Renewing the human spirit for greater purpose, passion, and performance.

One-on-One and Team Coaching to co-create a more empathetic and compassionate world one leader, one team, and one organization at a time. 

About Headwaters Coaching


If the transitions from "known" to "unknown" are coming so fast you're having trouble remembering who you are, we need to talk. I've been dealing with transitions and the conflicts--personal, interpersonal, corporate, etc.--which arise in the midst of rapid transition for a long time.
The first hour is free.
You talk, I'll listen.


ARE YOU looking for someone who will help you cut through the debris gathered over the years to uncover or discover your truest self, whether at work, home, with friends, or completely alone? This is what I've spent most of my life doing. Toward that end, Headwaters Coaching is about crafting a more empathetic and compassionate world one leader, one team, one organization at a time. We do this work by getting our coachees and trainees back to the headwaters of their lives. That space and place where vision runs clear, and the direction is compelling.

For new leaders, we offer coaching and training in servant leadership to help you claim the strengths you already have while giving you tools in a broad range of disciplines. This includes honing your values, working through conflict, deep communication skills and more.

For those who have been in leadership for awhile, we offer the same tools utilizing the curiosity and connectedness of high-level coaches. Always seeking to assist you in tapping into your own, unique wisdom and gifts.

If this sounds like you, then let's be in touch and explore how we might be of service to you and your organization. The first hour is free! You talk, we’ll listen.

---John LaMunyon, Founder and Director, Headwaters Coaching

#stepintolife #leadershiptrek #executive coaching #headwaterscoaching #servantleadership




John creates deeper awareness at the core level.

Sheri Boone, MCC  Coach Cachet, Coach Mentoring Training and Continuing Education

John has a unique combination of skills from his previous professions and life experiences that enable him to relate to many different types of individuals and provide him with a wealth of resources to draw from in any given situation. He approaches his role with compassion, professionalism, and attention to detail. I highly recommend him as an executive coach. 

Debra Kristensen   Director, Vaccine Technology Strategy and Policy, PATH

I am so grateful for the support John has given me over the years. He is loyal, caring and I know he is in my corner always helping me to move forward. I started seeing John as a coach a year ago when I was contemplating transition from my current role onto something else. He helped me move through the road blocks and realize how much I love my role and could move it into something that is more fulfilling. Through his help I now wake up each morning with a new energy and look forward to a better, brighter future. I highly recommend him as a coach, mentor and/or teacher!

Dawn D. Sanders  Non-profit professional. Coach. Helping individuals achieve their professional and personal goals.

Having worked with John for a number of years I can say that John is a person who deeply care about others and their success. He truly embodies what a servant leader is all about. Have accompanied people at many different stages of life John brings a unique perspective to the coaching relationship. Working with John will help you find clarity in a caring environment.

Wesley Telyea   Member, Co-Founder at Discovery Group, LLC


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Is that a Bus You’re Driving, or, People You’re Leading?

By John LaMunyon | October 31, 2022

Have you ever heard, or used this phrase: “You have to get the right people on the bus?? Or, leadership somehow needs to. “Help the one who doesn’t fit off the bus…?“ Unfortunately, “bus” is the wrong metaphor. “Bus” somehow conveys a mechanistic image with each part in its place and when it no longer works, it’s replaced.

An organization, no matter how large or small, isn’t a machine. Internal combustion machines have parts with clear edges, purposes, and functions. If the fuel injection system fails, take it out and put in a new one. Get the adjustments right, fire it up, and off you go!

However, human beings aren’t machines. If a heart fails, there are a whole series of considerations as to whether a donor heart can even be considered. Once the transplant is completed, some work amazingly well for an extended period, whereas others reject, along with many other possible complications.

Your team isn’t a machine. It is a living, breathing, fuzzy edges, human organism. The team members which come into and out of the life of that organism bring gifts, aptitudes, attitudes, insights, and more which can have unanticipated impacts throughout their participation and even after they’ve left. And as with other living organisms, there aren’t always clear boundaries within your team, even though the org chart looks so neat and tidy. Sometimes an administrative assistant has impact far beyond the org chart.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR LEADERS? How well do you know your people? Can you see and sense the organic ties between and beyond team members? Do you have a clear understanding of how your highest-performing teams get things done? Or, what gets in their way? How might a leader come to that sort of insight and understanding? How about listening? Observing and asking questions?

If you’d like to be a better listener, or, hone your communication and leadership skills, how about hiring a coach to help you step up as a more empathetic leader? How else might an executive coach assist you on the journey to becoming a more effective leader? Drop us a DM. The first hour is free. You talk, we’ll listen and might even help you become a more effective and empathetic leader.


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Mentor Coaching

By John LaMunyon | July 15, 2022


There are generally two reasons people turn to a mentor coach. The first involves coaches seeking certification, a new certification, or recertification with the International Coaching Federation. Please see the paragraphs below on the ICF requirements if that’s you.

The second reason many seek out a mentor coach is to get better at something. It might be public speaking, leading through conflict, showing greater leadership presence in your workplace, etc. If you’re in the second category, let’s talk about your goals and the possibility of entering into a coaching relationship. If you’d like a free informational session, please go here.

THE INTERNATIONAL COACHING FEDERATION (“ICF”) defines Mentor Coaching as, “coaching and feedback in a collaborative, appreciative and dialogued process based on an observed or recorded coaching session to increase the coach’s capability in coaching, in alignment with the ICF Core Competencies. Mentoring provides professional assistance in achieving and demonstrating the levels of coaching competency and capability demanded by the desired credential level.  For more on ICF mentor coaching requirements, go here.

Headwaters Coaching provides individual and group mentor coaching to help you fulfil these requirements. I am an ICF Certified Mentor Coach and in my fourth year on the adjunct faculty of SeattleCoach, where mentor coaching is an integral part of training students to meet the rigorous standards of the ICF.

WHAT WILL WE DO? We’ll start by looking at your goals for mentor coaching. Together we’ll listen to your recordings, including identifying which Core Competencies you have and which need work. During these sessions, I’ll also get to know you better to ensure your authentic coaching voice isn’t lost in the process. We’ll also partner to help you get a set of recordings ready for submission to the ICF.

BACKGROUND The first thing a good mentor coach must be able to do is listen to the whole person. Toward this end, I bring a lifetime of training in listening well, whether as a young musician  listening to the interplay of various instruments and voices, or, as a pastor for over thirty years listening to the hopes and dreams, heartaches, and longings of others. Along the way, I took (and continue to take) classes and studied such divergent issues as conflict mediation, polarity management, life transitions, adult development, and, yes, the Core Competencies of the International Coaching Federation.

TO FURTHER ENHANCE our mentor coach relationship, I’ll be using a new online resource in our coaching sessions. With your permission, we’ll be using this resource to:

*Track your questions, including how and when you use them,

*Delineate how often you use open and closed questions,

*Show how much of a session involves the coach talking vs. the client.

All of this is brought to the work of mentor coaching as we partner in listening to recordings of you coaching your real clients. As we work together, you will further develop your authentic coaching presence and voice. When you’re ready to explore what we might do together in a mentor coaching relationship, please sign up for a free informational session here.

Here’s to your coaching journey!


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By John LaMunyon | June 17, 2021



How do you step into life?

STEP INTO LIFE: Where did this saying come from?
After several years of declining health due to a congenital kidney disease, on my fortieth birthday my nephrologist told me it was time to start renal dialysis awaiting transplant.  For seventeen months I made the hour long drive from a small town in North Central Washington state to a dialysis unit in Wenatchee.  The beginning of each treatment involved two needles being inserted into a Gore-Tex fistula which had been surgically implanted in my left forearm.  “Dirty” blood would go out of a vein through the needle into the dialysis machine where it was filtered and then put back into my body through another needle which flowed into an artery.  This process replaced the natural function of my no longer working kidneys.


During those seventeen months I had the opportunity to re-think my life.  What would my life be about when I was, once again, able to, “Step Into Life?”  Along the way I realized that ability was still mine.  And so I started getting ready for life renewed by daily finding ways to step into life.  That might be taking more time to listen more closely to my kids as they came home from school,  taking a slow walk up a long hill with a patient friend, playing racquetball, badly, with a really patient friend, or reading a book to a child or group of children in the church’s preschool.  The list grew as the possibilities for stepping into life became ever more apparent.  They were all around me.


Isle of Skye, Scotland

By the time the pager I’d been carrying through those many months went off for real–not a wrong number, of which there had been several–the daily practice of looking for new ways to step into life was an embedded discipline.


On the whole, I’m not an incredibly disciplined person.  I love junk food, consider ice cream a serious form of dairy, stay up too late and sleep in too long.  But for the most part, over the past twenty-five years of life with a transplant I’ve been able to continue practicing that discipline of daily finding new ways to step into life.


There have been bad days and tough seasons along the way.  Times when just getting out of bed was hard enough.  And yet, eventually, the long established discipline won out.  Life beckons.  Time to get to stepping.


When it came time to come up with a byline for Headwaters Coaching,  only three words were needed:  “Step Into Life.”  When I started to work with my graphics artist (Josh Huisenga, Chalkbox Creative), he put three lines next to those words and called them, “a river.”  Over the past few years I’ve used that river in many conversations asking, “if that river is your life, where are you at?”  Some are at the beginning, where everything is tight and closely aligned.  Others are at the end, where a new alignment has been attained.  Others still are in the churn of rough waters, getting tossed around and trying to figure out what the next steps might be.


Making a promotional sticker with the “Step Into Life” mantra was a no brainer. I’ve given away several hundred of those stickers.  As I give them away I ask recipients to, “put them where you need to be reminded.” They’re small, just 4.74” long and 1” high, but have proven impactful.


Holden Dock, Lake Chelan, WA

Some have put them on the door of their refrigerator.  Another, as a reminder to stop worrying about money, placed it on their safe.  Yet another placed one over their bathroom door and every morning taps it as she steps into life anew.  If you had one, where would you place it?


HERE’s THE FREE OFFER:  I have a big stack of these stickers and I’d rather they be where you need to see them, not on my shelf.  If you want one, email me here and I’ll send one to you.  If you want more than one, send me a stamped, self-addressed envelope to this address and I’ll send up to five in return.


Here’s what won’t happen.  You won’t be placed on a mailing list.  You won’t be called.  I won’t sell your information.  This is a gift. A truly free gift.  To thank all those along the way who have and continue to help me step into life.


Thanks for taking the time to read all of this notice.  Most of all, thank you for being you.  Have fun finding your many ways to, each and every day, “step into life!”


Thank you for sharing the incredible journey of life.



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2023 Leadership Trek: Now Accepting Reservations

By John LaMunyon | February 10, 2021

Headwaters Coaching’s Leadership Trek is a professionally guided canoeing and coaching adventure into the stunning wilderness of Ross Lake in North Cascades National Park. Limited to a group of eight adults, Leadership Trek is a truly unique opportunity to grow as a person and leader, while taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of one of the most beautiful lakes in North America.

Each day you’ll wake up to breakfast served by the professional guides of Seattle Adventure Sports, have a brief team meeting to consider the question for the day, load the canoes and head off on a new adventure.  Following each day’s dinner, we’ll meet as a group to consider whatever questions you’ve brought to our wilderness trek.

While traveling together, John will lead you through a deep dive of questions such as:

         “What does it mean to be a leader?”

         “What is servant leadership?”

         “Who am I becoming?” 

         “How can I be a more effective leader?”


So…. You want me to spend a weekend in a canoe?  What if you’ve never paddled a canoe before?  We’ll teach you.  Both John and the great people at Seattle Adventure sports are highly trained in safe canoe practices and are experienced in leading groups into the wilderness. Each day’s journey will be just long enough to see new waterfalls, glacier topped mountains, and more, while wearing you out just enough to help you sleep better that night. Along the way, you’ll have access to broad-based group and individual coaching from Headwaters Executive Director John LaMunyon, who has over thirty years experience in training and coaching leaders, beginning with the U.S. Army and continuing through his work with Headwaters Coaching today.

For the entrepreneurial spirits, John is not just a coach, but also the owner and founder of Headwaters Coaching and brings over forty years’ experience in coaching leaders through start ups, transitions, endings and new beginnings. You’ll also have access to Seattle Adventure Sports owner Don Cheyette who is much more than just a canoe guide.  SAS is the fastest growing outdoor adventure company in the Seattle area, and Don will be ready to answer whatever questions you might have about the successful launch and growth of his company.

Here’s to the journeys ahead!


WHERE: Hozomeen Campground, Ross Lake, North Cascades National Park, WA

WHEN: Thursday September 7th through Sunday, September 10th, 2023

WHAT WE PROVIDE: Meals, snacks, training materials, and equipment. You will need to coordinate your own travel to and from the Hozomeen Campground, as well as your personal gear and toiletries. For a full gear list, contact John.

REGISTRATION FEE:  $995  (Inclusive of all group supplies and equipment, training materials and food from Friday Dinner through Monday Lunch)

TO REGISTER: Contact John LaMunyon at (425) 922-0241 or

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Intro To Coaching Workshop February 25th

By John LaMunyon | February 9, 2021

Have you ever considered developing your coaching skills but weren’t sure it was right for you? Would a taste of coach training help you decide?

If so, SeattleCoach has an offering for you! We are registering now for an online Intro to Coaching Workshop, scheduled for Thursday, February 25th, from 10a-Noon.

Join us for this interactive session and learn:

  • How building “The Coaching Mindset” accelerates the development, performance and satisfaction of key leaders and their teams
  • Key coaching skills you can use immediately
  • What it takes to invest in your development as a coach or coaching leader.

For more information, and to register, visit Seattle Coach.

*Space is limited to the first ten registrants, so register today. We look forward to the time together!

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FUTURE RESET begins October 27th with a Free Taster October 20th

By John LaMunyon | September 25, 2020

Welcome to Future Reseta four-week training series for anyone seeking to establish a clearly aligned path forward for their future at work and home. 

Here’s a quick way to determine if this series is for you: 

  1.  Have the plans you made for your future just a short while ago become unclear? 
  2. Are you ready to consider changing what you are living for in life?  Perhaps something about your job, your home life, etc.? 
  3. Have you had trouble making lasting changes in the past? 

If you answered, “yes,” to any of these questions, then future reset is for you.

The outline of the course is wrapped around four questions: 

     What is? 

     What could be? 

     What will be? 

     How will you know? 

You could answer those questions on your own, however, we’ve found the results are far more powerful and longer lasting if you answer them in the context of honest feedback, encouragement and support offered by others who are on the same journey.   

There are two levels to the training.  Level One consists of prework leading into four, one-hour, online Tuesday evening training sessions beginning October 13th.  Each training session will be followed—either that night or later in the week—by a half hour FR Group of 2-3 participants who will work together to refine each other’s plans.  Level Two includes all of Level One as well as four half hour coaching sessions with either John LaMunyon or Nichole Kurz, the designers and leaders of this training.   



TASTER 10/20   We’re offering a free online “taste” of the series to allow you to experience what it will be to re-vision your future.  TUESDAY, OCTOBER 20th, 6-7:15p.  To register, go here.

The full series begins with PREWORK which will be emailed to you as soon as you register and payment is received. 

10/27, 6-7 p.m. PST  Session One  What Is?

     FR Group  

 10/20, 6-7 p.m. PST  Session Two   What COULD BE?

     FR Group 

10/27, 6-7 PST Session Three  What WILL BE?

     FR Group 

11/3, 6-7 p.m. PDT Session Four  HOW WILL YOU KNOW?

      FR Group 



Level One  $250    Including Prework, Four Training Sessions, FR Group and all materials 

Level Two $500    Including all of Level One and four half-hour coaching sessions following each training session, along with the opportunity for further coaching following the training at a reduced rate.   

To begin the registration process, go here. 


Why Coaching?  

Coaches recognize the brilliance of each client and their personal power to discover their own solutions when provided with support, accountability, and unconditional, positive regard.” Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole.   

Here’s an article on “Why Coaching Works.”  


Your Coach/Trainers  

John LaMunyon is the Executive Director and Founder of Headwaters Coaching and has spent years walking with others through job loss, changing futures, and many other of life’s challenges.  As well as facing his own “future resets” due to working in a field which was going through rapid change, and on a personal level organ failure, transplant, divorce, and more. 

In addition to his role with Headwaters Coaching, John is on the adjunct faculty of SeattleCoach, and holds professional certifications with the International Coach Federation, the Foundations of Great Coaching, and many others. 

A native of the Pacific Northwest and an avid outdoorsperson, John has served as a backcountry guide and instructor on mountain trails, on the ocean in a sea kayak, and a number of rivers and lakes in an open canoe. 

 Nichole Kurz is a certified Leadership Coach through SeattleCoach.  For the past 10 years, she has worked in the Seattle tech industry coaching individuals who are embarking upon the start of their career. During that time she has helped individuals and teams discover what is most important to them, in both a personal and professional setting so they can pursue their greatest passions. 

Also a native of the Pacific Northwest Nicholenjoys the beautiful scenery the Seattle area offers year-round whether through getting outside camping or working in the yard with her family throughout the summer. During the rainy season, you can find her reading at a coffee shop or testing out a new recipe with her daughters.  


For More Information, contact John LaMunyon, 

To register, click here. 

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“Tomorrow!” Its always a step of faith…

By John LaMunyon | June 19, 2020

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“Grace Notes!” 40 Days, 40 Voices, 27 Countries

By John LaMunyon | May 7, 2020 

If you’re looking for encouragement these days, how about a quick note of grace every day for the next month plus?  Here’s my first:  

Other speakers include Rev. Dr. Rich Melheim, SeattleCoach Owner/Director Patricia Burgin, Catalyze Coaching Director Diana Bender, and many more.  Musicians including Michael W. Smith, Nashville’s Vintage Young Band, and a host of others.  Check it out every day through early June.  8p ET, 7p CT, 6p MT, 5p PT.


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What We Do…

By John LaMunyon | August 24, 2019

At some point almost all of us forget who we are and lose the way forward. This is particularly true in the many transitions of rapid change. Headwaters coaches bring a wealth of experience in helping professionals through human and corporate transitions as they remember who they are, reclaim their aptitudes, talents, and gifts, while stepping into the future with greater purpose, passion, and performance.

Along the way we’ve gathered and mastered a number of tools for this work, including the Associate Certified Coach Certificate from the International Coaching Federation.  The most important tools we bring to the journey together are the ability and empathy to listen to your life at a level many others just can’t reach while helping you hear and reclaim your own voice.

There are two sides to this work. One side is individual, one-on-one coaching. The other is working with groups on a variety of issues.  Here are a few:

*Developing an empathetic culture where people matter;

*Developing a coaching culture where curiosity and regard for other team members makes for workplaces that bring life, meaning, energy, and vitality to those who work there;

*How to use conflict to move your mission forward;

*And, how to listen deeply to what others are saying and say what you mean.  Many believe the communications process starts with talking. However, the most effective communicators begin with listening. What will happen to your effectiveness as a communicator when you truly hear others and then respond to what they’re saying?

If you’re seeking deeper meaning, greater empathy, renewed vision, more effectiveness as a leader, or, even simple instruction in how to be a better speaker, let’s talk. And the first hour is free! You talk, We’ll  listen.

John LaMunyon, Executive Director
Headwaters Coaching


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HEADWATERS COACHING LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT…Now taking registrations for Fall 2020 offerings…

By John LaMunyon | August 24, 2019

New to Leadership?    Ready for a Leadership Reset?

Are you seeking to further develop and deepen your leadership skills?  Join us Fall 2020 for Headwaters Leadership Development.  Space is limited.  We’re accepting applications now!

Headwaters Leadership Development is for any individual or team who wants to develop or deepen their identity as an empathetic leader. Beginning in October we will start a variety of trainings, including:

  • An eight-month-long deep dive into the fundamental questions, “WHY am I a leader,” and, “WHO am I leading?” Completion of the training will lead to a certificate in Leadership Development.
  • Monthly sessions focused on individual themes.

The eight-month-long certificate training includes weekly two-hour classroom sessions with lots of coaching individually and in peer groups.  Along the way we’ll take a deep dive into the executive functions (Organizational and Regulatory) of the brain as they relate to  leadership:

Organizational  includes how we deal with the incredible amount of data in our lives which just keeps coming at us through email, visual images, relationships, the internet, etc., with each new piece of information demanding our attention, planning, sequencing, problem-solving, working memory, cognitive flexibility, abstract thinking, rule acquisition, etc. 

Regulatory  refers to how we live in the world, including when we do or don’t take action, self-control, regulating our emotions,  both consciously and unconsciously stimulus inside and outside us, while then both initiating and inhibiting behavior specific to each context, coupled with moral reasoning and decision-making.” 1  WHEW!  For instance, seeing a wonderful dessert in front of you may be tempting to devour, but your executive system might remind you that eating it would conflict with your inner goals, such as losing weight.

To be added to the mailing list for the Fall 2020 Certificate program in Servant Leadership, sign up here.

MONTHLY  two-hour sessions began in October 2019  and continue through May 2020.  In each session we’lll explore individual areas of interest included in the longer certificate training, including conflict and polarity management, values and vision, communication and more.

All trainings are led by professionally credentialed coaches and trainers with certification from the International Coaching Federation.

Interested?  Contact Headwaters Coaching Executive Director and Lead Trainer John LaMunyon today! Email:  Phone: 425-922-0241.

TO REGISTER for the monthly series, go here.


John is a gifted coach on so many levels. His innate ability to listen to more than what is being said and to identify themes which allow you to develop a greater level of self-awareness and uncover beliefs and behaviors that may be holding you back. His curiosity, brilliance and compassion create a trusting space that support open and dynamic dialogue that is so vital in an effective coaching relationship. I have had the privilege to be coached by John and through my work with him I was able to transcend obstacles that were standing in the way of my personal development. I highly recommend working with John.

V.C. H.R. Leader



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