Where Horizontal and Vertical Coaching Intersect

Michael Dolan, NVW graduate and founder of Truly Productive Leadership, joins Adam to talk about how addressing all the conflicting “to-do”s in our lives can actually empower our development by revealing what is really important to us.

Here are some of the topics covered in the Stepping In podcast episode Where Horizontal and Vertical Coaching Intersect:

  • How to integrate horizontal and vertical coaching methods to support skill development and personal identity transformation.
  • An introduction to a coaching specialty focused on managing commitments and tasks using principles influenced by David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” (GTD) methodology.
  • Exploration of how consistent workflow practices can foster integrity, enhance presence, and open possibilities for higher-level conversations and actions.
  • Transition from feeling overwhelmed to recognizing personal agency in life decisions, reflecting on commitments aligned with values and goals.
  • Understanding resistance to initial efforts in processing and organizing tasks and building the capacity to tolerate anxiety for effective planning.
  • Immediate and rewarding outcomes of workflow coaching, such as improved clarity, focus, and overall well-being.


By understanding the transformative power of workflow coaching, integrating it with both horizontal and vertical coaching approaches to enhance personal agency, clarity, and overall well-being in managing commitments can improve facets of lives.

Resources mentioned in this episode
David Allen: The book’s creator and philosophy of “Getting Things Done” (GTD).

About Michael Dolan
Leadership is about bringing oneself to the table when taking action with others. When we fully show up, others are naturally invited to do the same.

Michael has been an executive coach and trainer for almost a decade. He has helped hundreds of leaders get out of their own way by enabling them to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice more effective behaviors to create a bigger impact and experience greater satisfaction in their work and life.

Along with his deep experience in leadership development, one of Michael’s core focus areas is productivity. He developed this expertise during his previous role as a senior coach for David Allen, who was widely considered to be the productivity guru of this era.

About Adam Klein
Adam is dedicated to creating a more just, sustainable, creative, and loving world. Before joining New Ventures West, he helped create a first-in-class business solution to combat global slavery and relaunch a San Francisco Bay Area center for integral spiritual formation.

Adam has a Master’s degree in Engineering from Santa Clara University. Some time ago he entered the world of Ironman triathlons and ultra-running as a means to further understand the importance of the body and the deep, integral nature of being human.

Adam focuses on integrating NVW’s purpose and bringing it to fruition. He oversees strategy, tech, and the flow of various internal work streams, as well as supporting graduates and ensuring ICF compliance.

He regularly leads the Professional Coaching Course, hosts our orientation events in San Francisco, is the creator and host of the NVW podcast Stepping In, and has his own business coaching leaders and individuals.

About the Stepping In
Stepping In is a podcast of bold inquiry into life’s biggest challenges with one of the world’s oldest and most distinguished coaching schools, New Ventures West.

In a spirit of curiosity, compassion, and honesty, we delve into how Integral Coaching can address some of the most pressing issues we face as individuals, communities, and stewards of our planet.

In the Stepping In Podcast, we explore what it takes to develop the sensitivity and capacity required to live and thrive in an increasingly complex world.

About New Ventures West
From its humble beginnings to one of the top accredited coaching schools in the world, New Ventures West pioneered one of the deepest, most transformative forms of human development available for coaches, leaders, and anyone looking to bring people alive in possibility.

Further Exploration
New Ventures West: https://www.newventureswest.com/
Getting Started with Integral Coaching: https://www.newventureswest.com/get-s…
Free and paid Integral Coaching events: https://www.newventureswest.com/class…

01:08 Introduction and workflow coaching
02:21 GTD basics
06:28 Horizontal vs vertical coaching approaches
08:54 Impact of workflow practices
11:36 Agency and life choices
17:15 Pushback and challenges
21:33 Capacity development
24:00 Results and rewards


Walk on the Wild Side by Lou Reed used with permission
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