As a young man, I was obsessed with excellence at work. More often than not, I fell short. My circumstances didn’t help. I was a white, midwestern 18 year old trying to learn the craft of sushi-making from a taciturn, exacting Japanese chef. To work in his kitchen, one had to unequivocally prove one’s mastery. This was difficult to do when we didn’t have his requisite level of trust to be given the tasks. I was at an impasse in my growth and learning because I could not fathom how to earn his trust without performing the tasks until I perfected them. Hanna offered to coach me and I was incredulous at first. I questioned her ability to coach me through the process of learning how to, say, clean and fillet a king salmon to my chef’s standards, using his traditional tools and techniques, but she was undaunted by the content of my tribulations. Her coaching centered around not what I was doing, but who I was being while I was doing it. She had me take small steps and make achievable milestones that she extracted from me through intent listening and a clear commitment to my success. In less than a year working with her, I was performing all of the tasks of a sushi chef, I heard real praise from my chef and he made me a huge offer, hiring me to open his next restaurant, which went on to do well over $2 million in sales in its first year. Then, he hired me as the general manager. Through it all, Hanna was my coach and guide. I still employ her approach to growth and learning today, albeit no longer to cut fish. Now it supports me as I work in leadership at one of the country’s largest and most successful grocery cooperatives. I credit Hanna and her approach for my facility with tackling complex problems as well as coaching and mentoring others.