Message from the President

Barbara Mark, PhD

President, International Association of Coaching

Somebodies and Nobodies

In the busy life of an avid reader it is a rare occasion that a
single book leaves a lasting impression as having said something
new and unique. Robert Fuller’s Somebodies and Nobodies:
Overcoming the Abuse of Rank
is such a book.

In Somebodies and Nobodies, Fuller
takes a hard look at the role of a profound experience of discrimination
in our lives. He identifies rankism as an abuse of power that we
are all subject to and guilty of. "An unheralded, unnamed revolution
is unfolding in our midst. Everywhere, people are becoming less
willing to put up with disrespect. And like all revolutions, this
one is about the distribution of power." (Fuller, 2004, p.
101) As coaches we will find this book immeasurably valuable.

We seek in our own lives to diminish
the power of the inner critic and to strengthen our own sense of
dignity. We also support our clients in the same efforts. Understanding
the subtleties of rankism in our culture will go a long way to ferret
out situations in our lives that cause us to feel "less than"
and how to respond to them. We must be willing to see the situations
in which we cause others to feel "less than" and correct
our behavior. Indignity signals an abuse of power – or put the other
way round, the abuse of power is incompatible with the principle
of human dignity." (Fuller, 2004, p. 103)

I had the occasion to meet Robert at
a discussion group recently. The humble former president of Oberlin
College spoke freely about his own experiences of having been on
both sides of the abuse of rank and he is nimble in his ability
to help us each discover our own. He invites us to take responsibility
for how we express our relationship to rankism.

Because coaching is inherently humanistic
in its goals I believe that every coach will benefit from reading
this book and sharing it with clients.

Special Announcement

Fuller's book, Somebodies and Nobodies, is being
offered as a premium to our members as a result of the generosity
of your Board Treasurer, Ruth Ann Harnisch. Ruth
Ann has been a board member for less than a year and during her
tenure has not only offered great wit and wisdom, but enormous financial
support of the IAC. One of Ruth Ann's nonprofit projects, Thrillionaires,
is an IAC corporate sponsor. In addition, Ruth Ann has personally
underwritten many of the expenses of the IAC and to date is the
largest financial contributor to the IAC, surpassing Thomas's original
grant of $25,000 to get the IAC started. Ruth Ann is a social innovator
who likes to promote and create new ways of doing things in order
to make the world a better place, and she does that through her
professional coaching and philanthropy. You might have seen her
on Oprah, or the Today Show, or perhaps you heard her being interviewed
on the radio in your city. She's the president of the Harnisch Family
Foundation, and serves on the board of the Thomas J. Leonard Memorial
Foundation. The IAC owes a profound debt of gratitude to Ruth Ann
for her amazing financial and energetic generosity!

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