Category Archives: mentoring

Graduation, Holy Determination and Spiritual Direction

imagephoto-4This  last weekend my beloved wife of 37 years—-Rosetta— walked across the platform to receive her Masters of Theological studies degree, after a four year journey of focused study, tenacity to finish, and to do it with excellence.  What’s most impressive is that 8 years ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After her rigorous radiation and chemo treatments, she decided to invest in her future by committing to an academic graduate degree. Her focus of study is in being a certified director, and she has already initiated her practice. Her clients speak well of her gentle and insightful approach to how she assists them in aligning their lives with God’s purpose for them.

I loved talking to one of Rosetta’s ‘clients’ who came to see her mentor graduate. She told me, ‘Rosetta is very wise and good at directing me’.

Rosetta has begun her practice of spiritual direction and if you are interested in exploring what a spiritual director could do for you, see her website at

10 Solid Reasons to Enlist A Coach in Your Life

sharpen saw photoMy excellent mentor coach provided this list of excellent reasons to enlist a coach in your growth personally and professionally. My own coach worked closely with me over a 12 month plus to bring me to a new level of proficiency but I continue to need to be in ‘development’ mode as I assist people as a coach.

An excellent coach will assist you to ‘sharpen the saw’ of your life. After you read this piece, if you think I could be of assistance in your personal and professional development, please contact me at the information below.

The Top 10 Reasons To Hire a Coach*

(provided by Ken Abrams MCC)
There are over 100 things that you can work on with your Personal/Professional Coach, but here are the Top 10.

1.You will set far better goals that motivate you in a healthy way.

Did you have Goal Setting 101 in high school? Probably not. Enter the coach, an expert in helping you to identify and set the goals that you really want, not the ones that are “shoulds,” pipedreams that you’ve been recycling or that mirror the goals of your parents, society or Madison Avenue. Choosing the right goals for you is an art and the coach takes the necessary time to help you clarify your personal values, so that you have something really solid on which to develop your goals. Value-based goals are naturally motivating, but it takes good coaching to get to these.

2. You’ll accomplish goals and tasks and projects much more quickly.

One of the reasons that people hire a coach is to save themselves time. Working with a coach, they learn how to be far more effective, efficient and productive in everything that they do, including their job/business or personal projects. We humans just aren’t that naturally effective, even if we think that we are. The coach has the tools and techniques to share with their clients so that things get done in half the time.

3. You’ll make fewer mistakes in your business life or in your personal life.

The old model of learning from your mistakes has deteriorated to be more like: How else will you learn if you don’t make mistakes? Too expensive, in our view. With a coach, you have a third eye, someone who’s been there and who has coached others in your situation, and an expert in getting the job done with the minimum of fuss (called learning curve, mistakes, errors in judgment, wrong tunnels, etc.). The costs (emotional, financial, time) of making mistakes has gotten very expensive in the past decade. A single mistake can ruin you in today’s hyper-paced business environment. Some clients use their coach as an inexpensive insurance policy.

4. You’ll move up to the next level of your professional and personal life.

Almost everybody is moving up the ladder of business success, personal development, awareness and well being. The coach can help you see where you are right now and point out ways to grow and get where you want to get to. Or, if you’re not even on the ladder, the coach can guide you to it and help you get started on your path.

5. You’ll reduce the number of problems you have and better resolve the problems that are left.

The first step in solving a problem is to ask yourself why you have this problem at all. The second step is to ask yourself why you have problems at all. The third step is to get on track to having no problems — a.k.a., becoming a Problem-Free Zone (PFZ). This is not a joke. Being a PFZ is becoming even more important along the path of sustainable success. You cannot afford to have problems, period. Life’s too short and problems are too expensive. A well-trained coach can help you become a PFZ. A well-trained coach is a PFZ his/herself.

6. You’ll likely make more money in your career, profession or business.

Clients don’t keep paying their coaches just for the fun of it. Coaching, like every other professional service, needs to improve the financial bottom line and it does. Coaches are trained to help clients to leverage their ability to make money, i.e., getting a raise, choosing a better career, starting a business, improving profitability, adding more value to their customers, proper pricing, productivity and others. Sure, coaching is personal, but it almost always includes a strong financial aspect.

7. You’ll be a lot happier and this happiness will last.

Coaches know how to help you to reduce stress, integrate all aspects of your life, simplify or downshift, and reorient around what makes you the happiest. What good is increased productivity and profitability if you’re not happy?

8. You’ll be much more effective and influential with others: family, business and personal relationships.
Communication makes life, life. A coach is an expert communicator and trains clients on how to come across better, relate well with others, listen aggressively, influence, coach, motivate and support others. There are over 100 communication and listening skills that clients can learn from a coach.

9. You’ll become much more attractive to others — on the inside and on the outside.
Selling, as a profession and as a proven technique/process, is on its way out. Why? Because humans are getting better at choosing for themselves and buying better. Humans will respond less to advertising and selling techniques and instead be drawn to a product or service and they will be more likely drawn because of who is offering the product or service. And it replaces much of the promotion, marketing, selling, seducing and other very expensive budget items. Remember that the world (a.k.a. consumers) is rapidly eliminating virtually all waste and inefficiencies in how business is conducted, products are sold and how services are delivered. Selling and mass marketing, while certainly still very effective right now, is on the hit list.

10. You’ll have a better life, not just a better lifestyle.
The term Quality of Life has become overused in the past few years, but the trend of Americans seeking to create a much better life for themselves is accelerating. In fact, people are re-examining what they had assumed that a good  life was (married, 2.3 kids, nice car, secure job, church on Sundays, 3 weeks of vacation a year) and are now creating their own life, often breaking the rules and flying in the face of conventional wisdom in the process. A coach has been trained in the Life Design process and has already made the kind of design changes in their life that his/her clients are just now beginning to make.
*Originally written by Thomas J. Leonard (1997)Image

Breaking out of the ruts of Life

In this segment Coach Luch assists us in overcoming the inevitable ‘ruts’ of life.

We look at the 3 “P”s that can ‘jumpstart us out of our ‘ruts’ and then look at Luch’s 10 CAN Commandments for rut free living.   Thanks to Rick Warren for this original list.

Putting in Your Road Work for Optimizing Your Life

Lately I’ve been observing that the people who seem to get the most done are usually those who have mastered the habit of ‘doing their roadwork’.  In this video I talk about areas that we need to master if we are going to become the best version of ourselves.  And my favourite quote on ‘roadwork’ comes from former heavyweight boxer, Joe Frazier.

“You can map out a fight plan or a life plan, but when the action starts, it may not go the way you planned, and you’re down to your reflexes – your training. That’s where your roadwork shows. If you cheated on that in the dark of morning, you’re getting found out now, under the bright lights.” ~ Joe Frazier

A True Friendship

Recently my friend Matthew Eckert wrote a blog post reflecting on 26 years of relating to me. He entitled it “Be a Luch to someon”. I found this overwhelmingly honouring.  I only pray I will continue to be worthy of this tribute.  Enjoy Matthew’s post below.



True Friends: Be a Luch to someone


DSC_0214I recently shared the stage at a conference with my friend, mentor, ministry partner and colleague, Luch. He delivered one of his passionate talks at the conference of which I too was able to present. It was fun to do it together. In fact, we’ll be sharing the stage again in a couple of months along with his wife Rosetta.

Luch and I have connected for a long time – more than 25 years actually. I was in second year university when I met him at another event where he was speaking. During one of the breaks I told him that I wanted him to journey with me, to teach me how to be a disciple of Jesus. For the next three years Luch met with me on a regular basis. He taught me the importance of a daily “quiet time” with God – actually he modelled it more then taught it. He demonstrated to me the importance of prayer. I recall one occasion where we walked around one of the sports fields at the University of Guelph for at least 30 minutes praying and talking and looking at scripture as Luch helped me gain insight into a decision I needed to make at the time; as Luch said, we couldn’t gain insight without prayer and he wanted to live that out with me.

On more than one occasion Luch got annoyed with me and called out my laziness and lack of commitment to the discipleship process – I didn’t like him for it at the time, but he was always right. You see, that’s what people do when they care about you, they don’t want you to settle for second best.

Since those years at the University of Guelph our paths have crossed on many occasions. Sometimes we go extended periods without connecting, but when we do get together we simply pick up where we left off. We never have a problem going deep on a topic or with each other, we just know that we can trust each other and that we have each others’ back.

Since my initial 3-year journey with Luch, I’ve had the privilege of being a “Luch” to a lot of other guys. I’ve done my best to give to them what I have received. Some of these guys have become great friends like Luch and me. I can trust them fully, I know that they are there for me. Many of them have chosen to give to others what I gave to them because of what Luch gave to me. You see, it never ends, this process of discipleship always continues to the next generation.

We love the verse in 2 Timothy 2:2 “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to reliable men, who will also be qualified to teach others as well.”

It’s what we do, it’s what we will always do. O that you would be so fortunate to have a Luch in your life. If you have not, why not start the process and be a Luch to someone, you will never be disappointed.

For the kingdom.

Overcoming the Lies that defeat us.

Coach Luch identifies the lies that defeat us, and the ways we can move forward to become the very best version of ourselves.

Lessons from 2012

As we wind down 2012, Rosetta and I are just wondering where 36 years have gone. Wow.  We are on the verge of becoming grandparents for the first time. Yes, we know we are having a grandson, just a week or two away.  This month zoomed by and usually I like to ‘hit pause’ button on month of December but it didn’t happen. Throw in rotator cuff shoulder surgery and it made for a very interesting and at times, painful month.  As my nurse said, “Sorry to tell you this Luch, but post op shoulder surgery is hell.” No truer words were ever spoken.

Having time to reflect, while ‘resting’, I highlighted a few lessons that I am learning I want to share 9 of them with you – I hope at least one connects with you.

Invest time with those you love:

I have always been a champion for work life balance, and am even more so now.  I remember a comment from years ago: “No-one ever lies on their death bed and wishes they’d spent more time in the office”.  So very true – I shall certainly be making more time for my loved ones in 2013, even though they are no longer ‘little kids’ but adults. I want to make sure to be a resource to them and not impose my views on them.

 Spend time doing what you love:

I’m fortunate, I love my job and really enjoy working with business and professional people assisting them in integrating the various areas of their lives. And coaching them  to get more success for them, their business, and volunteer efforts.  However, I meet a lot of people who are disenchanted with their job, their situation or their life.  My hope for them is they can find the courage to do something about it, and find what they love doing. This is an area I want to keep growing in. And I also want to coach people to design the lives they love to live.

The importance of ‘getting naked’ (being vulnerable builds relationships):

Whether in personal, ministry, or business relationships, I have found that allowing people to see (some of) your frailties, and accepting their help, strengthens a bond.  I have seen colleagues tested, and been able to help, and I have needed support, and appreciated it when people have stepped up.  Don’t turn every conversation with a friend or client into a therapy session, but you can be human.

We bounce back more than we think:

A few years ago my wife and I went through a health crisis (on her part), and I went through a career crisis, that put me in limbo for almost a year.  We wondered what was happening and if we would ever recover and get back to what used to be normal. I am happy to say, she has recovered well from a serious bout with cancer, and I am back on track with my career, and moving boldly and confidently into the new year.Some trees are very supple, and can bend enormously in the wind, but bounce back when the storm passes.  Both mentally and physically, we are the same.  My wife’s body has shown amazing ability to recover, and I know some businesses that have recovered after really hard times.  Never underestimate your own ability to rise to a challenge – set yourself some stretching goals for 2013 and see what happens!

 When you take action, stuff happens:

One of my life/business coaches taught me the following formula for success–

Intention + Attention = SuccessIf you have the right intention and give proper attention/action, you will most likely experience success. This is all about having a bias for massive action.

My wife’s recovery has been aided by the doctors to be sure, but I suspect her diligence in applying the above formula which includes aggressive exercise, diligence with nutrition, and a lower stress environment, has resulted in a quality of life she deserves. .  When I make sure I do what’s needed in the ministry, such as initiating activity, contacting prospects, stuff happens.  Not always where I think it will, but it always happens.  I shall be planning more time to do the same in 2013.  As hockey star Wayne Gretzgy said, “I miss all the shots I never take.”

Let go to grow:

I love the adage:  Do I want to do the work of 10 people? Or, Do I want to put 10 people to work?  I must admit that for years, I was doing the work of 10 people and paying a significant price to my health and ‘happiness factor.’  As I coach and train people, it’s a joy to see them carrying on their ministry to others, and that I don’t have to train them, plus their contacts.  I am working through them.  The more we get others to do, the more success seems to follow.  As a control freak, this has been tough for me, but every time I have delegated more, my ministry has multiplied – making 2012 a solid year.

It’s all about Margin

My perception of a successful business or ministry person is someone with a full diary – lots of meetings, plenty of client and parishioner calls, lots of buzz.  I’m beginning to see that isn’t the case, especially for those leading a thriving and healthy business or ministry.   We need gaps in our diary, both to allow for the unexpected (a laptop crash in my case!) and to allow for strategic thinking and perspective.  At home and at work, I will be looking for more white space in my calendar in 2013.

Life is not a rehearsal

Life is not going to happen. It’s happening now.We just don’t know what is round the corner – a seemingly excellent  relationship can end suddenly, a serious illness can change priorities, the economy can crash suddenly. Whatever your goals and desires in life, make them happen.  Live and work responsibly, but dare to dream.

Make Love My Greatest Aim in 2013:

I know I mentioned ‘the importance of love’ above, but at age 59, I believe love is the ball game. I personally believe that I may ‘succeed’ at work but if I fail at my relationships, if I have failed at loving others authentically, I have failed. In reflecting on the famous Love Chapter in the New Testament someone wrote, Life–Love=Zero.

That is so true.  So my personal assignment for 2013 is that I want to recapture the priority of love as my primary aim in life.

The best use of life is love

The best expression of love is time

The best time to love is now.

If I can any way be of service to you in the new year as a business and life development coach, please contact me at for a complimentary session.

Lessons from a Hole in the Sidewalk


While on a coaching call recently one of my friends mentioned he was having a hard time making a change and that he seemed to be going around in circles. I asked, “Do you want to make a shift or do you just want to use me as a ‘stand’ to complain and whine but keep going on without any changes?” My question got to him, I think.

It reminded of that famous line,

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” -Albert Einstein

Are you doing the same things, the same way, over and over again and expecting different results?

One of my mentor coaches mentioned this poem, “There’s A Hole In My Sidewalk,” by Portia Nelson to me that addresses this very issue.   The poem creates an analogy between life and a journey down a sidewalk. This story made me think about the choices we make in life. How many times do we keep making choices that only lead us into the same “hole in the sidewalk?

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
Chapter 1
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost … I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.
Chapter 2
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
Chapter 3
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in … it’s a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.
Chapter 4
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
Chapter 5
I walk down another street.

~ Portia Nelson ~
(There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk)

We Believe: Start2Finish

A few years ago my son Adrian launched a local service initiative in our city of Guelph called Science of Echoes. The general idea was to ‘pay it forward’ to do kind deeds as one walked through their day. One of the more substantial areas that he and his friends focused their attention was on a program called Kidsfest, an organization dedicated to eradicating poverty in Canada among children.  In fact, Start2Finish (their new name),mission statement says,

Start2Finish’s mission is to break the cycle of child poverty by providing ongoing educational support to Canada’s at risk children throughout their school years, nurturing mind, body and social health so they are empowered to succeed and become role models for change.

We are moving into our seventh year with our local program. I  must say it gets exhausting but seeing the joy our kids experience and seeing the difference in their health and overall well being eclipses any feelings of fatigue I may have.

One of the ways we do our part to ‘eliminate poverty cycle’  is by providing a vigorous, fun and balanced program of physical fitness, reading tutors, and healthy snacks, topped with some amazing mentors who devote two to three hours a week at this after school program.

If you have never volunteered for a program like this, do yourself a favour and find a local program. Google “Start2Finish’–Running and Reading, and see where the closest program is to your area. If you live in the Guelph area, we would love to have you join us.

Check out this video piece that was done a while back and features footage from across Canada, but primarily from our Guelph program.

Watch this video about people running, reading, and having a general blast while making a huge difference in children’s lives.

St. John Chrysostom on the Priority of Investing in Youth

What is nobler than to mold the character of the young? I consider that he/she who knows how to form the youthful mind is ttruly greater than all painters, sculptors and all others of that sort” (St. John Chrysostom) circa 307 AD

Religious or not, this is an outstanding idea St. John lays out above. Would we not all do well to identify some young person we can come alongside, and gently journey with, not only ‘to form the youthful mind’ but to also be open to allowing the youth of our day to ‘form our minds’?