Home Research History of Coaching An Interview with John Lazar: Institutions and Influences

An Interview with John Lazar: Institutions and Influences

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John Lazar:  That’s true.

Bill Carrier:  Please talk a little bit about what those are and tell us some more about them.

John Lazar:  Sure.  So a little bit of history first. At one point in time and for a number of years, there was an event that took place every year, typically in advance of the annual conference at the International Coach Federation.  That event was called the Executive Coaching Summit.  It was a by-invitation-only, 2 or 3-day event for seasoned executive coaches, and it was an opportunity to have serious and deep conversations about topics of interest to executive coach practitioners.

I got invited to that and I think the very first year that I attended was 2001 or 2002.  The event was held in Chicago.  There may have been between 15 and 20 of us.

One of the people that I met was a guy by the name of Bill Bergquist.  Bill was a very well respected coach and entrepreneur.  He had a coaching school that he owned out in Sacramento.  He was extraordinarily well-read and well-written.  He had written, I think at that time, over 30, 35 books.  He was just a renaissance guy.

The reason that he caught my attention was because he had presented a proposal to fellow members of this Executive Coaching Summit to create a coaching journal.  At the time, there was very little being published in any kind of formal way about coaching and what was published was not done with much rigor.  Bill put his proposal together and presented it—and it was not extraordinarily well-received at the time.  Lukewarm, I think, would perhaps be stretching it.

I was curious about this proposal for publishing a journal but I was even more curious as to whether Bill might not be a person to write something with, to co-author an article with.  Now, for me, part of what was going on at the time was I had recognized the importance of writing as an important expression for myself professionally and I was also seeing it as a way of increasing my visibility.  So, I invited Bill out to dinner and we had a very pleasant dinner and conversation.  We decided to write an article together and took six to nine months to write that.  Along the way, I came back to him and I said, “Do you still have any interest in proposing a coaching journal?  Because if you do, I would be interested in exploring that with you.”

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  1. Rey Carr

    March 12, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Finally, I understand what happened to that excellent journal, The International Journal of Coaching in Organizations. John is to be congratulated on establishing a publication that lifted coaching into both the world of empirical science and friendly dialogue. I’m grateful for your pioneering efforts.


  2. Vicki Foley

    February 7, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    Bill and John, thank you for this interview. I enjoyed the historical perspective, a bit of reminiscing about IJCO and ICCO, and the suggestions of ways to associate within the profession. John, you are a revered master.


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