Tim Stratman, founder of Stratman Partners Executive Coaching has heard this question more than once over the years. The question is understandable, especially given that Tim left behind high profile roles in corporate America to--as he says--“hang up a shingle” and begin coaching senior executives back in 2005. “I remember when I signed the articles of incorporation to open my firm, it was a strange feeling," says Tim. “There I was forming a company with two employees (one of which included me) after having led organizations and thousands of employees within multiple locations. It was a surreal experience."
They say we are formed by life’s experiences.
As a lover of the outdoors, Tim spent many childhood days playing on the banks of the Sciota River where fishing and climbing kept him energized. “I used to risk life and limb scaling the bridges and railroad trestles that lined the banks. We took some crazy risks; although we didn’t think so at the time.” Tim’s father was an aerospace engineer and former WWII carrier pilot who taught him from an early age that applying your “best effort” was non-negotiable. Dad knew that his son was a practical guy from early on.
Tim's father recalls, “So, here I am, feebly trying to fix Tim’s toy on Christmas morning. He couldn’t have been more than four or five. I have the instruction sheet spread out and toy pieces are all over the table. I’m stumped about how to get the wheels to fit this toy car right and the next thing I know, Tim comes charging up the stairs, carrying the identical toy 'Santa' brought him the previous year. He had removed the cover along with other various parts and began to show me-- by example--how those wheels should fit. He eased my bruised ego by telling me, don’t feel bad Dad, Santa’s the one who made the mistake.” Needless to say, when he told me he was going to leave corporate America to become an executive coach, I wasn’t all that surprised.”