I’ve always been a coach, motivator, and influencer.
First and foremost with myself. And as time went on…with teammates, employees, and with my children as they grew up. It wasn’t really noticeable to me as I was doing it. It’s just been an unconscious thing, the way I am wired. Up until this past decade. 

Since then I’ve noticed it more profoundly because of my profession as a certified business coach and leader trainer.  From this lens everything has changed. It might be because I am older and wiser, that would make sense. But it’s coming back to me through others. Especially through my clients and in their feedback, referrals, and the longevity of our working relationships.

Some of the strengths that they tell me I have, (and others they refer me to), is my ability to really listen. Listen, with emotion present (empathy), repeat back what they said, and give another perspective when needed.

Another attribute they speak of is my business acumen. I’ve been around a little bit, seen the inner workings of close to 500 different businesses, especially with generational companies. That kind of intel brings some common sense and wisdom that needs no research. I can speak from my heart, in real time, based on experience.

But the really big asset they like about me is my presence. My ability to “show up authentically”. Grounded with emotional and positive intelligence. 

It’s true, I seemed to have been born with the ability to access my right hemisphere more readily than others. But it is also a skill that I’ve practiced and honed in on. I was forced to oh so many years ago. 

“Forced” sounds too harsh.  Now I like to say I was lucky. Lucky to have had a life changing event that put me in a “hard-choicedecision-making-process”. I had to choose, at the tender age of 22, to change the way I was living, thinking, and being. You see, it was at that moment in my life, that I was at my end. With little or no reason to carry on my thoughts were very dark. I was physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually bankrupt. No more resources. It was a hopeless state of being, and I was hope-less.

So for whatever reason, on January 28th, 1981 I drove myself to a hospital for help, where I stayed for 3 days and detoxed. And then I went into a treatment center for alcohol and drug abuse. 28 days later I emerged. Scared, not knowing what to expect, but in a different state of mind…I had hope, gratitude, and support.

Today I celebrate 40 years of consecutive sobriety. 14,600 days of stringing “24 hours” a day together. That’s a lot of living in the moment. Staying in each 24 hours.

I tell you this story so that it might give you, or someone you know, some hope. The hope it takes to find the courage to love yourself enough to change what you need to change. Create what you want to create. And live the life you want to live.
A life full of purpose and self-commitment.

Trust me when I tell you, “If I can do it, anyone can, I promise.” We’re all here for such a short time. Go seize the day!
And thank you for being in my life.


Jerry Haack