Vision Coaching: The early days
Updated: Sep 23, 2021
Marilyn Orr remembers the early days, more than 15 years ago now, when she leapt into the unknown with leadership coaching.
It was a new and developing field in those days, especially in Atlantic Canada.
She was working with Dave Veale at Profiles Global (Atlantic) Inc., supporting human resources processes and teams in businesses.
Clients would occasionally ask them about coaching and they realized there was a gap that needed to be filled. Together, they decided to enroll in Royal Roads University for its Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching, the premier program in Canada.
The two would test each other on their new skills.
“I got to be his guinea pig, and he got to be my guinea pig,” Marilyn says, laughing as she recalls those early days.
‘You coach on the way up’
“I remember many a time we’d be driving up to deliver training somewhere and we’d be like, ‘Okay, I’ll coach you on the way up, and you can coach me on the way back.’ So we did a lot of that. Pretty precious times actually.”
Dave launched Vision Coaching Inc. on Oct. 1, 2005, and Marilyn was one of the first coaches on the company’s now extensive roster of experts in the field.
“Atlantic Canadian businesses were ready and government leaders were ready for this kind of support and resource to be available,” Marilyn says today of the early market for leadership coaching.
“It took a while, for sure, to get off the ground. But it wasn’t that long before it literally overtook Profiles Global and we ended up closing Profiles Global in favour of Vision Coaching . . . There’s a hunger for it. People are wanting this, and it’s really making a meaningful difference in people’s lives and in people’s businesses. So it is a win-win.”
Marilyn, a professional counsellor, entrepreneur and accredited leadership coach now based in Texas, is still on the Vision Coaching roster.
“I have a core belief that if we peel back all the self-protective layers, underneath virtually every human being is an incredible thing of beauty.”
For Marilyn, executive coaching is a natural extension of her formal education and people-focused interests. Her commitment to building capacity through coaching has been very personal. With the support of coaching she has transformed her own life, business and future.
At her core, Marilyn believes in the power of coaching. She hires specific coaches for her own personal and professional growth needs and for business strategy.
“You know, if you want variety in your life, coaching is great for that,” she says.
“Every client decides what it is you focus on. I don’t decide. And so there’s just endless variety and endless beauty. I have a core belief that if we peel back all the self-protective layers, underneath virtually every human being is an incredible thing of beauty.”
Once Marilyn met her partner, Bill, 11 years ago they decided to move to the United States. This is where the Vision Coaching model really worked well for Marilyn. Vision Coaching is able to offer a diversity of coaches through its professional affiliation with experts like Marilyn, no matter where they are in the world.
A shared dream
“So now, I’m like the other coaches on our team where I have my other company and I’m doing stuff with Vision as part of what I do. And so, because we had that model already in place, it was really nice to be able to transition to that.”
Marilyn and Bill are pursuing their shared dream of business ownership with a new venture, The Cedars Ranch. They have designed and built an eco-conscious wedding venue and wellness retreat in the Texas Hill country. To support their work with engaged and newlywed couples, Marilyn is also coaching couples with a mission to equip them with tools for lasting marriages even more important than helping with beautiful weddings.
Marilyn has supported the growth and transformation of thousands of individuals and a large number of organizations across the United States and Canada.
Never more important
She says executive coaching has never been more important than it is right now as organizations and individuals deal with fall-out from the pandemic and the COVID-19 crisis.
“I know I sure love getting coached right now because the amount of self-care and strategy we need to function and thrive today is different than pre-COVID. And that’s true for every executive I talk to. It doesn’t matter who you are, the ability to have a partner to strategize with, to hold you accountable for self-care, to be able to think out loud with – it’s just more important than ever.”