about me

“I survived some bleak years — I viscerally get what it’s like to be a dying ember. Coaching is kindling your coals into a burning fire.”

my story

I specialize in leader development, team facilitation, and behavioral assessment.

You'll find me a fierce advocate in your corner.

I work best with executives and entrepreneurial-types unafraid of powerful questions, focused on the creative process.

Let's find and fuel your fire.


my story, 1

I grew up my first 17 years in West Africa, watching my parents develop education programs, launch new schools, and assist small business leaders and NGO's in starting new.  It was normal for me to not have many material things, and to have friends and colleagues filled with love for life and joyful relationships.  Those years were a great gift, and I am thankful for their influence.  Life on two continents, and multiple cultures means I have an innate honor for each person.  I can get along with anyone from any background!  As a result of those years, a core value of mine is joy in relationships, and a mentality that sees problems as sparks to fuel my fire.

When talking about me, people use words like:  coach, friend, proactive, wise, singer-songwriter, team-builder, playful, strategic, encourager, third-culture-kid (TCK), resilient, and fly-fisherman.

my story, 2

Since then, I've gained a BA in education, guided on the Salmon River in Idaho, launched youth development programs, cared for 52 abused and neglected children over a period of two years as a partner with my wife, gained a Masters degree in Edinburgh, Scotland, focused on research in experiential education, worked at a University as an interim Director for Student Spiritual Care and Leadership Development, served in leadership development and design for a district office supporting Lutheran leaders across four states of the Northwest, written a bunch of songs and self-published a couple books of poetry, and coached executives, leaders, and social entrepreneurs for the last 15 years.

I am grateful for our "grafted children," seven of them who are part of our family from our years loving and caring for abused and neglected children.  They -- and their spouses and children -- remain an important part of our family.  I'm married to lovely Jan since 1996, and we are pro-adventure and anti-indoors: road-trips, fly-fishing, camping, rafting, exploring, these are a few of our favorite things.  Our two bio daughters, Lily and Zoe, are in college, so in-home excitement is created by Percy and Bowie, our (very lazy) retriever-mix dogs.

my story, 3

The details of my journey aside, what you need to know -- so we don't waste your time -- is this:  I believe the best leaders are those who live, eat, and breathe a love for others.  When I talk about "finding and fueling your fire," that's what I mean.  Every leader has a different fire, a different focus, but the common Oxygen that fuels the fire is this love for others that you lead.  Once I figured that core purpose out for my path, I've been helping leaders find and fuel their fire ever since.  I let love rule with a brave and creative heart.  If you have this same fire, this same love for others and a desire as a leader to fuel that fire and to help those you lead, then we could be a good coaching match.

my story, 4

I’ve survived some bleak years.  I viscerally get what it’s like to barely hold onto a dream, to be a dying ember.  Coaching is how I partner with you to kindle your coals into a burning fire.

I'm naturally curious, with a drive to be the last one standing in adversity.  I call this the “problems are sparks” mentality.  Often, the challenges we are most afraid of are the challenges that release the most creative energy when we face them courageously.  As a former whitewater raft guide, I know how to help leaders face rough water and come out thriving.

my story -- your story?

I'm not for everyone, no coach is.   If you tool around my website, you'll see I've built it purposefully to help you determine if we might be a good match.  If you want a trustworthy coach who is honest, not into shortcuts, partners with you to face your obstacles and serve your dreams -- then you will find me a good match!  To be perfectly honest, though, if you don't have the core of love for others, to help them, to see them get better, to encourage those you lead, then we will not be a good match.  There.  I said it.

Here's the summary:  I work best with leaders of every age who seek the good for those they lead, who seek truth in their lives, who see problems as sparks for lighting their fire, who don’t mind a little pain for a lot of growth and joy.

my coaching values

find and fuel your fire

I believe every leader has a fire, but not every leader keeps it stoked — fueled, oxygenated, burning with intention. 

I’ll help you identify the core of what keeps you up at night and makes you get up in the morning.  We’ll find the fire, and we’ll fuel the fire!

problems are sparks

What happens when you take two obstacles and rub them together (instead of burying them?)?  You get sparks, and sparks can fuel your fire. 

Change, real change, occurs when I move from talking about something to doing something about it.  Before I do anything, there’s a spark of want to — do I want to turn that spark into a fire?

no shortcuts

Beware coaches making claims that sound too good to be true:  “We’ll fix whatever you’re facing,” their websites suggest.  Remember, we are selling something and we would like your business.  

I believe its best to be up front about the challenge of change:  It’s hard.

I’d rather be the coach that turned problems into sparks, fueled your fire, helped you get over the mountain and into new country.  There are no shortcuts, just the path towards being a leader for good in yourself and in those you lead.  I’ll even be bold enough to say this:  sometimes a problem is not readily solve-able for a variety of reasons.

However, if you want to work with me, I am committed to real and lasting change for the good in you and your organization.  It might take some tough slogging up a rough path in bad weather.  Are you ready?

my approach

As a former river guide, I can think of no better metaphor for describing how I will work with you.

First, we’ll identify the leadership river you want to travel down (that is, where do you want to go?).  Sometimes, that’s a great adventure in and of itself!

Then, we’ll get launched and start moving downstream.

My “river-tools” are:

  • powerful leadership-focused questions,
  • a guiding intuition connected to those powerful questions,
  • a skillset honed by years of training through an accredited training partner of the International Coach Federation, and,
  • pure joy for your journey.

Don’t forget the joy — its the best part. 

Even when we face obstacles together, there is joy in a journey that you choose.  That’s the problems are sparks mentality.



a free resource

  • The XYZ Coaching Map: A Life-Journey Orientation Tool
  • A “taster” from my coaching toolkit, the framework for a 3-D plan for personal growth and leadership development
  • Download it and check it out, it could help you find out if we’re a good match

ready to find and fuel your fire?