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Looking Back at How Far We’ve Come

Janet Keller, CPCC, PCC  |  Jun 01, 2017
Open book with text on both sides and a pen in the middle

In 1992, I hired Henry (not-yet-Kimsey) House as my coach. At that point, CTI had just been birthed, a twinkle of an idea the founders were busy dreaming into existence. And like so many of us, my life was changed forever when I got a taste of (not-yet-Co-Active) coaching.

In 1993, I gamely showed up for pilots of workshops that, in 1994, would become the early CTI curriculum: the Professional Coaching Course (PCC), Human Being and Human Doing, and a few workshops that would show up in the Co-Active Leadership Program curriculum as the “I AM” personality typing exercise.

And in 1994, after finishing the PCC, I hung out my shingle as a coach and stepped into the second pod going through certification. This tiny-but-mighty ant pod brought the Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) world total up to nine when we became certified in 1995. CTI founders Laura Whitworth, Karen Kimsey-House, and Henry Kimsey-House (known as LKH) knew they needed to increase CTI’s leadership capacity, so we were all asked to come aboard as leaders (and go through leadership training, such as it was). I wasn’t interested since I wanted to continue my professional acting career; I remember Karen mentioning that it was good, though not entirely convenient, for someone to model saying no.

Fast forward to 2000, when another enrollment expansion meant that five supervisors needed to be trained ASAP; our cohort didn’t have a name so I called us the Gang of Five. As part of my supervisor training, I was asked to retake the core curriculum because the material had changed so much since I did my original training. My reaction upon walking into the evolved core classes was, “Model? What &^%$£*!! model?”

The Gang of Five shrunk to three and we all came on as Certification faculty in early 2001 after a year-long training. Individual supervision was the gateway drug to a life as group supervisor, examiner, supervision quality reviewer, supervisor trainer, examiner journey lead trainer, and now Senior Program Lead — as we all know, Co-Activity is a way of life and a slippery slope!

What a wild ride the last 25 years have been. Let’s pause and celebrate the many ways CTI has changed:

  • from a tiny office in San Francisco to a gorgeous 10,000-square-foot office in San Rafael with two training rooms and a breathtaking view of San Francisco Bay
  • from a leader body of just the three founders to a global leader body of over 200
  • from a handful of students to 16,000 through the core program, 9,000 certified as CPCCs, and 3,000 through the Leadership program
  • from running courses in San Rafael to running courses all over the globe, including Canada, Mexico, Europe, Asia and the Middle East
  • from no model and maps to several:
    • Co-Active Model
    • Co-Active Leadership Map
    • Co-Active Dimensional Leadership Model
  • from no books to four books:
    • Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives
    • The Stake: The Making of Leaders
    • Integration: The Power of Being Co-Active in Work and Life
    • Co-Active Leadership: Five Ways to Lead

Also worth celebrating are the ways I’ve become a stronger leader:

  • Expanding my capacity to listen deeply and hold space
  • Talking responsibility for designing all my alliances
  • Turning up the volume on my ability to be bold, be brave and take risks
  • Activating the power of making clear requests
  • Committing to a life of fulfillment and passionate engagement: for myself, my loved ones and my clients
  • Embracing my failures (work in progress!)
  • Deepening my ability to take multiple perspectives
  • Catalyzing more generative capacity in myself and others
  • Claiming myself and my clients as the leaders we are

So grab a glass of your favorite beverage, hold it high, and let’s toast the long-ago dream of the founders who called all of us forth to do the sacred work we are so privileged to do: growing ourselves in order to expand human consciousness and transform our clients and the world. May the next 25 years see continued expansion of the ways that Co-Active transforms the planet: Creating Our World. Together. Every Day.

Janet Keller, CPCC, PCC

About Janet Keller, CPCC, PCC

Janet Keller is an executive coach working with leaders and executive teams in the public benefit sector. In her work, she focuses on increasing personal and organizational sustainability, creating visions with traction, and cultivating enjoyment. Since 1994, she has advised executive teams on organizational effectiveness, provided facilitation and mediation services, and designed and delivered curriculum on topics including peak performance, communication, and sustainable leadership. Currently, Janet is a Senior Program Lead in CTI’s Certification program, training students and supporting the training and development of Certification faculty. A credentialed member of the ICF, Janet graduated Phi Beta Kappa from U.C. Berkeley. In her past life, Janet was an award-winning actress who performed professionally in the U.S. and Europe. She lives with her partner and 18-year-old daughter in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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