The IAC Spell

Article by Natalie Tucker Miller, MMC, BCC – Lifetime Member, IAC
Lead Certifier, Past President

After 10 years of committed involvement with the IAC, it's interesting to recall
my early attraction and what compelled me to consider lifetime membership.

I just knew.

I knew there was something unique, progressive, and visionary about the way
Thomas Leonard viewed life and what was possible. The idea of coaches being
honored for their coaching prowess, regardless of the path they chose to get
there, was something that made tremendous sense to me.

For years as a teacher (early to adult education), I bucked a system that invested
time determining weaknesses, in favor of focusing on strengths. My research
in this area proved what I knew in my heart: when we value the unique gifts
each person brings to bare, the rest will take care of itself.

It is that philosophical foundation that has informed much of my work at the
IAC. In 2003, I personally offered what I could in terms of involvement. Joining
early, supporting the people doing the heavy lifting, meeting like-minded people
who had a desire to contribute in whatever way brought them fulfillment, and
drinking in all the coaching knowledge I could. After successfully completing
the certification requirements, I was invited to consider training as a certifier.

Shortly thereafter, the IAC was faced with the task of modifying the standards
with which they evaluated coaching mastery. Ruth Ann Harnisch, then board member
and significant contributor, shared with me the impending dilemma of developing
new intellectual property. Dr. Lucia Murphy and I had been creating a model
of our own as founders of the Triad Resource Center, and offered Ruth Ann to
freely use whatever the IAC needed.

As it turned out, our model became a catalyst for inspiration. Sali Taylor,
who had been working and campaigning behind the scenes to upgrade the process
for several months, pulled together teams of over 36 coaches from 5 continents
and worked for 24 months. Later with Nina East, Karen VanCleve, and myself testing
it against the current model, we created what is now considered a gold standard
in coaching evaluation: the IAC Coaching Masteries.

During this time, the IAC leadership was looking to the future and succession
planning for the next administration. Then-president Barbara Mark and board
member Diane Krause-Stetson approached me with their hope to nominate me for
president for the upcoming term. This was another "I just knew" moment.

Perhaps it is because of my unflappable belief in coaching or my powerful vision
of what masterful coaching can and does accomplish, and/or my attention to my
"just knew it" moments – serving on the board only strengthened my
commitment. I have served on other boards and when the term was up it was time
to move on. Not so with the IAC. To this day, I continue believing in the magic;
I get to play with some of the coolest people in the profession and feel a strong
sense of personal and spiritual fulfillment as I contribute in my own unique
way to the evolution of coaching. It's what everyone at the IAC does. I just
know it.


Natalie Tucker Miller, MMC, is the Lead Certifier and a certifying
examiner at the IAC, as well as Past-President. Natalie is founder
of Publishing (,
and creator of the literary genre, Picture Books for Elders™.


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