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

Here’s where you can find out a little more about my story and there’s two options: short or long.

rod francis coach
The short?

For ages I was like most of us: Diligently trailing the breadcrumbs leading towards a hopefully better me and a better life. A seemingly mostly passive player in the ever unfolding theater.  And yes my cunning plans and diligent efforts brought some spectacular wins at times, yet bad crap and wrong turns still kept showing up like unwanted house guests. Eventually I did find strategies and methods that truly shifted the needle from ok to awesome and kept it there. To a way of living with real purpose, greater clarity, less mental clutter and more fully aligned with my core values. While I’m undoubtedly still a work in progress, a key aspect of that transition was coaching. It’s the very reason I’m in the profession myself these days, and also why I now train professional coaches. It works and I want to share what works. My core mission these days is supporting others to discover what their ideal values-aligned future looks like, and helping them live that life. That one of true potential we all know deep down is possible even if it seems currently unattainable. It is not!

I’ve had the incredible good fortune to train with world-renowned leaders in fields such as coaching, leadership, mindfulness, Positive Psychology and human development, and these days have stepped into the role of creator and teacher of an internationally regarded coach training program myself.

If you’re truly ready to get stuck into upgrading you and your life, get in touch.

The long version? Here you go.


Born in that great southern land of Australia, as a relative youngster I was propelled into what became a fairly long and genuinely fulfilling international performing, creative and teaching career. It was my first real taste of vocation … of calling. A meaningful way of being rather than just a doing. A job. When I danced … I just felt, well, complete. As though I’d somehow found exactly what I was made for at that very point in my life—though it equally felt like it (dance) had found me!

My early career led me through the elite 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. Whenever anyone asked ‘What do you do?’ my response was a no-brainer. It wasn’t what I did but what I was. Nevertheless, in what seemed like a blink I learned the tough lesson all elite athletes encounter: Early comes the time when it’s simply no longer healthy, practical or even possible to keep at it. Young as you might still be, the body itself simply says ‘Enough!’.

When that day seemed upon me, I got it in my head that this was the point for me to get proper ‘serious’ in life. While the performing arts can be highly creatively rewarding they are rarely so financially, and it now seemed like that time to go chase down the money dragon had finally arrived. But how? Well I sure experimented with some interesting career threads (plus went back to school and college for some book-learnin’) until finally the brilliant notion (plus requisite skills!) led me into establishing a thriving design-led business in the design-savvy epicenter of London where I’d ended up at that time.

Successful in several ways as that became, in time it became clear to me that something wasn’t right. Inside me I mean. Despite the offices, staff, full order books and national press coverage, I felt empty and lost. Like I was in some other guys life. That missing ‘something’ was what I now know to be an alignment with a sense of meaning and purpose. With one’s core values. The very engine which had driven my performing career—what I was and not simply what I did—I’d unwittingly overlooked to go chase an inherited mirage of success and security as an entrepreneur and general go-hard business guy. This is not to say these fine callings are ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’, but what I realized was they sure as heck weren’t the route to fulfillment and success for me. I was literally in some other guys life!

So what to do? Lesson One: When you’re in a hole, don’t keep digging!

I took a big step back to reflect, dig deep into my personal work and get some much needed clarity. A massive part of revealing my personal success map and then setting forth on the creative journey of real fulfillment and purpose was unsurprisingly via great coaching. It also helped me realize that my own mission was in working with others, particularly those who were wasting away in empty, stress-filled, meaningless lives as I had been. Who also longed for clarity and transformation. Once I’d discovered coaching’s alchemical potential for catalyzing deep insight, creating radical shifts and empowering lasting change, it was a no-brainer to see that this was to be my key tool to work with others. As you can see, still is.

Much of my work these days is a merging and extension of skills I’ve been learning and engaging with with for decades. I was invited into teaching well over 35 years ago, began mentoring for almost as long ago, finally moved professionally into coaching more than a decade ago. All of the rich experiences, wrong turns and life-lessons above (Oh yes, there’s more!) have contributed to my passionate interest in working skillfully with core values, strengths, meaning and purpose, Presence, mindfulness and the innate wisdom of the body as essential pathways to realizing one’s greatest personal and professional potential.

I’ve worked with clients as diverse as CEO’s and presidents of international media conglomerates right through to avant-garde performance artists and stay-at-home-parents. The common theme with my clients is change, transformation 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 interest including all those seeming wrong turns and misses. Mastery, if we we can develop the right mindset, is built upon integrating all life experiences.

I’m professionally credentialed with the International Coach Federation (ICF)‡, an associate member of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) and a professional member of the American Mindfulness Research Association (AMRA).

Mindfulness informs much of my work. I’ve had a personal meditation practice for over 30 years, sat many silent retreats mostly in the western Insight tradition and continue to do so regularly. My guiding teacher is Yanai Postelnik. I’m one of the leaders of Chattanooga Insight under the direction of Thanissara and Kittisaro. I’m a CFM Qualified MBSR Teacher with the Center for Mindfulness at UMass and attended the MBSR in Mind Body Medicine Professional training with the program’s founder Jon Kabat-zinn. I’ve also completed Google’s inhouse Search Inside Yourself  mindfulness and emotional intelligence (EI) leadership program.

Alongside my coaching practice I speak, write and am Head of Coaching Faculty for the Human Potential Institute, having co-created the program with the institute’s leader and medical director Dr Mark Atkinson and leading biohacker and author, Dave Asprey. I’ve also created an advanced-level program called Emergent Coaching, a radical innovation in coaching technology integrating cutting-edge cognitive and contemplative science, somatics, narrative, developmental psychology and natural world interactions into a powerful new methodology. I continue to work extensively with leaders, professionals (groups & individuals) and organizations in areas as diverse as leadership presence and development, effective communication, optimal functioning and cognitive performance, focus and attention training and of course … mindfulness. Alongside this I lead workshops, trainings and classes for business professionals and individuals locally in Chattanooga, Tennessee, many of them in association with the Center for Mindful Living.

Before I finish just let me say this: If it’s life change or upgrade you’re seeking, though I clearly chose to make a pretty radical shift in my own life, discovering your calling and repurposing to live that life doesn’t automatically require such dramatic changes externally of us all. Often my clients find their sense of what’s truly fulfilling and continue merrily on along very much the same career and life track, just a heck of a lot happier, healthier and more fulfilled.

rod-sig-copy

Rod Francis PCC

Born in that great southern land of Australia, as a relative youngster I was propelled into what became a fairly long and genuinely fulfilling international performing, creative and teaching career. It was my first real taste of vocation … of calling. A meaningful way of being rather than just a doing. A job. When I danced … I just felt, well, complete. As though I’d somehow found exactly what I was made for at that very point in my life—though it equally felt like it (dance) had found me!

My early career led me through the elite 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. Whenever anyone asked ‘What do you do?’ my response was a no-brainer. It wasn’t what I did but what I was. Nevertheless, in what seemed like a blink I learned the tough lesson all elite athletes encounter: Early comes the time when it’s simply no longer healthy, practical or even possible to keep at it. Young as you might still be, the body itself simply says ‘Enough!’.

When that day seemed upon me, I got it in my head that this was the point for me to get proper ‘serious’ in life. While the performing arts can be highly creatively rewarding they are rarely so financially, and it now seemed like that time to go chase down the money dragon had finally arrived. But how? Well I sure experimented with some interesting career threads (plus went back to school and college for some book-learnin’) until finally the brilliant notion (plus requisite skills!) led me into establishing a thriving little design-led business in the design-savvy epicenter of London where I’d ended up at that time.

Successful in several ways as that became, in time it became clear to me that something wasn’t right. Inside me I mean. Despite the offices, staff, full order books and national press coverage, I felt empty and lost. Like I was in some other guys life. That missing ‘something’ was what I now know to be an alignment with one’s sense of meaning and purpose. With one’s core values. The very engine which had driven my performing career—what I was and not simply what I did—I’d unwittingly overlooked to go chase an inherited mirage of success and security as an entrepreneur and general go-hard business guy. This is not to say these fine callings are ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’, but what I realized was they sure as heck weren’t the route to fulfillment and success for me. I was literally in some other guys life!

So what to do? Lesson One: When you’re in a hole, don’t keep digging!

I took a big step back to reflect, dig deep into my personal work and get some much needed clarity. A massive part of revealing my personal success map and then setting forth on the creative journey of real fulfillment and purpose was unsurprisingly via great coaching. It also helped me realize that my own mission was in working with others, particularly those who were wasting away in empty, stress-filled, meaningless lives as I had been. Who also longed for clarity and transformation. Once I’d discovered coaching’s alchemical potential for catalyzing deep insight, creating radical shifts and empowering lasting change, it was a no-brainer to see that this was to be my key tool to work with others. As you can see, still is.

Much of my work these days is a merging and extension of skills I’ve been learning and engaging with with for decades. I was invited into teaching well over 35 years ago, began mentoring for almost as long ago, finally moved professionally into coaching more than a decade ago. All of the rich experiences, wrong turns and life-lessons above (Oh yes, there’s more!) have contributed to my passionate interest in working skillfully with core values, strengths, meaning and purpose, Presence, mindfulness and the innate wisdom of the body as essential pathways to realizing one’s greatest personal and professional potential.

I’ve worked with clients as diverse as CEO’s and presidents of international media conglomerates right through to avant-garde performance artists and stay-at-home-parents. The common theme with my clients is change, transformation 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 interest including all those seeming wrong turns and misses. Mastery, if we we can develop the right mindset, is built upon integrating all life experiences.

I’m professionally credentialed with the International Coach Federation (ICF)‡, an associate member of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) and a professional member of the American Mindfulness Research Association (AMRA).

Mindfulness informs much of my work. I’ve had a personal meditation practice for over 30 years, sat many silent retreats mostly in the western Insight tradition and continue to do so regularly. My guiding teacher is Yanai Postelnik. I’m one of the leaders of Chattanooga Insight under the direction of Thanissara and Kittisaro. I’m a CFM Qualified MBSR Teacher with the Center for Mindfulness at UMass and attended the MBSR in Mind Body Medicine Professional training with the program’s founder Jon Kabat-zinn. I’ve also completed Google’s inhouse Search Inside Yourself  mindfulness and emotional intelligence (EI) leadership program.

Alongside my coaching practice I speak, write and am Head of Coaching Faculty for the Human Potential Institute, having co-created the program with the institute’s leader and medical director Dr Mark Atkinson and leading biohacker and author, Dave Asprey. I’ve also created an advanced-level program called Emergent Coaching, a radical innovation in coaching technology integrating cutting-edge cognitive and contemplative science, somatics, narrative, developmental psychology and natural world interactions into a powerful new methodology. I continue to work extensively with leaders, professionals (groups & individuals) and organizations in areas as diverse as leadership presence and development, effective communication, optimal functioning and cognitive performance, focus and attention training and of course … mindfulness. Alongside this I lead workshops, trainings and classes for business professionals and individuals locally in Chattanooga, Tennessee, many of them in association with the Center for Mindful Living.

Before I finish just let me say this: If it’s life change or upgrade you’re seeking, though I clearly chose to make a pretty radical shift in my own life, discovering your calling and repurposing to live that life doesn’t automatically require such dramatic changes externally of us all. Often my clients find their sense of what’s truly fulfilling and continue merrily on along very much the same career and life track, just a heck of a lot happier, healthier and more fulfilled.

rod-sig-copy

Rod Francis PCC

A brief note of caution.

It may well be that after reading more about me you feel I’m simply not the coach for you and honestly that is always fine. One thing that’s necessary for coaching to be effective is to have a good fit. However please be aware that the world of coaching can be a place of many snares and pitfalls. Sadly there are no regulations on the 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  two hours somewhere on the internet watching youtube clips and munching Cheetos. One of the few ways you can figure out this puzzle is to check if the coach is a credentialed member of one of the recognized professional coaching bodies such as the ICF, the Association for Coaching (AC) or the EMCC or at least completed one of their accredited trainings. Being a member demonstrates that your coach has been judged as competent and that they also abide by a code of ethics and professional conduct.

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

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