Guest Blogger: Fred Mandell
If I were to mention the names Claude Monet or Auguste Renoir, chances are you would not need to be an art historian to recognize those names as among the great luminaries of Impressionist art. How about Camille Pissarro? Perhaps less so. How about Diaz de la Pena? Nobody knows HIM!
Well, Monet would not have been Monet without Pissarro. Not only did Pissarro encourage Monet to lighten his color palette, he preceded Monet as a plein air (out in nature) painter. And de la Pena showed Renoir how to expand his colors beyond the “tobacco juice” paints he had been using. When Renoir showed his new paintings with bolder colors to a group of future impressionists they were at first perplexed, and then giddy with excitement. Yet, who remembers de la Pena?
Teachers or mentors are often not as famous as their students or mentees. Yet they are often indispensable in shaping their more famous pupils’ world view or in showing them the very breakthrough techniques that serve as the launching pads for their fame. Teachers and mentors often change the world in ways that may be invisible to future generations, yet are profound nonetheless.
I point this out because it seems to me that there is a parallel here between the great art teachers and mentors, and contemporary coaches. Coaches are the invisible hand of the future. The power of a coach is immense. They unleash the creative energy of a client. Perhaps your phone is about to ring. Perhaps it’s a call from your next Monet or your next Renoir… and you will have an opportunity to apply your invisible magic.