Posts Tagged ‘Istanbul’

Mehmet + Instanbul = Amazing!

Executive coaching is about helping business leaders see from a different perspective.  It reminds me a little bit of my tour guide Mehmet last month in Istanbul.

We were walking along the gardens between Topkapi Palacein the Blue Mosque and Mehmet told me to stop and turn around.  We had the most spectacular view of historic Istanbul overlooking the Bosphorus Strait.

It reminded me a little bit of the coaching journey I take with executives and family businessowners.  Like Mehmet I have been on many tours and usually know just the right place to ask people to stop and take a look.  Without him I would’ve walked right by that spot and missed an important vantage point.

I know it’s human nature to think we can figure it out ourselves, and many times we can.  But having Mehmet along made the process go simpler, quicker and more enjoyable.  I could have wandered around and seen many sites, but his expertise made the journey so much more fruitful.

And again like coaching, he turned me back out on my own in the city the second day but because of his guidance and experience, I was able to navigate with more confidence and ease.

I think I’m a tour guide for helping executives and family businesses have a more profitable and enjoyable journey.

 Thanks Mehmet!

Coaching is a universal language

Today I had the unique and enjoyable experience of observing our Turkish coaching students to see how they were progressing during this week’s class. The new part was that they were coaching in their Turkish language. While I don’t speak Turkish, I saw many wonderful things. I saw coaches making connections with their clients through their eyes, their expressions and the client’s own reactions. I saw insights happening with wide open eyes. I saw enthusiasm and passion for helping people move forward with new action and commitments. Best of all I saw a special partnership.

Tomorrow I will ask them to coach in English so I can hear more dimensions of their work. But for today I could see coaching was producing the desired outcomes. Coaching is universal and special.


  • Posted by Coach Pete
  • Thursday, May 12th, 2011
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Just when you thought we were different

Albert Long Hall
South Campus

My visit to Turkey has illuminated many cultural differences for sure. At the same time it has reinforced the notion that we are more similar than we are different. Coaching leaders here sounds the same as coaching executives in the United States. All of us are looking for ways to find more effectiveness, meaning and ultimately personal satisfaction in our lives.

The coaching process gives us a chance to take pause, be reflective and explore the patterns of thinking and acting that hold us back from living our most powerful and rewarding life. Coaching is about being willing to be challenged and stretching ourselves to reach for new heights. When we declare new possibilities with clear intentions it’s amazing how we set ourselves on a new course.

  • Awareness (of where we are), choice (about where we want to go) and trust in ourselves and the process of getting there.

Thank you to the Turkish participants for allowing me to be on the journey with them.

  • Posted by Coach Pete
  • Wednesday, May 11th, 2011
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Observations from Istanbul

The first thing you can’t help but notice is the sheer number of people in this ancient city. Fourteen to seventeen million depend on who you ask.  Istanbul has seen a lot over the course of its history and is still strong, vibrant and proud. The city is amazingly clean, modern and well maintained for its age.

It’s a marvel to see how efficiently the public transportation system moves everyone around between light rail, train and big and little buses. When you take one look at the car traffic you’ll readily jump on a light rail.  In my 45 minute cab ride from the airport (20 miles) we were moving quickly about 5 minutes and creeping along for the rest of the time. My cabby made every effort to switch routes, squeeze in where he shouldn’t and give a few drivers a piece of his mind, but in the end it was annoyingly slow for both of us.

 See full size imageThe highlight of the first day was a trip to the spice market, one of the oldest continuously run markets in the world. As a lifelong entrepreneur is was entertaining to see the free market system in full swing. Merchants  giving their   lively spiel to each prospective customer, haggling for the best deal and seemingly enjoy the whole experience all the while. It might have been 300 years ago for that matter, raw goods displayed on crates, a scale for weighing and an almost overwhelming amount of foot traffic and enthusiasm. Spices, cheese, herbs, even chickens, and of course the market staple – leeches. I can’t remember when I’ve seen a better bargain on a good old leech.

In the end I was struck by the simplicity, warmth and good spirit if it all. The Turkish people seem very comfortable in who they are and enjoy the traditions of their great city. They welcomed me with a warm smile, a huge selection of bargains and good deal on a rack of spices. Tomorrow I’m off to the more upscale district by Taksim Square.

  • Posted by Coach Pete
  • Tuesday, May 10th, 2011
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