In Memory of Phillip Sandahl,1948 - 2020
Co-Founder of Minnesota Coaches Association
When I think back to receiving my first “coaching letters” through the Coaches Training Institute, I am reminded of meeting Phil Sandahl. He was one step ahead of me. He too traveled the path of changing his career to become a Co-Active Coach in the mid-1990s. This is how we met.
We were both drawn into this newly developing profession. We both wanted to be in community with others who felt the draw. So we started collecting names and sending out invitations to “coaches in training” to come together. I had an interesting Office Space to offer and Phil had the willingness to collect and form the first unofficial MN Directory which he simply referred to as “the list” so he became the “keeper of the list”.
In Phil’s early days of transitioning from writer to coach, he would use my Office Space to host small gatherings to practice the art of coaching. This is how he launched his coaching business. He would often say “it was like playing the scales”, he was practicing the art of coaching.
In a sense we were also the Program Coordinators for our newly forming MN Coaches Association. We would dream up topics for our monthly gatherings which quickly out grew the open floor plan space of my office. This moved our gatherings to Southdale Library and the need for Greeters as members flowed in--which we did.
Phil received his CPPC –Certified Personal and Profession Coach –a little ahead of me. As I prepared for my oral exam, Phil and I met in my Office Space one afternoon to have me practice and calm my inner butterflies. “Oh, you’ll be just fine” says he. My imagination was much bigger than the reality.
Phil eventually moved to California where he served The Coaches Training Institute in various capacities.
Phil was a very spacious and a dear man. He opened himself to a world filled with many new horizons as seen in his official obituary. Words from one of our cohorts, Milne Kinter are so descriptive: "Phil seems like an arrow that was
streamlined for the role of taking coaching forward. He kept it moving with a lot of energy and direction. He helped it move beyond California, into book form, more firmly into Japan, into something new called team coaching. It's easy to imagine the wind whistling by steadily as that arrow moved into realm after realm as coaching itself took shape."
I along with many other Minnesotans am grateful that our paths crossed. He inspired many throughout the world forever carrying the torch of Coaching. What a wonderful co-founder for us to remember.
Elaine Gaston, MEd, CPCC, MCC, CNTC, Co-Founder Minnesota Coaches Association