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The Coaching Dept. Blog

It Started with an Intention

When Shelley and I are coaching people, we often say, “It starts with an intention!” What we are trying to say is that whatever the “it” is can be enhanced with a clear intention. Whether you are starting a conversation, a vacation, a year, a day, a project……consider starting with a clear intention.

The “It” I am referring to in the title of this article is The CMAA Coaching Program.

Every year on January 1 I take time to list some intentions that I would like to add to my list of the things I would like to do, have, or be before I die. I think of this exercise as “planting seeds” Some seeds grow after getting a lot of intention, some seeds grow with little, or no attention and some seeds never grow.

On January 1, 2002, I wrote the Intention in the present tense that “I am the coach to the Club Industry”.

When I wrote that I was not the coach of the club industry. It was a thing that didn’t exist, yet it was an intention. This is a seed that grew with little, or no attention. Later that year I was asked if I could create a proposal to coach the staff of CMAA, which led to the question “Can you coach 7,000 members?”

In September of 2003, The CMAA Coaching Program was launched.

Twenty years ago, CMAA’s vision to give association members the resource of coaching to support them in their careers and in their lives was very innovative. Now twenty years later I have not found another coach who has had an association do for its members what CMAA did in 2003.

Although there have been many improvements and innovations over the years the coaching program was set up to educate and inform CMAA Members about coaching. It was created so that each member had a resource to call upon when they wanted to talk about their job, their career, or their life in confidence with someone who was trained to bring out their best.

Members could read articles to get a better understanding or how coaching could support them. Even if they didn’t want to engage with a coach they could learn about tools and techniques that could enhance their lives. They could have one to three coaching sessions throughout the year over the phone or participate in some group coaching sessions over the phone. There were tele-classes they could attend on various topics, and they could book one on one, face-to-face coaching sessions at Conference each year.

A lot has changed in the program over twenty years. Technology has changed dramatically. Awareness has changed dramatically. In 2006 Shelley MacDougall joined me delivering coaching services. Methods of communication have changed.

Working in the Club Industry has changed over the past 20 years and life has changed over the past 20 years!

Writing those words of a specific intention in my journal on January 1, 2002, was the beginning of an Extraordinary journey over the past 20 plus years. It has changed our lives dramatically.

We have worked with Extraordinary People. It is generally the Extraordinary ones who are interested in becoming better. They have dreams and goals and are open to all the support they can get to take them where they want to go. Extraordinary People know Extraordinary People and we have had the chance to meet them from all walks of life. If you are impacted by the quality of the people that you associate with, then we have truly been exposed to special people!

We have gone to Extraordinary Places. We have been to many of the top clubs in North America. We have been to places that most people only dream of going. We have been able to experience the creations of great chefs and the work of amazing wine makers. We played golf at dream golf courses.

We have been given the trust of people to let us into their lives as they experience some of the highest of highs and lowest of lows. We have been with people at the beginning of their journeys and at the end of their journeys. We have been with people as they go though the many transitions that life has to offer. We have worked with many students. It is so gratifying to see them progress to becoming Club Managers and industry leaders.

We have had the faith, support and appreciation of the staff and leadership of CMAA. We are so moved when people at all levels of this organization thank us and recognize us for what we have done for them and for others.

We have been given the chance to coach, to speak, facilitate and to train people.

We have been introduced to the many associations that are affiliated with CMAA that represent all parts of the club industry and have been given the chance to support them.

We have grown as people. When you get to work with people in the way we do you can’t do it without receiving many messages about what you need to work on personally.

What is your intention?

You can set any intention that you would like to set. The problem is that we often don’t start that way.

What are some big intentions you would like to set for today, this week, this month, this year or for the rest of your life?

We hope you will set the intention of having a coaching session.

We hope you will set the intention of living a life of your design.

We hope you will be open to receiving support.

We hope you will take something away from this article that will make a difference in your career and in your life.

It starts with an intention, what is yours?

Kevin MacDonald and Shelley MacDougall are the coaches for CMAA. To reach them call toll free to 1-866-822-3481 or e-mail at or

About the author

Kevin MacDonald

Kevin MacDonald founded Clarity Success Coaching in 2000. Kevin is deeply passionate about his work with his clients and loves living on purpose to assist those he works with to elevate their lives and live to their fullest potential. Kevin MacDonald is a Coach and Facilitator, a Communicator and a Storyteller. As a Coach he initiates action from within the people he touches. Kevin believes that knowing who you are is critical to your success. Kevin's business and management background combined with his exceptional Coaching skills make him an asset in any people development initiative.

Kevin is a member of the International Coach Federation and a graduate of Teresia LaRocque Coaching and Associates Abundant Practice Program. Kevin has received his Coach training from Coach U. Before he began coaching he spent over 20 years as a manager in the hospitality industry. His focus now as a coach is to inspire his clients and help them lean the skills in that they can use to change their lives. Kevin empowers his clients so that they can take the actions that will start to change their behavior so they begin see the results they are wanting in life.

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