WOMAN of ACTION™ – Irene Becker

A Celebration of Women™

is elated to Celebrate the Life of yet another trail blazer in the world of women.

This special soul have risen above incredible circumstance in both private and professional life. Reaching for the stars through her own challenges, this powerhouse is now here to help the Women of our World.

If you are seeking the way to reaching your dreams, feel stuck and see no way out, this is the woman that you want to see.

In her own words, she tells us ‘I have always been “a Woman of Action” & I would love to help you take A Celebration of Women forward!’

Transformational catalyst” is the favorite term to describe this wealth of pure talent.


Irene Becker

First woman CEO of a steel company in Canada, Irene Becker has a track record of trailblazing accomplishments in business and in the community at large. An insightful and inspiring executive coach, mentor, speaker and writer, Irene helps clients achieve breakthrough results in their communication, leadership and lives. Passionate about the integrity of her work and its ability to help changemakers LEAD change, Irene helps smart people and organizations develop 3Q Leadership™ and effective verbal, written and social communication that builds reach, resonance and results.

Described by clients as a “transformational catalyst,”, Irene has helped executives senior managers, professionals, entrepreneurs, writers, human resource professionals, speakers, trainers, coaches, teachers optimize talent and performance in high stress, high change environments while also developing a new relationship with challenges, ambiguity and crises that drives and sustains a better business and human bottom line.

Her work is a repertoire of customized peak performance services with a unique 3Q™ focus that has been instrumental in helping clients optimize, humanize and monetize passion, purpose and potential in their work and their lives.

Rainmaker, trailblazer and road warrior, Irene’s journey has taken her from dreams of becoming an academic, to becoming the first woman CEO of a steel company in Canada, working in Canada, USA and Europe, pioneering consulting on entrepreneurship and mentorship in Canada, financial consulting and achieving trailblazing results in the community at large.

Professional Highlights

– First woman CEO of a successful multi-million dollar steel company that achieved 90% market saturation in its area of specialization during her tenure as President and CEO.

Irene has worked internationally in Canada, USA and Europe, and thrives in a global arena of cultural diversity and challenge.

– One of ten top business women and professionals chosen by the Federal Development Bank of Canada to develop the first mentorship program for businesswomen in the country, “Step Up” in 1988. Irene was the first woman Rotarian in Canada, Rotary Club of Montreal, and did the first consulting for Royal Bank of Canada on entrepreneurship.

– Professional fundraising and active board memberships in cultural and community organizations including UJA, YMCA, The Montreal Symphony Orchestra, The Montreal Board of Trade, Starlight Foundation, Enterprise Toronto, West Island Chamber ofCommerce, American Chamber of Commerce in Canada.

– In 2000, she was personally selected by Mark Victor Hanson as one of his first one hundred millionaire eagles; then coaching found Irene, or she found coaching.

– One of the stars in her coaching certification program, Irene launched Just Coach It in 2003, and subsequently did a certification in coaching emotional intelligence with a psychologist and expert in the field.

– Developed a 3Q™ optic and skill set that drives peak performance at the speed of change, in the face of challenges, transitions, even crises.

Smart and Fast Are Not Enough

The Importance of Increased Emotional Intelligence to the Success of Your Mediation Practice and Your Life
Building a mediation or a dispute resolution practice of professional excellence and success requires more than skill, intellect and training. It requires the ability to manage and regulate the emotions that create transparent communication and trust. IQ may get you the job, but EQ will get you the promotion.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ or EI) is a hot topic today. The reasons for its importance are threefold:

1. Emotional Intelligence is recognized to be one of the most important predictors of personal, business and professional success.
2. With appropriate education and training, Emotional Intelligence can be developed throughout our lives.
3. In a world of unprecedented change and challenge it is our ability to increase our EQ that will help us build the leadership, transparent communication and collaboration to lead better lives, do better business and contribute to a better world.

Like most human competencies, Emotional Intelligence is best increased in the learning and the doing, and that is why EQ focused coaching is so powerful, helping clients not only learn about EQ but integrate strategies and solutions that increase EQin their lives and careers.

We believe that awareness is the most important of EQcompetencies because it is the building block upon which our emotional intelligence can grow and thrive, as such this article is divided into four parts that will help you become more aware of:

1. What Emotional Intelligence is.
2. How the human brain is constructed to be Emotionally Intelligent.
3. The basic components or competencies of Emotional Intelligence.
4. The critical importance of Emotional Intelligenceto building a successful mediation/dispute resolution practice and a successful life at the speed of change.

Emotional intelligence (EQ or EI)is a set of abilities or competencies that enable us to understand and manage ourselves and our emotions effectively. EQ also helps us understand and effectively relate to others. Stress tolerance, leadership, communication, collaboration, social responsibility, problem solving, creativity and self-actualization all require high EQ. With appropriate education and training, EQ can be developed over our lifespan.

“In a study of skills that distinguish star performers in every field from entry-level jobs to executive positions, the single most important factor was not IQ, advanced degrees, or technical experience, it was EQ. Of the competencies required for excellence in performance in the job studies, 67% were emotional competencies.” Working with Emotional Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman

Whether Americans are by nature attuned to fighting for what they perceive are their rights; or the amount of litigation that is done in the United States reflects the need for the increased emotional intelligence competencies that can mitigate dispute, no one will argue with the fact that the United States is a very litigious nation.

America has 281 lawyers for every 100,000 people, compared to Britain with 94, 33 in France and a mere 7 in Japan. Conflict resolution and mediation are fields of practice that will continue to grow as the demands and stressors of a changing world fuel the lack of communication that creates disputes, and because there is a growing recognition of the financial and emotional cost of going to trial and engaging in adversarial litigation. Emotional Intelligence is a requirement for successful mediation or dispute resolution.

IQ may get you the client, but your EQ skills will help you keep the client and build a growing practice.


Because, while human beings like to intellectualize their decisions to purchase a product or a service, the bottom line remains that we buy services and products from those we trust and like. It is our ability to trust and like another person that makes us feel comfortable with the relationship and propels the desire to have or to purchase something from them. And, in a situation where we need to mediate a dispute, the desires to feel good and to feel validated are the primary drivers that help us select a mediator or dispute resolution specialist.

  • How many clients come to mediation or dispute resolution somewhat inured or skeptical at the very concept of a win win situation because they are so full of anger, frustration, fear, or any combination of the three?
  • How much of the process of successful mediation compromised by clients whose feelings of mistrust, acrimony and the pervasive sense of invalidation overtake reason and make it difficult for them to even conceive of a win-win situation?

How can those who mediate conflict use the very emotions that have created the conflict to bring both parties to the table, to start to ignite the transparent communication that will set the stage for successful mediation? By increasing, expressing and modeling your EQ competencies and coaching your clients into an emotionally intelligent platform of communication that helps them increase their own EQ competence.

To get a better understanding at the power of emotional intelligence lets take a look at how our human brains are constructed to be emotionally intelligent.

What we call the oldest part of our brain is the Reptilian Brain. It is a bulb that sits at the top of the spinal cord. This brain is several hundred million years old. It controls very rudimentary things — breathing, swallowing, and heartbeat, the visual tracking system that a frog uses to snap up flies, or the startle reflex that human infants are born with.

For reptiles, it is a life of simple choices: Do I eat it? Do I ignore it? Do I run away? Do I mate with it? Creatures like reptiles do not have emotions; they act without thinking. They live a life of reflexive action… they live a life that is propelled and compelled by the Reptilian Brain.

Survival reactions (as opposed to emotions) come from our Reptilian Brain and they are stronger than those based on thought processes because we need them to survive. If, for instance, someone shoves a knife in your face, your reaction is going to be extreme. Your brain doesn’t want you to think; that would slow you down. When you sense the knife being shoved into your face, your reptilian brain kicks off an all-systems-go alert, because it needs you to act immediately without thinking. When a human being perceives what they believe to be a danger or a threat to their wellbeing or survival, the Reptilian Brain kicks into action and pushes us to act without thinking.

The next part of the brain to evolve in human beings and other mammals was the limbic brain. The limbic brain can be expressive and can intuit, but it doesn’t reason and it isn’t logical, and it doesn’t respond to our will. It can be influenced but that’s about it. The role of the limbic brain is pivotal to human functioning because it is what makes our relationships possible. It is this part of our brain that helps us bond with our mates, care for our young, desire companionship, sing, or create vocal communication and play.The ability to create art, poetry, symbols, metaphors, parables and to feel responsibility, morals, duty, ethics and social responsibility probably reside in this part of the brain also… because all of these relate to our attachments and bonds with others. Less evolved, non mammalian creatures like reptiles do not have a limbic brain. They are therefore unable to process feelings, bond, care, desire companionship, create vocal communication, sing or play.

The functions of the Reptilian Brain and the Limbic System are involuntary, and values are neutral. This means that our bodies and our Reptilian Brain and Limbic System respond chemically and instinctively in ways that we do not fully understand, whether we are consciously aware of them or not. While what a healthy, well balanced person does with his/her feelings is under their control, the actual emotions that we feel are not.The Reptilian and the Limbic System will not take orders, rather they work to send us signals about our feelings so we can tune into these signals and stay safe. Of course, we all know that just because you feel something doesn’t mean it’s always beneficial to act upon it. If a person has trouble controlling his or her impulses they need to seek professional help.

The ability to control behavior and actions in the face of very strong emotions is created in the third part of the brain, the Neo Cortex.

The Neo Cortex is the largest part of the brain and it weighs approximately three pounds. Neo means “new” and the Neo Cortex is the most recently evolved part of our brain. It is the seat of our thinking, logic and reasoning. This brain is not only large, but it has two hemispheres – right and left. The left hemisphere or “left brain” makes linear, logical, step by step plans. The right hemisphere or “right brain” generates ideas, language and creative thought. The Neo Cortex is the only part that can use abstract symbols like math and words.

This part of the brain, the Neo Cortex, is the one most people are most familiar with, so we tend to think of it as the brain. Western civilization has almost worshiped logic and reason for centuries–well at least since the Age of Reason. We have put so much emphasis on education through words, ideas, and logic that we tend to forget–if we ever knew–that these things mean nothing to 2 brains out of our 3.

The Neo Cortexis the center for all our higher-level, “civilized” functioning – language, physics, math, analysis… It can modulate feelings and integrate them, and it can talk about them. However, to solve problems, we need the Reptilian Brain, Limbic System and Neo Cortex to be working together. Making good decisions means engaging the emotional intelligence, and that demands getting in touch with our feelings and using the Reptilian, Limbic and Neo Cortex in coordination:

– Reptilian = instincts (involuntary) – Limbic = emotions (involuntary) – Neo Cortex = thought (voluntary)
It is the human ability to align instincts, emotions and thoughts that gives us the capacity to increase our emotional intelligence. And it is the human ability to use the changes, challenges and even crucibles we face to develop self awareness, emotional management and regulation that helps us feel better, lead better, communicate better and succeed better.

Here are the major emotional intelligence competencies that make up a fully integrated personality as well as a sample of a state of the art assessment that measures EQ:

1. Emotional Self-awareness – The degree to which you are able to notice your feelings, label them and attribute them properly.
2. Emotional Expression †“ The ability to express your feelings and gut-level instincts. Emotional expression is an integral part of your day.
3. Emotional Awareness of Others – The ability to hear, sense or intuit what other people may be feeling from their words, body language (non verbal) or other direct or indirect clues.
4. Creativity †“ Tapping into the multiple non-cognitive resources that help us envision new ideas, frame alternative solutions, and find effective ways of doing things.
5. Resilience/Flexibility/Adaptability. The ability to bounce back, be flexible, and retain curiosity and hope in the face of adversity, change or challenge.
6. Interpersonal Connections – Creating and sustaining a network of people with whom you can be your real and whole self.
7. Constructive Discontent – The ability to stay calm focused and emotionally grounded in disagreement or conflict.
8. Outlook/Optimism – Being positive and optimistic.
9. Compassion/Empathy – The ability to be empathic, appreciate and honor others’ feelings.
10. Intuition – The ability to notice, trust and use your hunches, gut-level reactions, and other non-cognitive responses produced by the senses, emotions, mind and body.
11. Intentionality: Saying what you mean and meaning what you say; being willing to forego distractions and temptations in order to be responsible for your actions and your motives.
12. Trust radius – Believing people are “good” until proven otherwise-Alternatively overcoming being too trusting.
13. Personal Power – Believing you can meet challenges and live the life you choose.

The engagement of increased EQ drives successful dispute resolution and conflict mediation. Excellent mediation means modeling the clients’ EQ competencies and further to help the clients increase their EQ where lacking and create anew transparency of communication, trust and collaboration – that will make win-win solutions possible.

While all the EQ competencies are important to dispute resolution and mediation there are three EQ competencies in particular that can make or break the process: Flexibility/resilience, Creativity and Intentionality.

While flexibility/resilience, intentionality and creativity are the building blocks of dispute resolution and mediation they are also the most difficult to attain just by virtue of the fact that they are thwarted by fear and anger. Unfortunately the emotions of fear and anger that perpetuate dispute and conflict also distort and deflect communication and resolution because they are stronger than reason and related to our Reptilian Brain. When we are overcome with feelings of anger and fear our reason is clouded and the very anger and fear we feel takes us farther and farther away from a rational point of view.

We like to think we’re rational beings, but most decisions are made on the basis of how we feel about the facts we’ve uncovered. Emotions, not facts, move people. Hence the key abilities are to use the changes and challenges at hand to understand and be aware of what really matters to the client, how they need to be validated, what they really want and what can make them feel that using their ability to be more flexible, embrace more creative solutions by remembering their basic intention or goals.

“Motivation” and “emotion”come from the same root and both are contagious. The ability to model empathy (an EQ competency) while also demonstrating management and regulation of emotions (an EQ competency) is one of the strongest ways that we can mediate conflict. Modeling empathy, management and regulation of emotions is important because emotions are contagious and have the ability to move us either away from our desired goal or towards our desired goal faster than a speeding bullet.

Keeping your pulse on what is really happening means more than understanding the logic of what is being said or proposed, it means being able to get into the client’s skin if you will; being able to understand the feeling behind their communication, the true desire behind what they feel they need and using what they are feeling to create to mastermind a resolution to conflict.


Successful mediation or dispute resolution requires knowledge, training, professional excellence, integrity, agility and creativity of thought… but, of equal import, it requires the engagement of high emotional intelligence competencies that help both the mediator and clients tap into the emotions, thoughts and actions that create a resolve to perceived discrimination.
EQ competencies:

1. Emotional Awareness of Self.
2. Emotional Awareness of Others.
3. Emotional Expression.
4. Creativity.
5. Resilience/flexibility/adaptability.
6. Interpersonal Connections (communication).
7. Constructive Discontent.
8. Optimism.
9. Empathy.
10. Intuition
11. Intentionality.
12. Trust Radius.
13. Personal Power.

And the good news is that not only can EQcompetencies be increased, but your ability to increase, model and express high EQ will be pivotal, not only in setting the stage for better professional results, but in helping you build a better life at the speed of change.

At a time when the World Health Organization is forecasting that stress will be the major cause of disability by the year 2020, understanding, increasing and engaging your emotional intelligence and developing your ability to coach EQ is not only critical to the excellence and success of your mediation or dispute resolution practice, but it is an investment in the quality, excellence and success of your life.

By Irene Becker, CCTA, Just Coach It – Executive and Personal Coaching at the Speed of Change, for the American Society of Conflict Resolution, November 2005

Irene Becker, CCTA, runs the Coaching web site ‘Just Coach It’ at http://www.justcoachit.com

– Passionate about social justice, human rights and servant leadership; Irene led a successful campaign helping to change the environmental laws in the Province of Quebec 1986, and also won a landmark case for the rights of child victims of parental abuse at the Ontario Court of appeal in 2003.

Available for download now.

– Co-author of the book, Exploring Coaching, as well as a number of published articles; Irene is an exceptional coach, speaker and writer whose dedication to the integrity of her work and her clients is outstanding.

– Keynotes for top organizations like EDS, Purchasing Manager’s Association and the Canadian Institute of Management of Canada, Loblaws, HFTP and Digital Eve.

– One of the top Canadian consultants who have contributed to The Executive Roundtable publications; she is also a mentor for a cutting edge American Organization mentor executives and senior managers, EQMentor-www.eqmentor.com.

– Recently quoted in a Wall Street Journal blog/article on career success; Irene’s candor, enthusiasm, integrity and insight make her a riveting speaker, writer, coach, confidante and career advisor who works dynamically with her audience and clients on a profound and a transformational level.

PASSION POINT with Irene Becker


Just Coach It – The 3Q Edge™ | A Leader in Peak Performance Solutions

Helping smart people work smarter and happier

60 Bloor Street West, Suite 1100, Toronto, ON M4W 3B8 Tel: 416-671-4726




Peak Performance, Communication & Career Solutions
Irene Becker is one of the World’s best motivational resources. Her client list spans from Canada, the USA and Europe. CEO’s who are at the top of the mountain, and people who were struggling at the bottom or the middle. They are all smart, fast, forward thinkers. She is an accomplished writer, coach, and motivational speaker. She has an understanding of human nature and an unsurpassed organizational talent. She has what it takes to unlock the talents of others so that they can move forward – consistently and with force.
JT, Senior Manager HR, EDS Toronto

She is what you are looking for as a person that will help you and your business grow. I love this woman. Open, honest, high integrity, futurist in thinking as well as having her feet planted firmly on the ground.
-Hart Davidow, New Dynamics, LLC

I was impressed by this fascinating video of Irene Becker, first female CEO of a steel company in Canada, where she shared her personal story of great achievements and losses. Her experience uniquely positions her as an expert on the topic of the relationship between happiness and success.
-Jesse Lyn Stoner, Bestselling Author, Full Steam Ahead, Leadership Expert & Speaker

Her depth and breadth of experience and knowledge account for her indomitable spirit and masterful ease in transforming the lives of others. She is authentic, poignantly empathic and altogether unforgettable.
-Esther Benezra, Ph.D., B.C.L., LL.B. Senior Executive, Board President and Psychologist

She’s unique among executive coaches. Irene Becker was instrumental in helping me successfully navigate a crucial period in my career-one where I was able take a formidable leap. I deeply value my sessions with her. I recommend her highly to those who want to unleash their best selves to the world.
-Wahn Yoon, Senior Strategist, JWT, Toronto, Canada

Extraordinary. She has an uncanny ability to diagnose the issue,prescribe the proper treatment and see you through whatever is holding you back from achieving your goals. You won’t find a better person and coach….anywhere!
-Todd Rhoad, Engineer, MBA, Career Expert, Author of the book, The Blitz Approach, USA

I can attest to Irene’s knowledge and her ability to present on matters of change management and in collaboration with partners towards success in skills training and execution. She is a ready participant and an active listener, able to reach out to a group or individual as she demonstrates the value of her skill as a leader, a mentor and a coach. Not only able to lead a group or session with you in mind, she also instills the leadership capabilities that allow you to take the next step, to move forward,to succeed. Thanks, Irene.
-Jerry Sheremata, Category Manager, Royal Bank of Canada Procurement, Toronto, Canada

Irene is an exceptional coach whose dedication and expertise in career marketing and management, personal branding, communication, leadership and EQ/EI are outstanding. Irene is my coach and I recommend her services to anyone who wants to achieve success at the speed of change!
-Eldar Mandil, General Manager, Sears, Newmarket, Canada

Six months after working with Irene I was promoted from a middle management position to the C suite, increased my income substantially, and my business and personal relationships have never been better. Thanks, Irene,you are terrific! -ST, Senior VP, HR Houston, USA

I recommend her services highly. Irene has consistently displayed dedication, compassion and tireless effort on my behalf as I sought to rebrand myself during a tough economy. Irene’s well honed career marketing, personal branding and management strengths resulted in a solid marketing campaign with my own unique brand, thereby providing a strong positioning in the market place rendering positive results. Without her support, guidance, knowledge and dedication this would not have been possible.
-JV, Executive, Information Technology, Toronto, Canada

You could never find a better advocate for yourself. It is difficult to imagine how there could be anywhere in the world a better success coach than Irene Becker. She is worth 14 therapists, and yet is not a therapist. She deals with your own raw talent and helps you focus it in the direction where it will be maximally effective.
-Richard Rotman, Professor of Media Relations, Humber College, Founder, PR Writer Extraordinaire, Toronto, Canada

The world needs people of uncommon courage, uncommon leadership, Irene is one of these. I can say without any reservation that any client of Irene’s will dramatically improve their effectiveness as a leader. Her humanness and empathy are such powerful skills, I know you will benefit significantly from having her as your coach and I encourage you to give her a call.
-Ron Hurst, MBA, Leadership Coach, California, USA

“Irene gives me the coaching excellence I need to achieve greater passion, purpose, potential and success in my life and career.”
–Milton E. Fletcher, President of Great Minds Incorporated,
Professor of Business, Spring Arbor University,
Former Manager of Global Human Resources at General Motors, Michigan, USA

Incredible! Her 3Q™ program accelerates success, and helps people get results well beyond what they imagined. She is enthusiastic, creative, and puts her all into everything she does. I highly recommend Irene as a coach, a business woman, and someone you will want to know and work with.
-Susan Bagyura, Executive Coach & Author of the Amazon Bestseller, The Visionary Leader

Irene is one of a kind. She has truly been amazing since taking over my career campaign. The excellence and confidentiality of her work has helped me move forward faster and better, and I am now negotiating an offer as VP operations. She is absolutely motivating, and has brought a greater level of focus in defining a clear road map for me over the months that lie ahead. She is tireless, and I feel as though she is as fully committed to my personal success as I am.”
-JC, Director Operations, Toronto, Canada

“It’s the small companies like Just Coach It that are leading the way, and Irene Becker is one of the finest runners in the race. She is a highly evolved human being. Her coaching capabilities are peerless, and she knows how to guide people into a way of thinking that brings back their inner smile.”
-Leon Benjamin, CRM Expert, Author of Winning by Sharing, London, England

Irene is one of the top life, leadership and success coaches. She has the ability to help you meet the challenges in your life, your business and in your everyday world. She has the tools and the ability for the 21st century to ease your stress and help you achieve all your goals.”
-Ed Kleinman, Sales Leadership Expert, Objective Management, USA

“It is a pleasure to recommend Irene. She has been an incredibly positive influence for my career advancement, and finding a new position. She has not only provided the appropriate framework and approach, but also she helped me realize what my long term goal is and what are the correct steps to achieve this.”
-AR, Senior Account Manager, Toronto Canada

“My personal life and career were skirting disaster. I felt like I was ready to sink. Irene helped me soar! After three short months of weekly coaching by telephone with Irene my income has gone from negligible to over $10,000 a month, my personal life is great, and I have discovered that I can — USE my strengths as well as my stressors, changes, challenges and even difficult stumbling blocks to achieve peace of mind, happiness, personal growth, and excellence in my career and my personal life. Irene you are not only a great coach, and a wonderful human being, you are a transformational catalyst. Thank you SO much!”
-Leslie Jordan, Entrepreneur, Toronto, Canada

“Irene, you are not only a terrific coach but also a wonderful human being who loves to help people. Thank you for your support, dedication and skill in helping me maximize my potential and create the life and the business I want. When you get a super duper coach like Irene, she makes work seem like fun.”
-Nina Menezes, Founder Interdream Designs, Toronto, Canada

Inspiring Keynotes & Training
Irene Becker is an OUTSTANDING keynote speaker! Irene’s first-rate presentation at the Joint Canadian Institute of Management Dinner Meeting consisting of members of the Toronto, Hamilton and Grand Valley branches provided several key management tips that will help us lead more effectively. The capacity crowd was treated to a highly energized speech on “Stop Rework. End Overdrive or Stasis. Re-charge, Re-focus, Re-power”, which proved to be very valuable and thoroughly enjoyed by all attendees. If you want your next event to be a huge success, hire Irene Becker!
Phil Russo, President, Canadian Institute of Management, Toronto

“I found Irene to be an excellent facilitator because she embodies that charismatic, value driven leadership that is so rare and unique.”
-Salimah Bhanjee, IQ Partners Inc., Toronto, Canada

Wow, you are a brilliant speaker! I think my daughter Trish summed it all up when she said that she “envisions herself as a speaker like you” when she gets older. We were both really impressed. I wish we could attend more of your talks and courses. Sincere thanks, Irene.”
-Pat Sheridan, Owner NTI Consulting Inc, Toronto, Canada

“Effective presentation skills are for Irene a natural talent! Her ability to quickly relate to her audience and to make a personal contact with them was delightful to observe! I have had the opportunity to hear many presenters and I am always pleased when I see someone who has an admirable delivery and an obvious propensity for relating to clients and satisfying their needs.”
-Sharon Morgan, Human Resources and Development Canada, Scarborough, Canada

“Irene, you are certainly one of the stars. Best wishes with your proposal to NCCAE and with all your other endeavours. You’re doing great!”
-Will Craig, Former President, International Coach Federation, President and Founder, Coach Training Alliance, Denver, USA

“AGAINST ALL ODDS” ~ Irene’s Inspiring Story

Against All Odds-My Story of Personal Triumph
By Irene Becker, Chief Success Officer, Just Coach It, www.justcoachit.com

The deepest questions, insights, awareness and answers rarely come when we are sitting at the top of the mountain of success feeling like the keys to the kingdom are in our right hand. No matter who we are, no matter what we have acquired and accomplished; our success, satisfaction, sense of personal power, value and fulfillment can change in a blink.

My greatest challenge, and greatest life, leadership and success lesson began on my 40th birthday way I was thrust from the mountain of success into a very dark valley. My birthday represented a giant fork or rut in the road of my personal life and my career. It was a time when the gold I had created by the sweat of my brow had turned to dust. I had not done anything to justify what had occurred. My birthday came to pass far,far away from the success, financial security, social capital and material comforts I had worked so very hard to achieve and acquire.

Far, far, away from my former success as CEO of a successful multi-million dollar company, and the accoutrements of success I had taken for granted. I faced a life crucible, an event of nightmarish proportion, that took me from the mountain of success to ground zero where I had to start my life and my career again. While I had overcome incredible hurdles to build a formidable career, the hurdles that I faced on my 40th birthday took me to the abyss where survival itself was in question.

I spent my fortieth birthday in a dark valley that was my greatest challenge and my greatest teacher, doing the most menial of jobs… cleaning toilets. A life crucible, a crime, a tragedy had thrown me from the mountain of success to a very dark valley. With $100 dollars and a credit card in my pocket, and mop in my hands I vowed to find a way to show my two young children that with faith, courage, integrity one could transform even the greatest darkness into the greatest light.

Why is my story important?

Because, if you are a smart, fast forward thinker you know that being smart, fast, and well trained are no longer enough. The changes, challenges and crises we face today demand a different way of thinking, leading and living that can help us inspire, engage and lead the best in ourselves and others when the going is very tough…and even when the tough are not sure how to get going!

It was at ground zero, doing the most menial of jobs that I learned a secret, a truth, a lesson that changed my life. Inevitably, whether by old age or a twist of fate…all the glitters is never gold. The greatest power we hold is not in what we have, but in who we truly are when we choose to ignite, engage and unleash the leader or hero within. Our greatest power lies in our ability to use what is to create what can be in our self, our lives, our relationships, our leadership and our work.

The worst life crucible; the cruellest of treatment, abuse, humiliation, the greatest of failures, the pain of dealing with a threatening illness, or a personal stumbling block cannot steal the faith, hope, courage, potential and determination that burns inside us, unless we let it. The greatest success we can ever achieved cannot be measured by things that will be irrelevant when we leave this earth, but rather by our ability to live, lead and succeed to purpose. It is our ability to live, lead and succeed to purpose, our ability to truly self actualize by unleashing our true potential that can move molehills and mountains in our life and in the lives of others. It is this purpose, this passion this potential that creates value for others, and creating value for others is the timeless formula for success and fulfillment.

Because, it is our ability to see past what is, and create or re-create what can be that determines our ability to drive our greatest intentions forward, and reclaim our ability to live, lead and succeed to purpose. For when we are on purpose, we also discover our joy factor. When we are on purpose there is a sense of profound happiness,
fulfillment meaning and empowerment that helps us unleash our best thoughts, emotions and actions. The pilot light that connects us with our highest power and our greatest potential, the candle that can help us heal, restore and rebuild a life, a career, an organization can be found and it can be re-engaged and re-ignited.

It was in the valley, at a time when all seemed lost, that I discovered my greatest power-my 3Q Edge™. It was in the valley that I learned to love and accept myself for who I was, rather than measuring my worth by what I had acquired or accomplished. It was in the valley that I discovered how to use my strengths AND my stressors, my changes AND deepest challenges to build my greatest advantage and potential by developing my 3Q™’s.

I learned to optimize my strength and skills while transforming the very difficult and gut wrenching challenges, challenges and crises I faced into breakthrough results that accelerated and sustained my IQ (mind power-whole brain thinking, greater focus, quicker ideation, creativity, action-ablity), EQ (emotional intelligence-emotional
management and mastery) and SQ (spiritual quotient- the power within).

Today, I have dedicated my career to helping others build their 3Q Edge™ because I believe in the power of human being better, not simply living and doing faster. I believe in our ability to unleash the business, personal and inter-personal leadership we need to live, lead and succeed to purpose in our lives, our relationships, our workplace…our world. I believe that our greatest strength, success and satisfaction cannot be sustained by what we command, control or acquire, but from what we contribute. It is the relationships that we build and sustain, our ability to inspire, engage and lead the best in ourselves and others that help us make our contribution. And, we all have a special contribution to make; no matter how large or small every contribution counts now more than ever before.

When we do find our true power, when we build our Q strengths and potential, we come home. August 1998 I came home, and thankfully I have been there ever since. I am honoured and grateful for the gift of life, and for the ability to help other rainmakers, road warriors and trailblazers open a new pathway, a critical pathway to their best work, best relationships, best leadership, and best lives by building their 3Q Edge™.

I am honoured to help my clients come home by living, leading and succeeding to purpose, because together we can make a difference. A difference that builds engagement, empowerment, communication, action-ability, leadership and growth in real life, real work and real time.

Yours in service and with gratitude,

►First woman CEO of a successful multi-million dollar steel company that achieved 90% market saturation in its area of specialization during her tenure as President and CEO. Irene has worked internationally in Canada, USA and Europe.
►Irene launched Just Coach it in 2003, and subsequently did a certification in coaching emotional intelligence with a psychologist and expert in the field.
►Developed a 3Q™ optic and R-E-A-C-H skill set and model that drives peak performance at the speed of change.
►Co-author of the book, Exploring Coaching, as well as a number of published articles, Irene is an exceptional coach, speaker and writer whose dedication to the integrity of her work and her clients is outstanding.
►One of the top Canadian consultants who have contributed to The Executive Roundtable publications.
►One of ten top business women and professionals chosen by the Federal Development Bank of Canada to develop the first mentorship program for businesswomen in the country, “Step Up” in in 1988.



A Celebration of Women™

welcomes this powerhouse into our Alumni of WOMEN of ACTION with open arms and Celebrates this Mind.

Brava Irene!

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