Human Resources and Small Business & Startups

Partners launch leadership coaching firm

November 24, 2017
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Greg Mutch and Abbey Johnston
Greg Mutch, left, and Abbey Johnston. Courtesy AG Collaborative

A pair of local consultants have joined forces to start a firm that offers leadership development training based on mindfulness, clients' strengths and public speaking.

Greg Mutch and Abbey Johnston opened AG Collaborative, or AGC, this fall, a Grand Rapids-based leadership coaching firm that grew out of mutual friends connecting them as they ran separate consultancies, Gregory James Coaching and Abbey Coaching.

While their separate brands will continue in “a limited way,” Mutch said they will spend most of their efforts funneling their existing clientele and new clients into AGC.

They do not plan to open an office location. They will meet clients at their locations and rent West Michigan facilities for large group events.


Mutch said AGC's services include a mixture of individual and group coaching options.

“While one-on-one coaching is a regular component of the work, we also coach in a group context (workshop, retreat, team building, etc.),” Mutch said. “We pay attention to both the part (individual growth) and the whole (team and organization) for both individual and collective leadership effectiveness.”

AGC develops customized plans for each of its clients. Mutch said the firm also offers an Inside Leadership program it originally developed for Grand Valley State University.

“The Inside Leadership program … runs as a cohort for four to five months and includes group experiences and one-on-one coaching,” Mutch said. “We designed that program for GVSU but had a significant number of requests from people beyond that organization, so we decided to create a public offering.

“In this version, individuals can sign themselves up, or an organization can send one or two people at a time if they cannot invest in an entire group of 10 to 12 at one time.”


All the firm’s coaching will spring from the philosophy that “the inner game drives the outer game,” Mutch said.

“The outer game consists of the leadership behaviors and skills we deploy every day to be influential and effective leaders: setting goals, managing a team, financial management, communication and so on. … The inner game is comprised of our internal beliefs and assumptions, our meaning-making devices, how we make decisions, worldview, lenses, values and so on.”

Mutch will use his experience with mindfulness to help clients “cultivate presence and awareness,” and Johnston will help coach them through understanding their personal strengths and improving their ability to communicate with others through public speaking.

Johnston is a Gallup-certified StrengthsFinder coach, and Mutch is a certified professional co-active coach. They both are Leadership Circle Profile 360 certified.

AGC will host an Introduction to Mindfulness course on Dec. 2 in Holland, and it plans to host a public speaking workshop series.

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