About

my story | my training | my professional credentials


"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all."

— Oscar Wilde

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all

Oscar Wilde

On reflection, my life journey certainly hasn't been either conventional or linear.

rod francis coach

Growing up in Australia, instead of following the rest of my peers into a business career or some other perfectly respectable job, I instead found myself drawn into the magical world of performing arts and onwards into making a fulfilling career of it. It was a first real taste of vocation, of living meaningfully. When performing, I just felt complete. As though I'd found exactly what I was made for at that very point in my life. In truth it more felt like it had found me!

My early career led me through the national academy of the Australian Ballet and then onwards professionally throughout the globe. Never a star but always in work, I landed on stages, opera houses and screens around the world for well over a decade. While there’s so much more to this tale as my journey progressed, alongside all the performing I dined with royals, was photographed by famous fashion photographers, appeared in Vogue and GQ, was flown about the world for international designers and generally lived a crazy and unique life. At some point my decade plus of dance career went on hold and eventually timed out as it does with all athletes.

Plenty more happened through this extraordinary time not least a rather dark journey into the underworld of addiction and mental health issues. Not pretty. Not fun. But for the lucky ones it can be the very crucible of a new life. I was lucky. Lots of developmental work, lots of therapy and lots of tough times but it was the remaking of me.

Part of the remaking was figuring out what the next career move is. I felt it was probably time to get sensible in my life and get a 'real' job. I went back to school and college for a bit and then fate led me into entrepreneurship, establishing a design-led business in the design-savvy epicenter of London where I was then living.

Successful as the business became, it equally became clear that something wasn’t right. Inside me I mean. Despite the offices, staff, full order books and national press coverage, I felt empty ... like I was in some other guys life. That missing something, I soon realized, was a sense of meaning and purpose. These were the very engine of my early performing career which I’d overlooked to pursue a version of success and security as an entrepreneur and general go-hard business guy I thought I 'should' be at this time. Not to say these fine callings are wrong or bad, but what I realized was they sure as heck weren’t the way to fulfillment and success for me. So what to do?

When you're in a hole, don't keep digging!


I took time to reflect and get some much needed clarity and part of that process included coaching. At that point I knew I wanted to work with others and help them to also suffer less and live more meaningful lives. Once I'd experienced coaching’s potential for empowering change it was clear it was to be my next path in life as well. After training I moved into professional coaching more than a decade and a half ago. I was recruited early on into working on coaching programs and have now spent over a decade developing and leading programs in Europe and the USA and have trained more than 2000 industry professionals in the methods I've developed over that time. I’m professionally credentialed with the International Coach Federation (ICF) and a Certified Focusing Professional and Focusing Teacher with the International Focusing Institute.

My clients range from presidents of global media conglomerates, CEO’s and leaders right through to avant-garde performance artists, composers, writers and stay-at-home-parents, yet their common themes are change, growth, transition and fulfillment. My coaching skillset owes much to the incredible, enlightened teachers and mentors I’ve had the good fortune to work with, as it does to my diversity of experience and interests, including all the seeming wrong turns and misses. Mastery is honed through wisely integrating all our experiences.

Mindfulness underpins much of my work. I began my personal meditation practice over 40 years ago, have sat many silent retreats mostly in the western Insight tradition and continue to do so regularly. My guiding teacher is Yanai Postelnik. I’m a CFM Qualified MBSR Teacher with the original Center for Mindfulness at UMass. I’ve also completed the Search Inside Yourself  mindfulness and emotional intelligence (EI) leadership program when it was still Google’s inhouse offer.

Alongside my private coaching practice I've created and lead the Emergent Coach Training program, the culmination of my years of experience which integrates cutting-edge cognitive and contemplative science, Focusing, somatics, narrative, parts work, developmental psychology and natural world interactions with International Coaching Federation (ICF) competencies. I'm also researching and writing papers on coaching innovations, speaking at professional groups and conferences and the like always aiming to open hearts and minds to the incredible potential for coaching to shape humans, organizations and cultures.

These days I live on a mountain in southern Appalachia with my wife and dog—as close to the wild as life currently allows. I love learning languages, being in the woods, discovering and telling old stories, following the delightfully arcane game of cricket and getting my hands dirty in the yard.

Rod Francis


 

Part of the remaking was figuring out what the next career move is. I felt it was probably time to get sensible in my life and get a 'real' job. I went back to school and college for a bit and then fate led me into entrepreneurship, establishing a design-led business in the design-savvy epicenter of London where I was then living.

Successful as the business became, it equally became clear that something wasn’t right. Inside me I mean. Despite the offices, staff, full order books and national press coverage, I felt empty ... like I was in some other guys life. That missing something, I soon realized, was a sense of meaning and purpose. These were the very engine of my early performing career which I’d overlooked to pursue a version of success and security as an entrepreneur and general go-hard business guy I thought I 'should' be at this time. Not to say these fine callings are wrong or bad, but what I realized was they sure as heck weren’t the way to fulfillment and success for me. So what to do?

When you're in a hole, don't keep digging!


I took time to reflect and get some much needed clarity. Part of that discovery included coaching. At that point I knew I wanted to work with others and help them to suffer less and live more meaningful lives. Once I experienced coaching’s potential for empowering change it was clear it was to be my next path in life as well. After training I moved into professional coaching more than a decade and a half ago. I was very quickly recruited early on into working on coaching programs, now spent over a decade developing and leading programs in Europe and the USA and have trained more than 2000 industry professionals in my methods over that time. I’m professionally credentialed with the International Coach Federation (ICF) and a Certified Focusing Professional and Focusing Teacher with the International Focusing Institute.

My range of clients runs from CEO’s and presidents of international media conglomerates right through to avant-garde performance artists, composers, writers and stay-at-home-parents yet the common themes with all of them is change, growth, transition and fulfillment. My coaching skillset owes much to the incredible, enlightened teachers and mentors I’ve had the good fortune to work with, as it does to my diversity of experience and interests including all those seeming wrong turns and misses. Mastery, if we we can develop the right mindset, is built upon integrating all our life experience.

Mindfulness underpins much of my work. I began my personal meditation practice around 40 years ago, have sat many silent retreats mostly in the western Insight tradition and continue to do so regularly. My guiding teacher is Yanai Postelnik. I’m a CFM Qualified MBSR Teacher with the Center for Mindfulness at UMass. I’ve also completed the Search Inside Yourself  mindfulness and emotional intelligence (EI) leadership program when it was still Google’s inhouse offer.

Alongside my private coaching practice I have created and lead the Emergent Coach Training program, the culmination of my years of experience and an innovation in coaching methodology which integrates cutting-edge cognitive and contemplative science, Focusing, somatics, narrative, parts work, developmental psychology and natural world interactions with International Coaching Federation (ICF) competencies. I'm also researching and writing papers on coaching innovations, speaking at professional groups and conferences and the like always aiming to open hearts and minds to the incredible potential for coaching to shape humans, organizations and cultures.

I currently live on a mountain in southern Appalachia with my wife and dog—as close to the wild as life currently allows. I love learning languages, hiking, discovering and telling old stories, following the delightfully arcane game of cricket and getting my hands dirty in the yard.

Rod Francis

Before you go...!

It may well be that you feel I'm simply not the coach for you. For coaching to be effective it's important to have a good fit so keep looking. There are some great coaches out there. However please know that the world of coaching also has some traps. Sadly there are no statutory restrictions on use of the term coach and as a result you may have someone with years of professional experience and education hanging out a shingle beside another whose entire training consisted of reading a book. A key way to figure out this puzzle is to check if the coach is a credentialed member of one of a recognized professional coaching bodies such as the International Coaching Federation (ICF) or at least completed a program accredited by one of them. Being a credentialed member demonstrates that your coach has been judged as competent, that they have continued to prove their chops and that they abide by a code of professional ethical conduct which also protects you.

Sadly the rule here is the same as in most of life: caveat emptor or Buyer Beware!

Sign up for news & offers

I promise I'll never spam you or share your details.