Lessons from the Certifiers


Mastery, Part 2 (See Part 1)
by Nina East, IAC-CC and Karen Van Cleve, IAC-CC

Mastery is considered by many as a result (e.g., being able to coach masterfully) or as a status (e.g., a masterful coach). Instead, we propose that mastery is a mindset. As coaches ever seeking to raise our levels of capability with the IAC Coaching Masteries®, the fastest path to achieve the result of mastery is to first adopt the mindset of mastery.

As coaches, we know a key to changing our clients’ mastery of their own lives is not to shift their behaviors, but to first adopt new patterns of thought, belief, and perspective. The same is true of moving ourselves from our current capabilities to our next level of potential. A recognized expert on the subject of mastery is George Leonard, author of the book Mastery. In a video by Leonard, entitled “The Five Keys to Mastery,” several masters of their crafts – from musicians and actors to software developers to Olympic athletes – describe their process of mastery. Leonard has boiled down their advice to five simple steps, or mindsets, any of us can use in any area of life.

Key #1 is “Surrender to your passion.” When we really tap into the emotion and passion of our coaching, we are capable of so much more. Leonard advises us not to take ourselves, and mastery, so seriously – to find the joy and fun of it. When you love what you are doing, you’re willing to work hard, try new things, and step out of the inevitable feelings of fear or self-doubt. Joseph Campbell wrote that when you follow your passion, “you put yourself in the path of good luck,” where opportunities you can’t even imagine begin to open up.

Key #2 is “Practice, practice, practice.” Leonard talks about mastery as spending most of the time on the “plateau,” where it feels like you aren’t really growing or changing. Yet he describes this as the place where most of the growth does occur. Once the learning has occurred on the plateau, then you see the evidence in a jump in capability. The experts identified the importance of focus during practice. The mastery mindset with this key is to get pleasure out of the moment-to-moment process of being a coach.

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Karen Van Cleve, IAC-CC, ACC, has been an IAC Certifier since 2005. She is also a Results Coach for the Anthony Robbins coaching organization. She speaks on a variety of coaching topics and provides personal coaching for a wide range of clients. Her website is www.KarenVanCleve.com.


Nina East, IAC-CC, is the past Lead Certifier for the IAC and the founder of www.PersonalGrowthPrincess.com, a self-help book summary site for women professionals and business owners who are enthusiastic about personal growth but don’t have the time to read all the books they buy.


Please send your questions on the IAC Coaching Masteries® and the certification process to certification@certifiedcoach.org.

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