Terri M. Creeden

Owner, Creeden Coaching & Consulting

In my office hangs a white belt. I have never studied the martial arts, but I did earn this belt.  It was bestowed on me, along with a certificate, when I completed my training as a coach. In the martial arts world, the white belt marks a beginner. As the student practices on the mat day after day, the white belt becomes covered in sweat and dirt. Eventually, the belt turns black, a reflection of the student’s dedication to their practice. The practice itself is the goal; mastery of the art is not. Mastery is simply a by-product of the practice.  At the end of life, a true master wishes to be buried wearing the white belt, to indicate that even beyond this life, they will continue to learn.

The white belt changed my perspective on how I live my life and work with my clients.  Private individuals and business leaders come to me looking to make meaningful and lasting changes in their lives, which are usually realized through simple shifts in habitual behaviors. I believe that behavior change is a result of continuous practice, not a single action.  It is a commitment we make each day to show up in our lives and in our leadership as the person we want to be.  It is a choice.

Behavior change requires a beginner’s mind, a commitment to practice and a willingness to get it wrong and try again. It's not always easy, but it is rewarding.

In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.
— Shunryu Suzuki (Zen teacher)

The intention of my work is to develop more authentic individuals, whether in their personal lives or in business. My desire is to help individuals navigate relationships and commitments with integrity by living their personal values while still respecting those of others.  This desire emerged at age 16, when I took on my first leadership role in a musical ensemble. Inspired by my mentor at the time, I came to believe that leadership of any kind is a privilege best driven by a passion for people, not power. All of my work stems from this premise and results in solutions grounded in authenticity, integrity and connection.

I am passionate about personal presence, positive self-worth and living and leading with courage.  I support my clients in embracing slowness in their busy lives, allowing them to find success while also experiencing a more meaningful connection to the people and places around them. 

With a background in the biological sciences, I hold master’s degrees in Human Genetics and Public Health. I am a certified ontological coach through Newfield Network Europe and a professional certified coach with the International Coaching Federation. I am also a Certified Daring Way™ and Dare to Lead™ Facilitator, which allows me to bring the research and methodologies of Dr. Brené Brown to bear in my work.  

While I am proud of my accomplishments, none of these diplomas or certificates hang on my wall. Only the white belt – to remind me of my commitment to stay on the mat and keep learning.