and often enough to keep them in business.

index_clip_image001How to coach the entrepreneur when they get in over their head.

There are two types of “in over their head.”

The first type is when they are bouncing around from idea to idea or business project to business project.  What they most need is to experience some modicum of success.  Without enough people buying their product/service, the entrepreneur loses faith in themselves and to compensate, comes up with another ‘great idea.’  And the cycle can continue until the deep hurt kicks in.

The second type is the entrepreneur who’s in trouble but can’t admit or or can’t admit all of it.  And believe me, by the time the entrepreneur even hints to you that they are in trouble, they are likely days away from a financial crisis.

What I’ve found that can work in these situation are a combination of…

index_clip_image002 1. Get their attention.

It’s not easy to get the attention of an entrepreneur who is in panic mode.  They tend to dominate their surroundings as a defense mechanism.  Rather than clamor for their attention, ask “Bob, how can I get your attention?”  It works.

index_clip_image0022. Help them switch their focus.

From idea/revenue/project/opportunity to the actual customers. Not an easy shift at first, but once made, the entrepreneur often thrives on this new focus.  They apply their creativity to fixing customer and product/service problems.  It also keeps them out of idea mischief for a while.

index_clip_image0023. Be very, very positive and encouraging.

Entrepreneurs are like kids; even when they mess up, they need love and encouragement.  You can be highly positive and encouraging and still ‘force’ the entrepreneur to face the facts and get to work to solve their problems.  But whatever you do, don’t b.s. them.  They are acutely aware of b.s. given they are often on the broadcasting side of that.

index_clip_image0024. Ask them to sort out the problem and come up with a solution.

I’m all for being direct with clients, but entrepreneurs seem to do better when you ask them to come up with their own solutions.  I’ve also found it works really well to challenge the entrepreneur to solve the problem and then some within 30 days.  They LOVE a challenge.  Give them one.

index_clip_image0025. Help the entrepreneur to honestly and accurately define the problem.

Entrepreneurs have tons of ‘reasons’ (aka excuses) for why things aren’t going the way they should be going.  I’ve found it helpful to push/put heads your together and figure out the real source of the current problem/stress/mess.  It’s usually one of these 5 things.

1. The entrepreneur is too idea/opportunity-based and isn’t customer focused enough.

2. The entrepreneur’s overhead or variable costs structure is too high.

3. The entrepreneur is impatient/overly optimistic about sales/revenue.

4. The entrepreneur’s lifestyle is too expensive, causing performance pressure.

5. The entrepreneur isn’t going deep enough with one business or product and instead is scratching the surface of several opportunities, doing none of them justice.  The real revenue and high profits occur when you do deep, not shallow.

6. The entrepreneur doesn’t know how to market or sell well enough, or he/she hasn’t outsourced this function.

7. The entrepreneur is trying to sell the wrong product/service.  It’s truly hopeless and the plug should be pulled.

I hope this was helpful.


copyright 2002-2010 by and written by thomas j. leonard. all rights reserved.

Access to all of the How to Coach Anyone curriculum is available in print and ecourse format.  Click here to find out more. (By using the coupon code FRINGE at check out, you save $5 until July 25.)

Please feel free to share your thoughts below.

Excerpt from “Lesson 6 – Working through the “I’m a fraud factor”

Like a glass of cold water on a hot day

Thomas Leonard was not only extremely creative; he also had excellent timing. Thomas’ creations always seemed to arrive at just the right time, helping to answer a pressing challenge that the coaching world was facing.

Why was Thomas’ material always so instantly relevant and helpful you may ask?

Thomas had his finger on the pulse of coaching, and had an uncanny ability to figure out just what the growing world of coaching and coaches needed. Some of his best work helped empower: showing coaches that the whispering voices of doubt were wrong, and that they could, and would, have success with their business.

Today’s Best of Thomas offering is one of these coach empowerment gifts, taken from “Full Practice for Coaches – 100 Time Tested Lessons from Coaching’s Founding Father”.

1. I’m a fraud, because the client doesn’t know that I barely know what I’m doing.

Observation: Most coaches don’t know exactly what they are doing at any given moment, but we’re all learning.

Solution: Be forthright with the potential client but to accentuate what you KNOW you can do.

Example: “Now, Bob, while I have some experience in that area, I am not an expert. But what I am skilled at

2. I’m a fraud, because I don’t have a degree or any formal training.

Observation: Some of the best coaches don’t have degrees and many have had no formal training. Formal training is definitely a major plus, but not a requirement to be effective. Some coaches “just have it” and coach quite well without formal training.

Solution: If the client doesn’t ask, there is no need to bring this up. That said, some coaches feel the need to be totally forthright and do bring up their lack of formal training/degrees before they are hired. In most cases the client couldn’t care less, but for some coaches, they MUST bring this up in order to feel good/clean/clear about taking on a new client.

Eventually, the coach works through this and begins to look at their track record of client success as their credentials/degrees and they no longer have the need to bring this up. However, if YOU feel awkward about not having a degree or any formal training, by all means inform your potential client of this before they hire you. That will help you sleep at night and avoid the dread of being “found out.”

3. I’m a fraud, because my own life sucks, compared to that of my clients.

Observation: It’s not uncommon to have parts of your life pale in quality as compared to that of your clients.

You might even have feelings like “God, if they only knew my life in that area was a mess or so much less than theirs…” It’s normal to feel this way.

Solution: I used to feel this way when I first began coaching because my life DID suck. I felt, “Gee whiz, how can I coach them when I feel like a mess?” The problem with that reasoning is that the focus is on you (and your weaknesses) instead of being on the client. Focus on and revolve around what the client wants and needs and you won’t have so much time to get into the comparison game. Measure yourself against how well THEY
are doing, not how well YOU are doing.

Example: I was mentoring another coach who was broke and who was coaching a millionaire and the coach was terrified that the client would ‘find out’ that the coach had zero money and zero prospects for success. So I asked the coach to broach this subject with his client and here’s what the client said (paraphrased from my memory) “Karen, I didn’t hire you as my financial planner, I hired you because I wanted help to make some important changes in my life — changes that you, obviously, have already made. That’s why I hired you. Now, can we get back to business here?”

To download “I’m a fraud, because…” numbers four and five, as well as a helpful assignment to deal with your own “I’m a fraud, because…” statements read the full lesson here.

The extensive, prolific, expansive, “wow” list of Thomas Leonard work

One of the interesting, and unique characteristics of the Best of Thomas community is the truly diverse range of knowledge and familiarity that the community shares about Thomas Leonard.

As you read this you fit into one of the different Thomas Leonard groups:

  • Knew Thomas personally, took classes with Thomas, and helped create Thomas’ wide range of projects.
  • Have experienced Thomas’ material extensively through CoachVille, his writing, and listening to audios but never actually met him personally.
  • Are completely new to the world of Thomas Leonard and, most likely, trying to absorb as much as you can, as quickly as you can.
  • Somewhere in between these three polarizing positions.

This diverse understanding of Thomas and his material is important to creating the richness of the group as people share their different perspectives on the Thomas’ materials. It also presents the Best of Thomas team with a huge, thought stretching, and extremely fun challenge: how to present a range of Thomas material that is interesting and satisfies those who are continuing Thomas’ legacy while taking the time to properly introduce the new arrivals to all of Thomas’ work.

For the new arrivals, read through this site and check out some of the Best of Thomas books for a great start in catching up on all things Thomas.

For Thomas veterans hopefully the material being presented is bringing back some memories, reminding you of forgotten information bits, and providing some “aha” idea moments for moving forward.

Today’s newsletter will provide a baseline check from you on how to move forward with presenting the Thomas Leonard material at our fingertips.

How to best do this? Below is a list, definitely not complete, of all of the interesting Thomas bits: programs, writings, ideas, audios, images, etc that we have managed to pull from the cobwebbed depths of the Internet.

For Thomas community newcomers, read through this list and leave a comment or send an email to and let me know what titles below nudge a thought, or glimmer of interest in your mind?

For Thomas community pros, read through the list and let me know which of your favorites are missing, which of your favorites you would like to see again, and, even better, what Thomas material you may have saved in your own archives that you could share with the Best of Thomas team. Leave a comment or send an email to and let’s start putting our heads together to make Thomas’ legacy even more complete.

The Attraction Program
A Perfect Life Program
Personal Evolution Program
Personal Environments Program
Toleration Free Program
525 Life Models
Evolutionary Progressions
CoachVille Graduate School of Coaching
Thomas Leonard Coaching School
Certified Leader Training
Coaching Critiques
Coaching Models
15 Coaching Proficiencies
Full Practice Marketing 100
3 Steps to Success Program
3 Step R&D Program
Genius Coaching
CoachVille Certified Coach Program
List of Coaching Principles
101 Coaching Mistakes
How to Coach Anyone
Passive Revenue for Coaches
5-Day Full Practice Program
5-Day E-zine in a week program
Coaching Forms
Becoming a Perfect Person
Coaching the Entrepreneur
Becoming Reaction Free
Getting into the corporate door of coaching
Lazer coaching
Natural selling process

21 Personal Evolution Strategies

To evolve more quickly and easily…

1. Surround yourself with new ideas instead of recycling your beliefs.
Beliefs can limit your ability to experience life as it unfolds.

2. Make chaos your friend.
The unexpected is a good thing as long as you’re open to it.

3. Let your environments do most of your evolutionary work for you.
Evolution occurs as you adapt to such environments.

4. Use tolerations to your advantage.
Every single thing you are putting up with is an opportunity waiting to be leveraged.

5. Constantly experiment.
Synchronicity is the reward.

6. Spend more time in nature.
Nature nourishes and recalibrates our natural systems.

7. Become the host of a thriving network.
Let your network evolve you as you serve them.

8. Continuously integrate all aspects of your life.
Integration evolves you from being needlessly complicated to being richly complex.

9. Invest in your virtual environments, not just your physical environments.
Life is becoming more virtual.

10. Design your sources of energy.
You can then operate at a higher frequency.

11. Become superconductive.
Reduce the energy you consume by 90% by reducing your resistance to life.

12. Master the evolving set of Cyber Skills.
Extend your intelligence by connecting with everyone.

13. Surround yourself with people who are eagerly evolving.
They spark you. You spark them. Evolution occurs effortlessly.

14. Stop resisting.
Assimilate events the first time they occur.

15. Choose a goal that is bigger than you are.
Be pulled forward by it, instead of pushing yourself.

16. Get over yourself in every possible way.
Arrogance holds you back.

17. Learn how you naturally operate.
Come to honor your personal dynamic.

18. Know your gifts.
And design your life to fully express them.

19. Emotionally heal.
Healing maximizes your emotional IQ.

20. Cause something and surprise yourself.
Initiative is a muscle.

21. Make what you don’t know is more interesting than what you do know.
Enjoy learning more than teaching.

Commemorating Thomas Leonard, Father of Coaching | Part 5

All good things must come to an end, and here we are on the last day of the special five day email event remembering Thomas Leonard. Today we are going to finish by carefully peeling back the layers of Thomas mind and visiting some of his light-hearted, funny, and maybe just a bit bizarre pieces of work.

First let’s take a look at what happened when Thomas wrapped his creative mind around a new piece of graphics software. Looking at his creations you can almost see the smile on his face as he started thinking of all the different possibilities and going crazy pushing this new program to its limits. Each logo pushes the boundaries in a slightly different direction and you can feel how Thomas was stretching his creativity and seeing what he could do. Even more insight is gained when you realize that Thomas never used any of these logos, he simply exercised his mind and his talents, then stuck them on a page; another environment he could activate when needed.

what ceiling add or just caffeine
be annoying
fear is natural
be there. or not
turmoil stimulates
balance is overrated
compensate for vanilla

Our final piece of Thomas memorabilia was written over ten years ago and really shows how Thomas valued the belief that you must be creative and take risks; whether you are right or wrong, whether it works or not, or whether anyone was ever going to see your work. The key is to challenge your own thoughts, expand your ideas, and take risks with your creativity. Constantly experiment.

This top ten list shows how Thomas brought the idea of creative risk taking alive:

The Top 10 American Practices That Will Be Labeled Barbaric by 2010.

1. Eating animal products.
Meat, dairy.

2. Hunting and fishing.
Killing anything with a central nervous system.

3. Moral Judgment.
Labelling anyone as immoral.

4. Sales.
The consumer will buy, not be sold to.

5. Bigotry.
Racial, sexual orientation, culture.

6. Classroom, programmed/track schooling.
Will be replaced by lifelong virtual learning.

7. Government.
What’s the point?

8. Anger.
In any form.

9. Striving/Acquiring.
Goal setting, competition, seeking will be replaced by attraction/occurence.

10. Sports.
Sports are a glorified vestige of war.

Was Thomas writing this top ten list with tongue firmly planted in cheek? We will never know, but knowing isn’t what matters in this case. What matters is what we take from this top ten list, what we choose to learn from yet another example of Thomas’ creative mind.

Thomas took a risk over ten years ago with this top ten, joking or not. Now here we are in the year 2010 and we now have the opportunity to ask the same question: what top ten things do you think are going to happen in ten years, or not happen, if you choose to follow Thomas lead?

What risk are you avoiding with your creative projects? How would your place as a thought leader in your chosen field change for the better if you were willing to take that risk no matter whether it worked, whether people agreed, or whether that risky idea ever saw the light of day?

Until February 16th, to help commemorate Thomas’ passing, we are holding a 20% off sale of all Thomas publications, newly polished and published in print. To activate the discount please use coupon code: MEMORIES when you place your order.

Thanks for joining us. We hope you enjoyed the little ‘fuss’ we kicked up to celebrate Thomas’ life of value.
The Best of Thomas Team