Jill Douka: How I Built the Global Academy of Coaching Where Leaders Are Born


Jill is a strong proponent of the love for human potential. She strongly believes in the strengths and abilities of humanity. Jill assures us that an exceptional coach harnesses these strengths in their students and in themselves.

When Jill first became a master-certified coach she still did not let herself become complacent. She finds herself determined to see her students thrive, including overcoming cancer and turning a negative into a positive. This actively inspires her to continue being determined. 

As a coach, Jill has learnt skills for managing the downsides of life without getting beaten in the game of life. She knew from her coaching that it is possible to see yourself as a victor and not a victim even when she was in the middle of a difficult and tough situation.

Jill is an #1 International bestselling author and part of her vision is her focus to keeping the motivation necessary to complete your book. She describes her creative process including how she requests support from her accountability buddy.

For Jill, success means leading with excellence, focusing on what is important, moving the needle every single day, and playing an inspirational role in the lives of others. It is essential to her that a leader raises the bar and is constantly challenging their limits to get out of their comfort zone.

As a problem solver, Jill founded Global Academy of Coaching where she prioritises a holistic approach. After receiving a strong feeling of intuition, Jill started teaching the Global Academy of Coaching Leadership Certification which is now accredited by the international Coaching Federation and introduced coaching from the top 4% of coaches worldwide.

The Global Academy of Coaching is the Certification that offers 12 months for completion and teaches you how to build a client base as well as a business along the journey both academically and practically.

Read this interview and learn what motivated Jill to start Global Academy of Coaching, what particular circumstances have challenged Jill, and what she has to teach about excellent leadership.


Work on things that actually create an impact, and at the same time inspire others.

—Jill Douka


What do you believe are the qualities of an exceptional coach?


I love this question, thank you. So, I believe that an exceptional coach has to have some very, very specific qualities in order for them to be successful and bring extraordinary results to their clients. And let’s check them out.

First, love for human potential.

I believe that we really need to be in love with human potential, be in love with what we can become and really, really believe in people’s strengths and abilities. Now, one of the major bonuses StrengthsFinder offers includes future-focused insights.

So, I have this ability to see what people can become and, you know, who they can become in the future, which is so exciting.

It’s really important to hold that space for the pupil, to visualize a version of themselves in the future.

Another quality of an exceptional coach is being unwilling to ever, ever, ever stop becoming more—working really consciously on themselves. This enables them to start taking themselves to the next level.

Processing life and the challenges of life through this ability to make lemonade from life’s lemons is so important.

I’ll never forget when I was doing a training for the Greek chapter of The International Coaching Federation, and I had just become a master certified coach.

A master certified coach is within the top 4% of coaches globally set apart by the International Coach Federation.

They asked me, “so now you’ve became a master-certified coach. There’s no other credential. You’re in the top 4% of the world’s leading providers in coaching. So how do you feel now that you have a right to this claim?”

My immediate response was: “No, no, I haven’t arrived, and I may never arrive.” They were puzzled. That moment where I feel I’ve arrived at the peak of incredible coaching is the moment that I’ll no longer be good at what I do.

Part of our work as coaches is to always embrace more, to become more, every day.


What has been the most rewarding part of your journey so far?


It’s extremely rewarding seeing my students thrive. This might include beating cancer, but saying that, having cancer was for them one of the biggest blessings they ever experienced.

What a powerful reframing!

Reframing a horrible situation and making it work for us, not against us inspires me. Hearing this from a graduate who said that if she had not studied in GAC and done the inner work ahead of time, she would have committed suicide really brought tears to my eyes.

We have students that speak internationally too. I just love this so much. Students become authors and take a step forward, which brings out the value of coaching.

Another rewarding part of my journey is when, within six months, both of my parents passed away and I got a divorce, I experienced a huge breakdown in my life; yet through coaching, I found that I had the knowledge, the skills and the abilities to really cope with it—to process the feelings and, after a lot of inner work to see myself as a victor, not a victim. Victim mindsets come easily in that situation.

Having all this love and support from the Global Academy of Coaching students, my graduates, and my team of 20 partners at GAC, makes me proud. Where especially find pride is in the people who are actually graduates in these partnership roles – 90% of them in fact.

So, these are the instances that I really, really feel have been most rewarding along my journey.


How did you come up with the concept of your number one best-selling book, How to Create Your Life?


So I really felt the need five years ago when I published How to Create Your Life, which became a number one best-selling book, to have a practical guide within the framework of coaching that touches base with all the big challenges we’re going through: failure, negative self-talk, the inability to escape our comfort zone, building self-confidence, communication between men and women and how to build inner harmony.

Rather, I wanted to gather all the tools, the knowledge, and the abilities I use with my students and myself and have utilised since 2007 in coaching. These are the tools that have supported me and my pupils in living the lives we desire.

This is a book that you use as a workbook. It has easy-to-apply exercises so that you can have immediate results.

I would really like to offer this to our readers.

The first 40 pages via this free link: GAC — 40 pages From My Free e-book


What have been some of the biggest lessons learned while authoring four bestselling books, and what advice would you give to someone who’s just starting their own book?


For me, becoming an author has been a matter of pure vision and focus. My first step, let’s say, is to find clarity and get very clear on your vision, your why.

Why do you want to write this book?

What is the impact you desire to create?

Who is your potential reader?

Be very, very clear on these questions and keep the answers and the questions nearby while writing. I give this advice because it’s so important to always have this as your GPS to your goal. Having this next to you so that you are guided throughout your writing process is instructive and essential.

Now, writing a book requires a lot of focus.

Focus is based on discipline. I will share with you what I do when I’m writing a book.

I add specific blocks of time in my schedule only for writing or doing research. During those times, the phone is in a do-not-disturb mode. I only focus on this. And yes, sometimes I just might read another book or watch a relevant YouTube video; however, all the time is dedicated on the writing or undertaking background research work towards the book.

Another tool that I use is to request support from my accountability-buddy. I always have one specific accountability buddy right there to hold me accountable towards writing the book.


What do you think are the essential qualities in a successful coach or leader today that has changed from the past?


So many things have changed in the past years in the field of leadership coaching.

For me, a leader is to lead with excellence.

Excellence means a lot of different things for different people. So, I will share with you what it means to me. Leadership for me is focusing on what is important, on what your agenda is, and moving the needle every single day. Work on things that actually create an impact, and at the same time inspire others.

Leaders, like successful coaches, work on things that actually create an impact. Definitely raise the bar, always wanting to have more, become more and share more to get out of the notorious comfort zone. Do things that take you out there.

Also, another essential quality for me is to say no. Say no to everything that, while requiring attention, is not yielding results that we desire. Perhaps the results are not in line with the vision & focus that we have. So, focusing on results today has more essential importance than ever before.


What inspired you to create the Global Academy of Coaching?


I will share with you the story of why I created the Global Academy of Coaching Leadership Certification and thank you for asking.

Since 2007, I’ve been coaching. Some of my coaches started saying,

“Oh, Jill, I really love all the difference that coaching made in my life. I want to become a coach just like you.”

I didn’t know which certification to direct them to, because the certification that I checked lacked a holistic approach. For me, it’s so important that you develop yourself as a leader and learn how to become a great coach. This approach did not exist in any certification.

Then, they would start to train in different certifications out there, coming back to me and sharing what they learned along with how it went. I started freaking out because in many certifications they would learn that they had to have a set paper with their questions, which, when you’re really coaching, you cannot practically do.

This, and many other things that I knew were very, very wrong like sharing your opinion with the coachee. Not one of the certifications that they would study lent focus on learning the laws of the universe.

That was something that really hurt me.

And then, my beautiful friend, I got the direction, the download—whatever term you choose to express it. After I gave birth to Joy, she was three months old, I intuited that there was an opportunity to create a Global Academy of Coaching Leadership Certification.

I enrolled the first cohort of students in Cyprus. Now we started the certification, and it was six months long. In the first month students that started studying. When they finished, the feedback clearly stated that the studies amazed the students, changing their lives.

But they needed more time to really digest and walk-the-talk in everything they had learned.

The Global Academy of Coaching lasts 12 months: you have all the time to really become a leader, to digest everything that is important, to develop in order to actually become an incredible life coach and enter a clear niche.

It introduces you to having clients and building your business—the foundation to every coach’s unique journey.


What techniques do you use to ensure that your students are able to reach their goals?


The Global Academy of Coaching Leadership Certification is accredited by the International Coaching Federation, the largest coaching body in the world with a presence in over 150 countries and over 45,000 members.

The ICF has raised high global standards in coaching.

The professors in Global Academy of Coaching Leadership Certification sit amongst the top 4% of coaches globally, and you can understand that being trained by the top coaches, by default, really raises the bar.

So, first, you are trained by the best in the world.

Our goal is to produce and provide coaches, out there, bringing in clients, and sharing the wisdom of coaching—across the globe.

Our pupils coach from month No.1. We encourage them to get clients as early as possible. Building their business while they study is a priority; we have dedicated classes on marketing and sales to meet this. We certainly support them to release and burst their limiting beliefs towards money.

Books our students read include New York Times’s best-sellers, handpicked personal development books chosen by our esteemed professors.

We’re also working with the Global Academy of Coaching framework. It has a proven formula: it offered success to clients as far back as 2007.

All the above factors ensure the coaches at Global Academy of Coaching attain and sit at the pinnacle of top-tier coaches in the world to develop their own authentic leadership skills.

Can you share an example of a successful student that has been mentored by you?


So, as I previously mentioned, our goal is to have our students coaching, out there, and our students start coaching from month one.

I’ll never forget Katerina, who was paying off her tuition from month six, and George paid off his entire tuition from month five through coaching led by his studies.

Liana reminds me of one from my favorite stories. Liana, a student since 2007 created her vision board with us and just placed it in a drawer. She then moved, and by the time she saw it three years later, everything that she had on that vision board was a reality.

She manifested her awesome husband, she manifested her baby, the summer job, that she wanted to work on in yachting—everything manifested into reality.

Liana decided to share the coaching gift with others, and she studied at GAC as a life coach student. Today she’s one of the top parenting coaches anywhere.

Eva, another of my favourite success stories, headed the sales department in my team. Now, having graduated from Global Academy of Coaching, she coaches at an excellent level. Emilia, a Global Academy of Coaching graduate too, now teaches at Global Academy of Coaching herself as a professor.

There are countless success stories from GAC’s alumni.


You are rated 9.6/10 by your graduates. Practically perfect. How do you help people become better coaches and leaders through the Global Academy of Coaching Leadership Certification?


In our Global Academy of Coaching Leadership Certification, we harness our student’s personal development skills, first of all, so we can ensure they become leaders while training to coach with and for today’s elite.

They learn from the top 4% of coaches in the world.

So, naturally expectations climb really high.

Our goal is for our students to start working as coaches and share the wisdom of coaching as far and as soon out there as possible. Our students’ support system is extraordinary. The standards are very highly set by the criteria from an external body. That is, the International Coaching Federation.

I believe all of this is a combination to unlock success in our students from the certification.

Apart from that is the fact that all of us in Global Academy of Coaching feel we form a family. We love our students, we love human potential, and we strongly believe that coaching offers a real way for the world to progress and improve.

And this is what we’re doing. We’re building a better place in the world.

Do you want to learn more about Global Academy of Coaching – Life Coaching & Leadership Certification?

Book your complimentary coaching session here: Global Academy of Coaching – Contact Us

Jill Douka MBA, Master Certified Coach, 2x TEDx speaker

#1 Bestselling and Awarded Author of 3 books, awarded mentor by the European Union, sought after & internationally renowned speaker.

Founder of the Global Academy of Coaching – Life Coaching & Leadership Certification Accredited by authority of the International Coaching Federation, and together with top professors in the world, she trains high achievers to become the best coaches anywhere today.

Author of #1 International bestseller Create Love: 7 Secrets to Manifest your Perfect Match.

Author of #1 Bestseller How to Create Your Life.

Author of #1 Bestseller Suddenly Now.

Author of Woman Now.

Learn more about how you can work with Jill, here: Discovery Form Life Coaching Session with Jill Douka Master Coach: Enroll with the top 4% of coaches globally.


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