Ontological Coaching Institute

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Alan Sieler

Welcome to our third issue of Observing Differently for the year.

In a previous issue I referred to the following quote from 19th century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche: "One repays a teacher badly if one remains only a pupil". I mentioned how excited and grateful I was for the articles graduates from our Ontological Coaching and Leadership Program have been writing, and more recently for the books they have published, that are based on their ontological learning.

In this issue I am delighted to share with you an excerpt from a book recently published by one of our graduates, Ian Lees. Ian provides a unique and highly practical approach to the challenge of becoming a senior leader. In Becoming a Leader of Leaders, Ian distinguishes between being a Professional Contributor with particular expertise, a Team Leader and a Leader of Leaders, who is someone who leads the Team Leaders. Needless to say, senior leaders have more complex roles.

Based on his extensive coaching and group facilitation experience, Ian articulates the challenge of transitioning to senior leadership, for which many people are ill-prepared and poorly supported. His thoughtful conceptualisation of this challenge and practical means for making this transition, which focus on the crucial importance of the leader’s Way of Being, are an invaluable contribution to the leadership literature. I think you will find the excerpt from his book well worthwhile reading and this may encourage you to purchase his book.

If you are interested to find out about the ontological approach to coaching, leadership and personal development, our three-day foundations workshop, Ontological Coaching and Leadership in Action, is the place to start. From here you may decide to proceed to engaging in the 18-month ICF accredited program that will enable you to become a professional certified coach. This program commences in Asia on 26 September, Switzerland on 20 October and South Africa on 31 January next year, with the three-day workshop being an integral part of the four-day opening conference in each location.

Until the next issue ... very best wishes.

Alan Sieler


Breaking the Cycle
From Chapter 1 of Becoming a Leader of Leaders

By Ian Lees

You are entering one of the most significant transitions in your career. The demands have increased significantly. The stakes are high. So, how can you start to break out of the cycle of burning more hours and energy for less impact and results? Here are some important starting points.

Stay in the pain

It’s natural to recoil from pain – and that goes for emotional pain as well as physical pain. No one enjoys feeling anxious, stressed, out of control and out of their depth. Us humans are experts at avoiding pain. We’ll try pretty much anything to stop it – especially by denying that we have a problem at all, and instead blaming other people or our circumstances. With this transition, it’s important that you stay in the pain – that you face the reality of what you are experiencing by allowing yourself to feel the pain and discomfort without fighting against it and without assessing it as a deficiency in yourself. This pain can serve you by giving you the energy to change and opening you up to where you need to change.

Be open, not constricted

As you experience the growth pains of this transition, you will likely be constricting yourself. Your eyes narrow, your jaw tightens, and your body draws into itself. Your body, your mind and your emotions constrict, and your options and possibilities seem to narrow. What is important in this transition is to open up to new experiences, new ways of seeing things, and new ways of getting things done. You can start by opening your body by relaxing your eyes, your jaw or neck, and the muscles of the rest of your body. This will help you to loosen up and open your current interpretations and assessments to change.

»  Read the article in the Interpersonal Relationships section

The Ontological Coaching Institute operates as the Newfield Institute in Australia and New Zealand.



• Basel: 9 - 11 June

ASIA (Online)
• June 30, July 4 & 6

SOUTH AFRICA (In-person)
• Johannesburg: 20 - 22 July
• Cape Town: 10 - 12 August

UK (In-person)
• London: 8 - 10 September

»  Find out more


ASIA (Online)
• Commencing 26 September

EUROPE and UK (In-person)
• Commencing 20 October

• Next program commences 31 January 2023

ICF Accreditation

This program has received ACTP (Accredited Coach Training Program) status from the International Coach Federation.

»  Find out more

Ontological Coaching Institute

Ontological Coaching Institute
Corporate and Personal Transformation

Head Office
7 Rigani Court, Blackburn VIC 3130

TEL: +61 3 9878 5501

info@ontologicalcoaching.com.au · www.ontologicalcoaching.com.au

Cape Town · Johannesburg · Brussels · Hong Kong