Our main objective here at the National Coach Academy is to enable aspiring coaches to reach their full professional potential. One of the most effective ways to educate students about the world of coaching is by offering them a window into the world of real, practicing coaches and showing them all the different ways coaches make a difference in the lives of their clients.
We hope today’s interview adds another insightful glimpse into the dynamic world of coaching.
Today we are interviewing Dr. Linda F. Williams. Dr. Williams is a Certified Executive Coach, a trained psychotherapist, a nationally recognized behaviorist, and an Emotional Intelligence Consultant. She is the founder of Whose Apple Dynamic Coaching & Consulting, and the Award-Winning Author of the Best-Seller, Whose Apple is it, Anyway!
NCA: Can you describe your coaching practice and the kinds of clients you typically work with?
Linda: We show executive leaders how to increase the bottom line with less stress, less conflict, and plenty of personal and family time. That includes emotional intelligence, cultural transformation, and work-life balance.
NCA: What initially got you interested in this career path and what kind of degree or certifications did you need to complete, if any?
Linda: I was a powerhouse in the boardroom while my personal life crumbled on every conceivable level. It was during an emotional breakdown that I was forced to face how I used my career to avoid facing the dysfunction that ruled my personal life and relationships. Everything I ever accomplished occurred in the middle of personal chaos.
My life and career were sidetracked by trauma from domestic violence, homelessness, sexual assault, and a 16-year marriage to a man later convicted or rape. After decades of abusive and toxic relationships, stifled professional growth, and financial devastation, it became clear that something had to change.
I couldn’t change my past. I could, however, take revenge by showing others how to root out destiny-disrupting mindsets that keep them stuck on the wrong side of destiny’s door. Now I show people a Secret Command Center that empowers breakthroughs in life, career, and relationships.
I always say that many lives are affected by a single life changed. It’s exponential. Historical family dysfunction can be broken with a change of mind. It can begin with a mere epiphany and the courage it sparks.
NCA: What is the most rewarding part of your career and on the flip side, what is the most challenging aspect of the work that you do?
Linda: The most rewarding aspect of my career, and the way by which I measure success, is changed lives. I always say that many lives are affected by a single life changed. It’s exponential. Historical family dysfunction can be broken with a change of mind. It can begin with a mere epiphany and the courage it sparks. It takes courage to change because the things we learn of ourselves are difficult to face. It takes courage to face down the past and a lifetime of change is empowered by a single act of courage.
NCA: Can you think of mentor who was most vital to your success as a coach? In what ways did this mentor help you to thrive in your career?
Linda: I can think of no mentors in the sense of a one-on-one relationship with an individual. There have been many influences along the way. Considering that it was a lifetime of events that led me to this calling, every person who believed in me when I failed to believe in myself made the difference. Reading the life story of Maya Angelou was impactful as she suffered serious trauma over which she triumphed to the tune of national acclaim. I want to be like her when I grow up.
NCA: Finally, what advice would you give someone looking to get started in the career path that you chose?
Linda: (see below)
IGNORE THE NOISE
We are bombarded with “I did it this way. You can, too!” These come with images of huge mansions, multiple luxury cars, and yachts. Trust me. Everybody is hawking success and not enough people are discussing the multiple challenges and failures along the way. I even heard that some of these people don’t own that stuff at all.
THIS IS THE REAL DEAL
Coaches are a dime a dozen and the only thing that makes you a standout is the heart behind the business. The authenticity of who you are, and your determination to leverage your life experiences (especially heartbreak, failure, even trauma if that’s in your background) to reach the people who need your help. Remember, your greatest power is realized in the truth of who you are. Know that truth. Lean into it. Embrace it and guard it as if your life depended on it.
Don’t chase money or you will be changing your strategy every few months. Find your lane and stay in it. That consistency will allow your audience to find you. Moreover, stay with your true values and hold every opportunity to that guideline.
Finally, get certified. Be a life-long learner and learn everything you can about your audience and what are their needs.