Mark Ricktor Certified Leadership Coach
I am a proud Veteran of the U.S. Army. I also proud to call myself a Certified Leadership Coach. The Coach Training Academy helped my dream of owning my own company that is focused on helping my fellow Veterans a reality. Upon finishing my time in the military, I earned my Master’s degree in Business Administration. This led me to the foundation of my life’s work - Higher Education. The majority of my professional career has been in various leadership roles such as academic advisor, program manager, classroom instructor, and curriculum manager. In all of these roles, I have educated others about business and helping my students find the careers of their dreams. When an opportunity presented itself, it became clear that coaching is the next logical and spiritual choice for my life and career.
As both a Veteran and Single parent, I am where I am today because one of my instructors, a fellow Veteran, took the time to help me overcome some obstacles that were holding me back, and helped me find my way to success. I made a promise that I would pay this forward. My life’s mission was born out of the care that my mentor showed me. So I have always know that Veterans are the focus of my work, but I wanted to take some time to explore other possibilities. After attending the TCTA, diving into the curriculum and doing some soul searching, I FINALLY discovered helping Veterans is truly my niche. As I narrowed my search it became apparent that Moms transitioning back into a career was also a niche that brought me the most joy and passion to pursue.
As it became apparent to me that I needed a new challenge in my life, I began to explore all the various possibilities. I put into practice that which I had taught my students for nearly 20 years - research research research! I knew I wanted to help people, I knew that sitting in a cubicle was not for me, I also knew that I wanted to be my own boss and the flexibility of working as virtual as possible. After spending what seems like a couple of months of digging, I discovered life coaching. I began to look further by contacting a number of different people and business that were related to coaching. One answer I discovered is that obtaining a certificate is not a requirement. While that may be ok for some, approaching my new venture with a feeling of authenticity made obtaining a coaching certificate a priority for me.
My research leads me to the International Coaching Federation’s website where I was able to find the answers I was looking for. I was able to find the ICF requirements, one of which is completing the required instructional hours. From there I was able to obtain a list of ICF Accredited Schools, from there I began to narrow my search on just how I would get into the wonderful field of coaching I was now falling in love with. After exploring and interviewing 5 different schools. I met Steve Kiges at The Coach Training Academy. After several informational interviews and explaining my current situation, it became apparent that the Coach Training Academy and I were a good fit, and I could not be any happier with my choice.
The most significant thing I learned during my studies was that I had to shift my focus from being in charge of what was happening to be more of a facilitator and coaching my clients to the goals they set themselves. You see in my previous positions I was in the position of directing the students saying “if you want to get here, you have to do exactly these steps”. I discovered that the beauty of coaching is that there are many different ways to get there, and the client gets to discover and be empowered by the choices they make for themselves.
I am a very empathic and intuitive person. As an educator, I have always been taught to opt for empirically based decisions. My empathic and intuitive nature has always been slightly at odds between the empirical and that which I may be feeling. My life changed when I realized that in coaching I am dealing with people, and as such do not fall into place as empirical evidence would dictate. Intuition and empathy are a huge part of coaching another person When I realized that I had found the profession where I was meant to be.
My ah-ha moment came when I had my first practice coaching session with my practice partner. She came to the school has already worked with clients as a coach. I was EXTREMELY nervous as our first session started. Wanting to get over feeling nervous I opted to coach first and then be the client second. As I started, I remembered all that I was taught as my time as the coach progressed I realized that I was just nervous because this was new to me and that I had been trained well and could in fact coach. of course, I was very new to this at the time and received some excellent feedback from my practice partner and mentors along the way. It that initial moment that I realized that I was meant to be a coach and had made the right choice.
My Experience with the school, trainers, etc has been wonderful. Their experience both as coaches and school administrators has been a very good experience from day one. I finished my program some time ago now, and find that they are still there should I have any questions. So If you are ready this and on ready to make a decision, I can tell you with all honesty that the Coach Training Academy was the best choice I could have made.