The irony of this testimonial is that I did not intentionally seek Derek’s services, nor was I enthused to begin our work together. When he was assigned as my executive coach through Denver Public Schools’ Wallace Principal Residency, I may have actually told Derek that I wasn’t sure when we would find the time to meet!
3 years later, I’ve not only recommended working with Derek to others, but have also extended our partnership beyond program requirements. I have found that our work together has begun to impact others in our organization. For example, our school leadership team met today and 2 members who are transitioning into new roles shared that they cherish being a part of a team where each members is a learner, an equal and is cared for as a unique individual.
I’m not sure I would have led a team that felt this passionate or cared for years ago. Derek has taught me to never stray to far from my passion, to be deeply in tune with the “why” of the work, and be fully authentic.
The investment made in my growth and learning comes full circle as I work to ensure our team feels invested in and invests in others in turn.
Some results of working with Derek include the ability to build a team based on shared vision and values, the ability to distribute leadership to greater reward and growth, and most importantly for our students, the closing of achievement gaps at Samuels Elementary.
In the end, my reason for doing this work has begun to take shape! I believe all children can achieve, and working with Derek has inspired and given me the courage to lead for transformational change for 100% of our students and staff.”
Erin Mack Trapanese, Principal, Samuels Elementary, Denver, CO
“We’re not on our journey to save the world but to save ourselves. But in doing that you save the world. The influence of a vital person vitalizes.” ― Joseph Campbell
When I met Derek for my first coaching session, I thought that our conversations over the next few months would involve techniques to improve my management skills, increase my ability to handle conflict, help my project management and possibly even resolve an issue I was having questioning people I perceived as my bosses. I was ready to think critically about those situations and talk through solutions. My supervisor had recommended that I go through executive coaching sessions as part of my leadership training and I wanted to improve my job performance and feel well prepared to take on a new leadership position in the coming year.
When Derek sat down in front of me for the first time, however, he set the stage for his coaching and blew me away. In his very candid and honest manner, Derek said, “I’m not here for what your company wants you to be, I’m not here for what your boss wants you to be. My job is to make you the person YOU want to be.” Those words began to melt through the strong façade I had created by doing what I thought I should be doing instead of what my heart was telling me was right for me and my family. Through Derek’s thoughtful reflective coaching during that first session, we broke down the barriers I had built, keeping me from admitting the truth to myself. The first homework exercise required me to write out the perfect image of my life in 12 months: a simple exercise that I had done a few times before. I knew that I could not come to the next coaching session with a prettier description of my current situation. Because of that first breakthrough with Derek, I decided to take one of the biggest risks of my career, telling my supervisors that I would not be continuing my current path in order to follow my dream and my heart: to travel and live abroad with my family as my priority.
Through the sessions following my decision, Derek’s open and grounded coaching model allowed me the safety and freedom to explore and work through the fears and patterns of thought that were holding me back from being a truly vital person. His techniques challenged me to think about the power of my words and actions and use them to create a dynamic reality. During every session, I felt Derek honored both my time and my thoughts, and I knew that Derek believed in his coaching process and was passionate about his work.
Without Derek’s coaching, I would not have the confidence or clarity to pursue my dreams- I am eternally grateful! Thank you Derek!”
Pam Virden, Sailing around the world loving life!, Denver, CO
I started coaching with Derek because the challenges of my current leadership role made it clear I needed someone to help me think about leadership in varied ways and perspectives. I needed to learn how to be my best self and still be my authentic self.
Derek is a great fit as a coach for me because he has a positive progressive way that pushes me forward. He is not scared to push hard or to make me look in the mirror. He also helps me get outside of myself and pushes me towards innovative thinking.
The benefits of my coaching are greater than I can list here. With his coaching I have received numerous awards and achievements that I could not have done on my own. But most importantly, Derek guided me towards my inner strength and champion. I am forever grateful.
The two most significant improvement that I’ve experienced are in the areas of time management and leadership team structures. Including creating a bold vision for my future. Derek’s coaching took me to the next level of my leadership!
There is no doubt that as a result of working with Derek, I’m a better father, husband and leader.
I just started my third year of working with Derek and can honestly say if you’re thinking about working with Derek, you should go for it. He will make your overall life better.”
Nick Dawkins, Principal, Hamilton High School, Denver, CO
I sought out coaching after a manager recommendation during a Business Performance Review. I hired Derek because as a coach his approach was “Us, the team.” He didn’t just say, “Sure I’ll do that, yeah, I can try that, Okay, whatever you want, I’ll do…
He had a method and didn’t bend to meet my requests. Looking back, if we would have done it my way, I would not have received what I really needed.
I didn’t know my desired results in the beginning; I didn’t know why Derek’s service was required but took the opportunity that was presented to me. And although I was skeptical at the start, it ended up being a great experience.
My biggest benefit from working with Derek? Time, <Insert Pink Floyd background music> Shifting the focus of ME/WORK to ME/TIME. Work is still there, but Time is a higher priority now.
The biggest improvements I’ve made are:
1) Self-Awareness – Body Language, Perception, Listen/Write thoughts instead of interrupting others.
2) Time Management – Saying ‘No’, Balancing Family, Friends, Self, & Work, No longer being “interrupt driven”
In the fast paced world of business, ADD, ADHD, and general multi-tasking chaos. The coaching program took me out of my element, scheduled time for discovery, and contributed to my future goals/success planning.
I’d sum up my results in three words: Definition, Expectation, Success
I now have an awareness of needing to define more individual and team goals.
I am now setting expectations where assumptions had been made.
I am now creating a road for success and owning the situations presented.
My coaching with Derek was a success because before I was standing still and did not realize it. I know now that I’ve taken steps in the right direction and continue to move forward.
If you’re thinking about hiring Derek, I’d say this: Take Derek for a spin; once around the track and you’ll know the power within. You may not be happy with your initial performance, but that’s his job to show you a better way around the track.”
Dan Plank, Manager, MSN Communications, Denver, CO
My coaching partnership with Derek was an instrumental experience that helped me deepen my change management and leadership coaching practice. Working with Derek helped me remove self-imposed limitations and gain clarity about my desired personal and professional aspirations.
My coaching sessions with Derek helped me generate solutions to my own challenges, gain deeper self-awareness about my leadership strengths, and reflect deeply on the benefits (for myself and for others) of being fully present in my work.
My results included: deeper awareness about who I want to be as a leader, and improved my communication with my clients, colleagues and senior leaders in my organization. Working with Derek is energizing and empowering: the process makes you want to change things, make something happen, and thumb your nose at those who say “you can’t”…even if that someone is you!
Derek has a one-of-a-kind coaching presence. Derek’s ability to listen deeply, without pretense or his own ego getting in the way, is a true gift to his clients. His holistic approach to coaching is sincere, authentic, and results-driven. I owe Derek a great deal of gratitude for partnering with me in becoming the leader that I truly want to be.
Derek’s coaching is a powerful tool for leaders who are just beginning their journey of self-mastery, for those who are well along the path, and for those who want to take their personal development to the next level. I highly recommend Derek and his coaching methodology.”
C.G., Lead Consultant for Culture, Change & Engagement, Healthcare, Detroit, MI
“During 2011 I was pursuing my certification as an Executive Coach and had the privilege to work with Derek Lauber as my coach to help me learn how my coaching technique was currently effective and what would help shape me into an even more effective coach. Derek was a key contributor to my success in completing the program and successfully achieving my certification. I deeply appreciate the value his coaching created for me. Derek facilitated my self discovery in areas of competence and those where I sought to strengthen my ability to personally excel and help my client. There are three domains of learning, cognitive, body and heart or emotion. I felt most comfortable in the cognitive and to be really effective I needed to go to the heart and explore emotion as well as feel more present and aware of the body. The hardest space for me to connect with my clients was in the emotional domain and Derek was highly effective at helping me explore and express my own beliefs, feelings and aspirations. This helped me achieve a comfort with exploring and achieving a balance in all domains with my clients. Derek’s coaching accelerated results for my clients when I incorporated these learning’s into my practice. Derek is a superb coach and highly effective in helping clients better understand themselves and learn and grow to their full potential. I have the utmost confidence in Derek and find him to be highly principled and a person of integrity. I highly recommend Derek as a coach. He is a gift to anyone wishing to explore, learn and improve their life and possibilities.”
T.K., Executive Coach for a Healthcare Company, Grand Rapids, MI
“Derek’s coaching has had a profound effect on my life. When confronted with challenges in my personal and professional life, his guidance has helped me figure it all out. He is laid back, compassionate, and always gives you his undivided attention. He is receptive to new ideas, no matter what your situation maybe. I would not be as happy, motivated, and focused without having sought his coaching.”
J.M., DBA, Electronic Trading Firm, Chicago, IL
“I hired Derek in the summer and fall of 2011. I was struggling with “vision” and becoming the leader, I want to be. I also wanted to portray that envisioned leadership at my workplace of the previous ten years, which was a small company where I felt pigeonholed. The result of the pigeonholed perception was frustration, not listening as well as I could/should, and being negative in my thoughts and attitude at times. Derek helped me break down these issues and work through them, one by one. Derek created a calm, safe environment at the beginning of each session. This always facilitated our work during the session and created focus for the topics at hand, and the “burden” of the day was released quickly. I was a different person at the end of our sessions vs. the beginning of those same sessions from a focus, active listening and attitude standpoint. Derek helped me realize that the issues with which I was struggling were in my control and a choice because they related to my thoughts. He gave me tools to deal with negative thoughts when they arose, and assisted in helping me re-frame going forward. The result of the coaching is that I project a consistent positive, polished image of myself in a business setting, and people react in a positive way to that energy. I have also become a better listener and more patient. I think about what the other person is saying, not what I might say next. I am thinking more in the moment than two hours, three days or four weeks from now. I am much more positive in both my thoughts and dealings with others. These are the leadership qualities I thought I was lacking, and the coaching has facilitated my becoming a more refined leader. I highly recommend engaging Derek as a leadership coach. He will get to the root of issues quickly, and help you break through the barriers impeding your progress, so you may achieve your goals.”
Senior Business Analyst, Biotech Company, IL
“Having been coached by Derek, I can honestly tell you that he really knows how to bring out everything good that you’re capable of. Derek has a way with words that can only be described as honest. If you have a chance to work or meet with Derek, take full advantage of it because there aren’t many people that can do for you what he can.”
Gonzales, S., Engineer, Electronic Trading Firm, Chicago, IL
“Over the past few months of working with Derek, he has really helped me to re-examine my life and figure out what my core values are. Once we determined my core values, he helped me figure out how to get past the daily distractions and focus on the critical tasks that I need to complete in order to be successful professionally and personally. What I really loved about Derek’s coaching technique was that he was a great listener that would listen intently on how I was feeling about a particular topic. Then, he would circle back and confirm what he heard from me. This process was great because it made me realize that many of the weaknesses I thought I had, were not actually weaknesses anymore. I also appreciated how he would call me out on something if I wasn’t being firm in taking the appropriate action to change a behavior. This tactic has made me realize the power my own words have over my actions. I really enjoyed my time working with Derek and would not hesitate for a second to recommend his services to other professionals that are in need of coaching.”
Bill C., Interior Design, Chicago, IL
“Derek and I have been working together for almost 4 months and I cannot begin to explain how valuable his coaching is. He is a phenomenal listener and furthermore has an outstanding memory. Derek’s ability to not only ask questions, but ask the right questions really helped me realize my strong points and how to tackle my weaknesses. In several instances he has helped me realize the solution to a problem based on his assessment of my previous actions. My personal and professional goals have never been clearer, and the path to attain my ‘perfect picture’ has never been more apparent. Derek’s coaching and his technique has stuck with me, helping me achieve the successes I wish to realize. Derek is a firm believer in his clients his repertoire of candid and direct questions will further help you tackle small, yet critical tasks, while still focusing on macro ambitions. I profoundly recommend his coaching to anyone looking to gain focus and attain help in accomplishing their goals.”
Inderpal S., Tech Startup, San Francisco, CA