Catherine MitchellExecutive Director of Video Product Management, Cox Communications

Perry is not the coach for everybody. He doesn’t pretend to be. Some people are looking for something structured and definite, some straight path. But they are not honest with themselves. [Perry showed me] it’s okay to be on a path that winds a bit. Perry will challenge you in a way you’re not prepared for.

While working with Perry I found that the things I espoused as most important to me were the things I worked on the least! He helped me to see that often I wanted something, but I was afraid of getting it–so I didn’t work on it. His point was if something’s important to you, you’ll invite it into your life. I became very aware of not owning the things I wanted. So I took Perry’s advice: And I got what I wanted! Now I say, “Jump in. Make it real. Own it. Otherwise it isn’t going to happen.”

If I had to compare Perry to a room in a house, I would say he was the kitchen. For me, that’s an environment that is self-protected. I have five kids, and I picked a house with a giant island so they can all come and hang out and talk. Like my kitchen, the environment with Perry was always comfortable, nothing threatening. He was open to what I thought and honest with his feedback, but never condemning. Like my kids, I could let my guard down and talk about the issues.

Perry is different from my other coaches and mentors in that he was willing to acknowledge that people really can’t compartmentalize their life. All of it–faith, family, work–they’re all intertwined. There are moments when you can keep them apart–yes–but as you’re making the big decisions, it is one giant ball.

— Catherine Mitchell

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