My Coach kept asking me this one question…

In 2006 I had a year with the great Marshall Thurber as my coach.

Quick Backstory

In 2005 Jack Canfield attended our CoachVille Conference in Orlando and asked me to be a founding member of the Transformational Leadership Council with the likes of John Gray, Lisa Nichols, Marci Shimoff, John Assaraf and other luminaries of the personal growth field. By the time of our first gathering I was ready for a new coach… it took a long while for me to recover from not having Thomas as my coach. Although I sure wish I had hired a new coach sooner! I made so many mistakes in time after Thomas died that I maybe could have avoided.

I decided to ask around to see who was coaching the luminaries. The name I heard most often was Marshall Thurber. He was also a member of the group and in attendance so I created an opportunity to talk with him.

I loved him right away. He had this enthusiastic, curious, “mad scientist” vibe about him.

He too had a remarkable back story. His quest for knowledge about the connection between business success and human potential led him to live in W. Edwards Demings’ basement (best known as a primary influencer of the Japanese post WW2 economic miracle)  as an apprentice.

A bit later in life he became best friends with Bucky Fuller (inventor and philosopher who popularized the widely known geodesic dome) and was close with him for many years.
His mentors were two people widely known as thought leaders of the 20th Century.

In a way his story reminded me of my coaching mastery quest. I was apprentice to Coach Manny Schellscheidt for 10 years by this time; Manny was the founder of the first licensing program for soccer coaches in the US. Then I became best friends with Thomas Leonard who was the founder of professional Life Coaching.  My coaches were two people widely known as coaching thought leaders.

When I spoke with Marshall he mentioned the infamous “Money and You” program. I remembered hearing about this program back in my days studying and leading at Landmark Education. The leaders rarely spoke about programs outside the Landmark network, but the “Money and You” program always came up as being a truly transformational experience. Marshall had invented the program and led it for many years. It was a 1-week personal growth and business program where you played games.

Marshall was all about growing fast through play.

So I signed on for a year in a program he called: the Positive Deviants Network; sounded like me.

Marshall: So you aim to be one of the best Life Coaches in the world. Great. What is your coaching method?

Me: mmm. I don’t know if I have a method. I show up for the call, start a conversation and wait for the magic to happen.

Marshall: Does this “wait for the magic” method get reliable results for your clients?

Me: sometimes.

Marshall: Sometimes is not a very good percentage. You need a coaching method.

Me: OK. How do I get one of those?

Marshall: For the next month keep track of everything you talk about with your clients. Pay special attention to the parts where this “magic” you spoke about happens.

Me: Great. I can do that.

With Marshall’s guidance, over the next year I created 3 coaching methods out of the concepts that I had learned from Thomas and Manny and from my own numerous coaching experiences.

  1. The Play 2 Win Method (Now the Play Life Method) to transform any pursuit into something you can play for.
  2. The Inner Freedom Method to play with FEAR.
  3. The World Power Method to design a winning environment.

Later that year…

Marshall: Tell me about your school. What is your method for making sure each student becomes a good coach?

Me: well we host teleclasses where we teach the Coaching Proficiencies and other concepts.

Marshall: Does every student become a good coach that way?

Me: (Yikes! I didn’t say that part out loud, I only thought it) Not even close.

Marshall: You need a learning method.

Me: OK.

Using Marshall’s renowned teaching style as a foundation, I created the structure for the Center for Coaching Mastery: (DTMOPP) Desire, Theory, Method, Observe, Practice, Perform. We lifted our program to a new level of awesome with defined coaching theory, coaching methods, opportunities to observe coaching and be observed in class, in class practice time for every step of the method and the encouragement to perform in the world with practice players and then in supervised practicum.

Then we added another P for Play with the game platform. (now it is DTMOPPP)


While most coach training programs continue with the Industrial Age Concept of teaching students the correct way to use a set of skills; we provide a multi-dimensional experience of play that leads to personalized mastery for each student.

When you participate in the Play Life Method Coach training program, you get 3 amazing benefits:

1) You experience PLAY in your own life – even in your business and career. This is transformational.

2) You learn a method of coaching that routinely creates great results with players; you don’t have to hope for the “magic” to happen.

3) You can use the Play Life Method as a template for developing your own Coaching Method. This is a major step in becoming a true professional in any craft: becoming a method maker!

You can experience Marshall
AND solve the Play Life Manifesto mystery.

In 2014 Marshall gave a TED talk.


If you have looked at the Play Life Manifesto PDF, you noticed there is a bee buzzing around a variety of flowers on all of the pages. If you watch Marshalls TED talk you will understand why I chose the Bee as the symbol for the Play Life experience!!

Links to the next step on your adventure…

Join TEAM CoachVille to get a copy of the Play Life Manifesto PDF (Free)

Learn more about the Play Life Method

Become a Certified Coach with the Center for Coaching Mastery