University News

Coaching Alumni Profiles: Preston Peterson


by Whitney Hopler, Communications Manager

Preston Peterson, founder and co-owner of Sail the Seven C’s, LLC, already had many years of leadership experience in his work as an instructor, facilitator, consultant, and motivational speaker for a variety of federal government agencies and organizations when he decided to become a coach. After seeing the theme of taking care of self and others consistently come up among participants in leadership programs, Peterson was drawn to Mason’s Leadership Coaching for Organizational Well-Being program. “Research shows and it is clear to me that we can’t create organizational climates of success and high trust without a conscious focus on well-being for self, our relationships, and overall organization,” he says. “Mason’s program targets just this and is the main reason I chose to get involved.”

Peterson appreciated the past leadership coaching he had as a client and decided to pay it forward by learning how to coach others. “I’ve had coaches in years past and marveled at their use of powerful questions to help me reveal things about myself that would otherwise remain hidden,” says Peterson. “Their ability to genuinely connect with me and listen in profound ways sparked in me the desire to want to do likewise for others.”

Participating in Mason’s coaching program helped Peterson both personally and professionally, he says. Personally, it helped him be “more present, more often, and consciously there for my key relationships.” Professionally, says Peterson, “I’m now able to delve deep into coaching, as well as informing my delivery and facilitation of leadership learning experiences at all levels.”

The relationships and innovative learning experiences together were especially powerful parts of the coaching program for Peterson. “While the curriculum is both broad and deep and based in genuine science, I found the best part of the program to be the faculty and my fellow participants,” he says. “The participant-centered learning we created together was powerful and will stay with me for a lifetime.”

Peterson encourages others to apply for the program and become leadership coaches themselves. “If you are hesitant to get involved, ignore this and jump in full force. You won’t be sorry you did. It will be a lot of work but well worth your diligent effort. In the end you and others will be far better for your commitment.”

Connect with Peterson through his website at, on Facebook at or by emailing him at

Apply to join the next cohort here