by Pat Beck
I recently spoke with IAC board member Des Walsh as he enjoyed a beautiful
fall morning on the Gold Coast of Australia. Des, a lively conversationalist
with a contagious enthusiasm and passion for life, spoke at length with me
about his bright vision of coaching and its importance.
The key event that led to his
career transition from business training and consulting to coaching was a simple exercise. When he was asked in a workshop
to envision the epitaph on his own (future!) tombstone, he most decidedly did
not like what he saw! “Here lies a man who wrote interesting reports that
were never read or never acted upon”.
Not content for a moment to settle for such a boring eternal memorial statement,
Des looked for a new calling and direction in life and found in coaching a way
to refine and refocus his own professional goals. The decisive event in that
transition was a workshop conducted in Sydney by Thomas Leonard.
For Des, coaching is a highly rewarding profession that encourages his own
growth. “I attract clients who are demanding and challenging,” he
laughs, “I like the challenge; it keeps me on my toes!” He is, he
states emphatically, “a lifer at coaching!”
Des says his clients are
successful individuals who have achieved a great deal in their
professional lives. His practice focuses on small business owners and
entrepreneurs, encouraging and mentoring their further growth and
personal development. Most are in the age range 35 – 55. What focuses
his energies as a coach is the Coachville proficiency of eliciting
Des refers to himself as a blogging evangelist. He believes fervently in multimedia
and the need for professionals to be conversant and comfortable in the online
world, and has even explored the virtual world of Second Life on their behalf.
He mentors his clients in becoming knowledgeable in what he calls the “social
“I help my clients understand how such things as Facebook can help their
business,” he says. “It is part of the changing professional landscape.”
This knowledge is critical in a global climate in which business is now routinely
conducted through virtual home based offices that just as routinely cross international
Des has seen a positive change in the last several years in the way in which
businesses perceive coaching. “Coaching has gone from where business contacts
were dismissive of it to coaching being respectable.”
He sees great growth in the field of coaching and feels that there really can’t
be too many coaches. It is better than coaches come from all walks off life
so as to better relate to clients. Variety in the type of individuals coaching
makes coaching accessible for a greater range of humanity. This can only be
a good thing in Des’s estimation. The best thing coaches can do, Des feels,
“is to have meaning in their own lives” before they deal with clients’
most profound thoughts and emotions.
When I asked Des what drew him to IAC, he responded immediately that it was
the vision of providing a means of certification for a wide range of people
in different contexts and with varied life experiences.
Another meaningful aspect of IAC for Des is being able to be a part of connecting
coaches across countries and cultures. Coaches are positioned to guide people
into work/life balance. Des stresses that “work/balance is not a destination
but a process.”
Coach, author, speaker and blog evangelist Des Walsh is uniquely qualified
to be at the forefront of IAC. With timeless warmth, enthusiasm and love of
humanity, Des is an inspiration to all of us in field of coaching. Visit Des
at his website: www.deswalsh.com.