what is executive coaching

What is Executive Coaching?

What is Executive Coaching?

So why would someone consider being coached? Prior to answering that question, let’s define what coaching is.

ICF (International Coaching Federation) defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole. The coach’s responsibility is to: 1-Discover, clarify and align with what the client wants to achieve 2-Encourage client self-discovery 3-Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies 4-Hold the client responsible and accountable

Coaching is a powerful human relationship in which trained coaches assist people to design their future rather than get over their past. The coaches aid clients in creating visions and goals for all aspects of their lives as well as multiple strategies to support achieving those goals.

Coaching is not about listening for problems, pathologies, history, and pain and blocks – instead it’s about listening for possibilities, goals, dreams and aspirations. It’s about discovering, harnessing, and expanding on strengths and tools clients have, not about rooting out and tackling problems.

A metaphor used to explain is this – Clarifying focus is like charting a course on a sailboat. Clients know they want to get there and have many choices about how to do so. But they can’t start sailing until they know what island they want to visit. Coaching helps clients determine the destination – the coach helps the client explore various routes to get there. Knowing the routes helps. Successful sailors also adjust to various circumstances, such as wind shifts and storms.

*Adapted from Becoming a Professional Life Coach – Lesson from the Institute for Life Coaching Training – Patrick Williams, Diane S.Menedez

The coaching industry is thriving and growing over 20% per year. According to a Forbes 2014 survey, 71% of senior executives work with a coach and 92% of people being coached plan to continue to get coached.

Coaching is about helping you achieve winning the race with endurance, perseverance and joy.   That race could be scaling your business to a successful exit in the near term, it might be being a better leader in your educational company or it might be putting together a strategic plan for your Church or non-profit. You might think that achieving your goal is about a straight line to the finish but the reality is that there will be many different challenges and unforeseen difficulties. A coach will challenge you with questioning to provide clarity and success.

your plan


Another way to think about coaching is to compare it to consulting or therapy. With consulting, the objective is for an expert to come in and tell the organization what they should do whereas therapy focuses on healing wounds from the past. Coaching is about you, your potential and course to get there.


So is coaching something that you should consider to as you evaluate your life and your career? For me, it was extremely helpful in my career and allowed me to climb faster than my peers outside of my organization that did not have the benefit of a coach. I learned more than I thought possible about myself and how I interact with my colleagues. My coach helped me develop our strategic plan and clarify the organizational culture which allowed our organization to double. It was so powerful for me that I have dedicated the rest of my career to coaching and helping others discover their course, achieve their goals and make it matter. Specifically, I think that there are 7 clear benefits of coaching

  1. It allow you to see “blind spots” that you might not be able to see in yourself
  1. It provides an outlet for you to clarify your goals, dreams and objectives – An opportunity to talk through your internal thinking
  1. A coach will hold you accountable to your goals and be the person on the sideline cheering you along the way
  1. Specific results through measurable KPIs and ROI measurement
  1. Strategy support : the client will improve their strategy for achieving results they desire via the advice, support, questioning and open discussion provided by the coach
  1. Personal clarity on your business and your life
  1. Emotional support and understanding from a professional coach who many times has walked down a similar path to the path that the client is going down


One of the key things that needs to be considered when selecting a coach is the relationship fit between the client and the coach. Like any relationship, some work and some don’t. It is really important to explore the relationship and make sure there is a good fit prior to engaging in a coaching relationship.

So, think about the world of Olympic Athletes. Each of these world class athletes has a coach and many have more than one coach focusing on a different element of the individual. I envision a future where businesses build into their annual budgets, coaching. It is for everybody, not just the problem child or the rising star but for all leaders who want increased productivity and better results.

Coaching is best understood by exploring it and experiencing it personally. If you are interested in receiving a free coaching session to see if it is a fit for you, please contact me at marc.konesco@gmail.com. During our session which last between 60-90 minutes, we will explore your current situation, goals, and future. My gift at the end of the session to you is at least two tangible action items that will benefit personally or professionally.

“Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them. Clients say coaching brings out their best by helping them focus, break down tasks and clarify their values.” – Fortune Magazine 

“The goal of coaching is the goal of good management: to make the most of an organization’s valuable resources.” –  Harvard Business Review


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