The Coaching Organization: A Strategy for Developing Leaders


James M. Hunt & Joseph R. Weintraub

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    In our previous book, The Coaching Manager: Developing Top Talent in Business, we explored developmental coaching, how thoughtful managers can and do help their direct reports learn on the job. We have been gratified by the interest shown in our effort to put forth real-world “best practices.” Some managers really do coach their people! We found them and tried to tell their story. However, it was a story of individuals, not of organizations.

    Over the past decade, we have noted two major trends under the rubric of “coaching” within organizations. First, the business press would suggest that it is a fad: “Everyone has to have a coach.” Fads don't do well in business over the long haul.

    Second, we have noted a growing number of serious organizations and leaders within some organizations making a concerted effort to use various forms of coaching in a strategic way. These organizations are doing their best to really create value from their efforts, value for the individuals involved and value for their organizations. As with the perhaps not-so-rare “coaching manager,” we felt that it was critically important to tell the story of “coaching organizations.” If the individuals who are trying to use coaching in a systematic and strategic fashion don't carry the day, then trend Number 1, coaching as a fad, will win out.

    We believe in developmental coaching, but we also believe that organizational leaders and their financial advisors are more likely to share that belief if and only if it helps their organizations achieve success. We wanted to find out if this does happen and, if so, how. We close this book with a comment much like the one we make now: There is not enough research on coaching in organizational contexts to give us the answer we need. So we had to start somewhere, with organizations and organizational leaders who were trying to use coaching to help their organizations. Can we prove that they have been successful in this effort? No, not yet. We challenge scholars and practitioners who are serious about linking people and strategy to help us move ahead on that front. For now, we present a number of best-practice cases and what we have learned from them.

    Most importantly, this is a book for human resource professionals, organizational effectiveness professionals, leadership development practitioners, and organizational leaders who are interested in building an organizational coaching capability, a systematic approach to using developmental coaching to help achieve business results. We have gone to the field and talked with a great many people who are involved in the effort to create coaching organizations and asked for their experiences and their ideas. We present both here, to the best of our abilities, and with the help of a number of case coauthors. It is our hope that others who are charged with leadership development in their firms will find ideas here that will help them organize an approach to coaching, rather than dealing with coaching-related issues on an ad hoc or reactive basis.

    Just to give two examples of the latter,

    • A human resource (HR) professional calls because he has been tasked by the CEO to “bring in a coach” to help a derailing executive. The HR person has no idea what the key issues are but does his best to find a qualified coach. Unfortunately, he is about to unleash a chain of events that may result in his firm becoming “coaching-unfriendly.” And he may expose his firm to a variety of risks in the process.
    • A training and development professional wants to provide coaching-skills training for his supervisors. He brings in an off-the-shelf coaching-skills-training program, albeit a well-constructed one. Supervisors are forced to go to the program. The idea of coaching makes sense to them. But when they return to work, they don't have a clue regarding how to apply what they have learned. Their own bosses, by the way, think that the whole idea is silly.

    The reactive approach to coaching is event oriented and typically disconnected from where the business is going. As such, it is likely to fail. Failure brings with it some significant consequences, not the least of which is that organizational members are unlikely to spend much more time thinking about how they can best help their people grow. This has some very serious consequences for businesses, health care institutions, and not-for-profits that exist in a rapidly changing environment. In the absence of on-the-job learning, most organizations cannot be expected to mount an effective response to the challenges they face. They will be left with the “sink-or-swim” approach to employee development, an approach largely rejected now by industrial leaders (thank-you, Jack Welch). It just does not work.

    Coaching (all varieties of developmental coaching), offers organizations a real opportunity to provide cost-effective learning experiences for individuals that build directly on their work. This statement reflects our bias, but we really do believe that the strategic use of developmental coaching leads to a win-win situation. It is good for employees and good for their firms. However, developmental coaching conversations have to be properly conducted to be effective. Coaching initiatives or interventions at the organizational level likewise need to be properly constructed. We hope this book will help. Here is our plan.

    Chapters 1 through 4 represent a deep dive into the background of a strategic use of developmental coaching in an organizational context. We lay out the challenge and the basic options in Chapter 1 by exploring the rationale for an organizational view of coaching, and we offer a quick overview of the options for creating a coaching organization. These options, which will structure our presentation in the second half of the book, including engaging managers in a developmental coaching culture for their direct reports, the use of expert coaching provided either by external consultants or internal coaches employed by their organizations, and an exciting “naturalistic” development in the organizational coaching world, peer coaching. The use of each of these has pros and cons, requires decision making, and must be managed so as to grow the coaching capability. Each coaching activity should leave the organization, not just the individuals involved, in better shape for the next coaching engagement.

    Chapter 2 describes developmental coaching in some detail. This will be a review for the well informed. For those who don't have a good understanding of developmental coaching, as opposed to other forms of coaching, this is a “must read.”

    Chapter 3 presents an organizational assessment that the reader can use to help consider his or her organization's readiness for a coaching initiative and what kind of coaching initiative would make the most sense under their unique circumstances. Coaching initiatives have to link to an organization's business needs or strategy and culture. Every coaching initiative should be custom tailored.

    In Chapter 4, we summarize a strategic view of coaching and the kinds of changes one might hope to see from the exercise of a strategic perspective. Ultimately, these developments all move toward greater use of developmental coaching tools by managers and the creation of a more learning-oriented organizational culture.

    This brings us to Chapter 5 and the Whirlpool Corporation story. We have been thoroughly impressed by Whirlpool's deployment of most of the tools and ideas we discuss in this book. Their approach to coaching is strategic and comprehensive. It has senior management support and involvement. It is seen as essential to their business success. We present only one example of how they have used coaching to support their business needs. Coaching is not a fad at Whirlpool.

    In Chapter 6, we discuss the management of coaching. If an organization is to build a coaching capability, someone has to be responsible for it. It may not be a full-time job, but some ONE has to own it (something we learned in MBA school). We describe in some depth what ownership of that task means and offers for the World Bank, and give an in-depth example from Omgeo LLC of Summer Turner, who runs their coaching initiative.

    In Chapter 7, we begin a more in-depth exploration of various options for coaching initiatives. Expert coaching provided by internal coaches is a growing and thoughtful trend. We explore the role and qualifications of the internal coach, as well as some of the challenges associated with the role. In Chapter 8, we present an example of a well-constructed internal coaching program at Wachovia Corporation. Again, we note that there is careful attention given to the management of coaching, linking it with business strategy, and ongoing attention given to the quality of its outputs.

    Similarly, in Chapter 9, we describe the challenges of creating a cadre of “coaching managers;” and in Chapter 10, we present a description of a major coaching initiative at Children's Hospital Boston. Here, we see the role of cultural and organizational readiness. Similarly, in Chapter 11, we describe peer coaching as deployed at Citizens Financial Group. In both cases, we see the power of senior-management support.

    Throughout, we invite you to put on your own “leadership hat” and consider what you and your colleagues can do to make the best use of coaching in your organizations. Move through the book and make notes. Look for ideas that might work in your context. This field is still in its infancy, so we encourage you to join us in the process of learning how we can make the most out of helping those we work with learn from experience.


    We would like to start by thanking Al Bruckner and MaryAnn Vail from Sage Publishing for their patience with us. This has been a long process, in large measure because we hoped to offer a number of real-life examples. We hope that your patience has been rewarded!

    This book represents a continued exploration of the role that developmental coaching plays in organizations. As such, we cannot move forward without thanking those who made it possible for us to start this journey: Babson College and the Babson College Alumni Association. Babson is an amazing and wonderful community. Every year, 800 or so of our alumni and advanced-MBA students join us to provide a developmental coaching experience for our undergraduates through the Coaching for Leadership and Teamwork Program ( We cannot thank everyone associated with the coaching program enough for allowing us to participate in this community. In particular, since our last book, the Alumni Association has continued to assert positive leadership in guiding the Babson College coaching program and encouraging us to expand our reach beyond the borders of the campus. We would like to particularly thank in that regard Amy Weil, Dan Riley, Patrick McGonagle, Steve Gaklis, Lisa Rose, and Doug Adams. We also want to thank Kristen Shulman, manager of the coaching program, for her support and for being such a great colleague. Bob Bonnevie, also a faculty member of the Coaching for Leadership and Teamwork Program, also deserves our thanks for his support and friendship.

    We would like to formally thank Charles C. Barton for his support of our ongoing efforts through the generous grant of two term chairs. We receive tremendous support at Babson from Dean Patti Greene and the Undergraduate Program Academic Services Group. Patti has stepped up to help us in numerous ways, and her support and validation for this effort have been invaluable. We would also like to thank everyone on her team, including Rob Major, Richard Mandel, and their colleagues.

    Our work has expanded far beyond the borders of the campus and has involved us in some exciting relationships with individuals, many of who are named in this book. We want to thank in particular Lew Stern, Judy Otto, Susan Ennis, Bill Hodgetts, Bob Goodman, and Dick Mansfield from The Executive Coaching Forum, from whom we have learned so much about executive coaching and whose dedication to the creation of appropriate standards of practice has been so important to the field. Catherine Fitzgerald, one of the top executive coaches in the United States, has been an inspiration throughout, and we thank her for her behind-the-scenes support. Derek Steinbrenner, from Cambria Consulting, has been a good friend and support throughout.

    We also wish to offer a special thanks to those individuals who gave of their time and energy to contribute to the book through opening their doors and providing us case study material and, in some instances, serving as coauthors to their cases. In that regard, we would like thank Patty Hickey, Susan Shaw, Herminia Shermont, and Eilene Sporing from Children's Hospital Boston; Summer Turner from Omgeo LLC; Steve Leichtman; Nina Mickelson from the World Bank; Colleen Gentry from Wachovia Corporation; Christine Williams from NASA; Joe Frodsham from Tenet Healthcare; Nancy Snyder from Whirlpool; Fabio Sala from Millennium Pharmaceuticals; Paul Carroll from Citizens Financial Group; and Ellen Kumata from Cambria Consulting, for their active participation in this effort to put forth a robust view of what coaching could be.

    Last, but certainly not least, we would like to thank our families, Chris and Molly Hunt, and Carol, Sarah, and Sylvia Weintraub, for their help and love. Chris read every word of this book, numerous times! We could not have done this without you!

  • Concluding Remarks: The Frontiers of the Coaching Organization

    In The Coaching Organization, we have tried to offer some best-practices examples of strategy and execution in the use of developmental coaching to promote employee and particularly leadership development. The study of coaching is young. This should not be considered the last word on the subject, but rather some pioneering words from individuals and organizations that have shown up relatively early on the scene. We had several major goals in this effort. First, and perhaps foremost, we would like to encourage decision makers in organizations to think carefully about developmental coaching as an organizational capacity. Developmental coaching, when properly managed, is a tool—a very powerful tool, if the research is to be believed (Buckingham & Coffman, 1999, for instance).

    When conditions are right, developmental coaching is a tool that can be built up and can ultimately represent a real competitive advantage for a business. Likewise, developmental coaching can give a not-for-profit organization the opportunity to more assertively fulfill its mission through strengthening employee engagement and enhancing employee performance, short- and long term.

    We are painfully aware, however, that we have stumbled into the larger morass of human resource and talent management. We say “morass” because of the somewhat discouraging finding that relatively few organizations actually practice human resource management in a fashion that can offer them sustained competitive advantage (Pfeffer, 1998). There is a tremendous gap between what people know and what they do in this area.

    The effective management of human resources, human capital really, can help a business fulfill its mission, but for the most part, we don't follow through on that knowledge. This leaves lots of running room for the Southwest Airlines's of the world, companies that have integrated a strategic view of their talent into the very heart and soul of their business models. What does this mean for the practice of developmental coaching?

    It likely means that too many organizations will continue to view coaching as a fad, something to be taken to heart in an ad hoc way and ultimately discarded when it disappoints. The failure to view coaching as a capability to be managed, as we have stressed, harms the entire enterprise. An old mentor to one of the authors once made the point that “bad competition is worse than no competition at all.” We hope that that he was wrong. Additional research may help.

    Recent trends in the measurement of human capital are promising. There is a need to tease out and document what works. However, this effort will likely require much more sophisticated analyses than that found in simple return-on-investment (ROI) studies. When a good organization manages the inputs to coaching (i.e., the coachees), they are likely to choose individuals who can have a significant impact on their business units or the organization as a whole. Some of the ROI studies on coaching that have been done to date report massive returns (see Anderson, 2003, for example). Stratospheric ROI can be delivered by just one individual who uses coaching in a way that helps the individual do great things.

    Such an analysis certainly argues for being careful about who receives expert coaching. However, it does not address some of the broader and perhaps more important issues that we face. We have seen institutions such as Whirlpool, Wachovia, and Children's Hospital Boston make efforts to greatly expand the impact of coaching in their organizations through a variety of means. We need research that can help us sort out the impact of those interventions on middle management or, when leadership is required across the organization, on everyone. We challenge more academic researchers to explore the field of coaching and address some of the questions raised through these case studies and accompanying analyses. There is much work to be done.


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    Appendix A: The Competencies of the Expert Executive Coach

    SusanEnnis, RobertGoodman, WilliamHodgetts, JamesHunt, RichardMansfield, JudyOtto, and LewStern

    The model presents a hypothesized list of the competencies associated with effective executive coaching outcomes. It was developed through a reflective dialogue with a group of highly seasoned executive coaches. Two of those coaches had also served as practice managers within organizations, responsible for building and maintaining a coaching capability. This model is not meant to be exhaustive or final. However, it should be useful to those responsible for hiring or training expert coaches, to coaches interested in rounding out their skill sets, and to those responsible for educating future expert coaches. Obviously, it may need to be modified to fit specific organizational, business, or cultural requirements.

    Competencies that involve knowledge, skills, and personal attributes are described in the model. Areas of knowledge associated with effective expert coaching include the following:

    • Psychological knowledge
    • Business acumen
    • Organizational behavior and development knowledge
    • Knowledge of coaching theory

    Skills required by coaches include those related to the following:

    • Building and maintaining coaching relationships
    • Contracting
    • Assessment
    • Development planning
    • Facilitating development and change
    • Ending formal coaching and transitioning to long-term development

    Attributes required for coaching include the following:

    • Mature self-confidence
    • Positive energy
    • Assertiveness
    • Interpersonal sensitivity
    • Openness and flexibility
    • Demonstrating a goal orientation
    • Partnering and influence
    • Continuous learning and development
    • Integrity

    We now present the model with appropriate anchors in more detail:

    Knowledge Areas
    Psychological Knowledge
    • Personality theories
    • Models of human motivation
    • Adult development theories, including moral, intellectual, emotional, relational, and spiritual development
    • Models of adult learning
    • Models of career development
    • Models of personal and behavioral change
    • Work-life balance
    • Stress management knowledge
    • Social psychology and how social factors impact individual and group behavior
    • How to identify individuals in need of psychological or medical referral
    • Models of emotional intelligence
    • The role of gender differences in adulthood
    • Models and methods of 360-degree feedback
    • Models of personal and leadership style (e.g., MBTI, DISC)
    Business Acumen
    • Business practices and concepts
    • Basic financial concepts (e.g., income and balance sheets)
    • Business functions and their interdependencies
    • The strategic-planning process and its relationship with team and individual goal setting
    • Basic information technologies and the role of information technology in business (e.g., Enterprise Resource Planning software)
    • Process improvement technologies
    • Global capitalism and global firms
    • The differences between regulated and nonregulated businesses
    • The differences between for-profit and not-for-profit businesses
    • The key leadership roles of organizations (e.g., COO, CFO, CTO, CEO, executive director, board chair, etc.)
    • Knowledge of current business events, issues, and trends
    • Management principles and processes
    • Human resource management programs and processes
    • The appropriate use of communication technologies
    Organizational Knowledge
    • Basic organizational structures, systems, and processes, including functional, divisional, and matrix organizational forms as well as the behavioral patterns associated with each
    • Organizational assessment and diagnosis
    • Organizational design and development principles and practices
    • The impact and role of organizational cultures and subcultures
    • The phases of team development and the characteristics of effective team leadership
    • Models of leadership
    • Leadership development programs and processes
    • Organization development methodologies
    • Organizational systems theory
    • The nature and role of organizational politics, power, and influence
    • Organizational change management theories and practices
    • Consulting theory and practices
    • The role of ethics in business and in organizational consulting
    • Models of the learning organization
    • Models of succession and leadership transition
    Coaching Knowledge
    • The history of executive coaching
    • Executive coaching models and theories
    • The definitions of coaching and executive coaching as a specialty practice
    • Seven overarching principles for executive coaching: systems perspective, results orientation, business focus, partnership, competence, integrity, and judgment
    • Seven guidelines for practicing the different phases of executive coaching by the coach, the executive, and the executive's organization: managing confidentiality, precoaching activities, contracting, assessment, goal setting, coaching, and transitioning to long-term development
    • The underlying principles and approaches of the different types of coaching and how they differ from and/or can be incorporated into executive coaching
    • The distinction between executive coaching and other models of coaching
    • The role of manager as coach and the impact of executive coaching on the development of that capability
    • The roles coaches can play and when and how to effectively apply them (e.g., trainer, mentor, advisor, etc.)
    • The differences between executive coaching and other helping methods for executives (e.g., counseling, consulting, therapy, mentoring, etc.)
    • How coaching theories and methods apply to various situations of individual coaching clients
    • How to tailor the coaching process to adapt it to the unique needs and circumstances of the coachee and the organization
    • Measurement of coaching outcomes and processes
    • Research findings on executive coaching (past and emerging)
    • The core competencies of executive coaches
    • The wide variety of available coaching resources (e.g., books, articles, Internet sites, tools, etc.)
    • How to maintain and implement a continuous plan for one's own professional development
    Coaching Skills
    Building and Maintaining Coaching Relationships
    • Build and sustain trust
    • Hold the coachee, his or her boss, and human resources accountable
    • Identify and manage resistance and conflict
    • Influence with and without authority
    • Maintain confidentiality on sensitive organizational and individual issues
    • Hold multiple perspectives
    • Solicit feedback on one's own performance as coach
    • Use the coaching relationship as a tool to help the coachee
    • Maintain the balance of the close coaching relationship and professional boundaries
    • Make and explain observations about what goes on in the coaching relationship and its similarities and differences to the coachee's other relationships
    • Appropriately challenge the coachee and deal with his or her defensiveness without impairing the coaching relationship
    • Evaluate the readiness of the coachee for coaching
    • Engage all appropriate constituents in goal setting and agenda setting for the coaching (e.g., coachee, boss, human resources, others)
    • Obtain commitment and support from all appropriate constituents
    • Establish guidelines for confidentiality
    • Establish the role in the coaching of the boss and human resources
    • Facilitate agenda-setting and goal-setting meetings between the coachee, his or her boss, and the human resource professional
    • Develop realistic and challenging coaching goals
    • Set realistic time frames for accomplishing the coaching goals
    • Recontract when appropriate
    • Tailor the coaching process to the unique needs of the coachee and the organization
    • Design assessment plans
    • Administer and interpret 360-degree-feedback instruments and measures of personal and leadership style (e.g., MBTI, DISC)
    • Interview the coachee and his or her key constituents
    • Unobtrusively observe/shadow the coachee in his or her work environment
    • Gather data from multiple sources, aggregate them, and present the results and implications in a useful format
    • Use the results of assessment tools and instruments to evaluate the coachee's strengths, weaknesses, abilities, tendencies, preferences, behavior patterns, emotions, thinking styles, opportunities, constraints, and other factors important to coaching
    • Use the results of assessment tools, instruments, and other methods to evaluate the coachee's organizational context (e.g., characteristics, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, constraints, etc.)
    • Refer when appropriate to employee assistance programs, career counselors, or other specialists for the administration, scoring, and interpreting of assessments
    • Identify the coachee's learning style
    Development Planning
    • Partner with human resources
    • Conduct debriefing and feedback sessions with the coachee about the assessments and 360-degree results
    • Establish specific coaching goals (e.g., behavioral, cognitive, skills, business, relationships, etc.)
    • Help the coachee design and create action plans and a coaching time table
    • Help the coachee, his or her boss, and human resources to review assessment results within agreed-upon guidelines for confidentiality and translate those results into actionable coaching strategies
    • Establish qualitative and quantitative measures of results for the coaching goals
    • Determine what can be achieved in coaching and recommend appropriate training and other methods to achieve other developmental goals
    • Quickly identify the need for and make referrals to other helping professionals
    • Gain commitment for the coachee's self-management of coaching action plans
    • Help the boss to provide useful feedback and coach the coachee as his or her manager
    Facilitating Development and Change Through Coaching
    • Take the coachee's point of view and offer alternative points of view
    • Show accurate empathy
    • Listen actively and respectfully
    • Communicate clearly, concisely, and directly
    • Provide constructive feedback
    • Observe the coachee's behavior in coaching sessions and provide real-time feedback
    • Offer specific strategies and suggest behavior changes
    • Demonstrate and serve as a role model in the coaching for new work methods and ways of communicating
    • Create and raise awareness
    • Design assignments that encourage experimentation, reflection, and learning
    • Ask powerful questions
    • Support and confront appropriately
    • Challenge assumptions
    • Solicit solutions
    • Swiftly translate ideas into action plans
    • Develop management, executive, and leadership skills
    • Provide learning resources as needed (e.g., reading, models, etc.)
    • Involve the boss as the ongoing coach
    • Measure and monitor the coaching process and results
    • Address new issues and learning opportunities as they arise
    • Be aware of and recognize one's own part in the coachee's problem or situation through various methods (e.g., peer supervision, consultation, etc.)
    • Coach the boss to better support the coachee and his or her business and coaching objectives
    Ending Formal Coaching and Transitioning to Long-Term Development
    • Identify the appropriate ending point in the formal coaching process
    • Initiate discussion with the coachee, his or her manager, and others in the organization about bringing the formal coaching to an end
    • Work with the coachee to identify ongoing developmental supports and resources in his or her environment and to establish a transition/ending plan
    • Work with the coachee to establish postcoaching developmental goals and a plan for meeting those goals
    • Work toward and encourage the coachee's independence
    • Encourage the coachee to continue learning on his or her own
    • Conduct formal ending meeting with the coachee, his or her manager, and human resources
    • Leave open the possibility for future coaching as the need arises and within the guidelines of the coaching contract
    Coaching Attributes
    Mature Self-Confidence
    • Appears comfortable with himself or herself
    • Shows maturity; demonstrates that he or she has gained wisdom from personal and professional experience
    • Shows confidence; places an appropriate value on his or her own abilities and perspectives
    • Shows humility; demonstrates awareness that success usually follows from the efforts of a group or team of other individuals, not solely from one's own efforts
    Positive Energy
    • Shows energy, optimism, and enthusiasm
    • Effectively manages his or her emotions
    • Demonstrates resilience; bounces back after mistakes and failures
    • Demonstrates an appropriate sense of humor
    • Helps the coachee to appreciate his or her strengths and ability to overcome barriers
    • Helps the coachee to imagine new possibilities
    • Conveys hopefulness
    • Asserts himself or herself and appropriately says “no” to set limits
    • Confronts coachees and others who are not following through on commitments
    • Speaks directly with others even when discussing difficult or sensitive issues
    • Addresses conflict with others directly and constructively
    • Communicates in ways that reflect respect for one's own worth and the worth of others
    Interpersonal Sensitivity
    • Shows empathy with others
    • Is sensitive to the way his or her style impacts others or fits with the needs of others
    • Demonstrates an interest in people; shows curiosity about the lives, goals, experiences, and perspectives of others
    • Shows compassion and demonstrates concern for the needs and emotional well-being of others
    • Demonstrates tact; gives difficult or critical information to others in a respectful and supportive fashion
    • Learns and remembers other people's most important concerns
    • Uses active listening techniques (e.g., maintaining full attention, periodically summarizing, being nonjudgmental) to reflect and acknowledge the other person's feelings and concerns
    Openness and Flexibility
    • Is able to understand and appreciate perspectives that differ from his or her own
    • Tailors his or her own approach to fit the preferences and needs of the coachee
    • Demonstrates flexibility; changes course or approach when the situation demands it
    • Understands and relates to individuals and groups from a variety of cultures with values different from his or her own culture
    • Seeks out and uses feedback to enhance the coaching engagement
    Goal Orientation
    • Sets challenging but achievable goals for himself or herself
    • Helps coachees to identify and set realistic and challenging goals
    • Is highly motivated toward the pursuit of his or her goals
    • Shows resourcefulness; seeks out or helps others seek out solutions under difficult or challenging conditions
    • Demonstrates stability; stays on tasks for extended periods of time
    • Shows persistence; does not give up when faced with a challenge
    • Demonstrates the ability to organize work; effectively plans and manages resources and time when pursuing a goal
    Partnering and Influence
    • Carefully plans and tailors his or her own words in ways that achieve a desired impact
    • Presents arguments that address others' most important concerns and issues
    • Involves others as partners in a process, to gain their support and buy-in
    • Shows interest in and comfort with the context in which the coaching is taking place (e.g., for-profits, not-for-profits, health care organizations, the public sector, marketing, finance, sales, research and development, etc.)
    • Shares some of the values of those in the context in which the coaching is taking place and has a fundamental comfort with private enterprise and/or public endeavors
    • Demonstrates inclusiveness by encouraging the participation of multiple stakeholders
    Continuous Learning and Development
    • Seeks feedback to enhance overall coaching effectiveness
    • Assesses and addresses gaps in his or her own knowledge and skills
    • Undertakes study and learning to enhance skills that will contribute to his or her coaching
    • Takes and holds an ethical stand regardless of financial or other pressures
    • Carefully maintains appropriate confidentiality in all dealings
    • Determines what is appropriate through careful contracting in his or her coaching and consulting relationships, with the goal of meeting the needs of all stakeholders
    • Demonstrates personal integrity; “walks the talk”
    • Appears genuine, honest, and straightforward regarding his or her agenda and needs
    • Focuses on and puts the client's needs ahead of his or her own needs
    • Makes and keeps commitments to others
    • Avoids a coaching workload that compromises the quality of the coaching service
    • Respects the established relationships between the client and other providers of coaching, consulting, and/or other services

    Appendix B: The Coaching Manager Self-Assessment

    The following self-assessment tool was designed to assist managers in identifying their strengths and developmental opportunities with regard to the provision of developmental coaching to their direct reports. The model underlying the assessment includes behaviors associated with the following:

    • Self-awareness
    • Promoting learning
    • Communication
    • Accessibility
    • Listening
    • Creating a trusting environment

    The self-assessment in its entirety begins on the next page.

    SOURCE: Adapted from Levin, Hunt, and Weintraub (2003).

    The Coaching Manager: Self-Assessment Form

    This coaching manager assessment instrument includes 27 behavioral statements. To the right of each statement, you have a choice of the following:

    Please indicate your response to each item by placing an “X” in the appropriate box:

    About the Authors

    Dr. James M. Hunt is Associate Professor of Management, Chair of the Management Division, and Charles C. Barton Term Chair at Babson College, in Wellesley, Massachusetts. He teaches management, strategic human resource management, and leadership. James is also a faculty member of the Leadership and Influence Program at Babson's School of Executive Education. Previously, he served on the faculty of Clark University's Graduate School of Management. James is the coauthor, with Dr. Joseph Weintraub, of The Coaching Manager: Developing Top Talent in Business (Sage Publications, 2002).

    James is faculty codirector of the Coaching for Leadership and Teamwork Program at Babson. The Babson coaching program provides developmental coaching for Babson students working toward enhancing their competencies in leadership and teamwork. Each year, the faculty trains over 600 Babson Alumni and MBA students in coaching techniques and development planning. He has conducted published research in executive coaching and leadership development and is a faculty member of the Professional Executive Coaches Program of the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. He is also a member of The Executive Coaching Forum, a group of executive coaches, coaching practice managers, and researchers devoted to improving the practice and standards of executive coaching.

    James is also a founder of Hunt Associates, a career and leadership development firm that provides executive coaching, career counseling, employee assistance programs, and strategic human resource consulting ( Since 1990, Hunt Associates has worked with companies such as the Bose Corporation, 3Com, Genzyme, and Stratus Computer. James graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a bachelor of science degree and received the doctorate in business administration from Boston University's Graduate School of Management, where he studied career and leadership development and work-life balance. He can be reached at

    Dr. Joseph R. Weintraub is a Professor of Management and the Charles C. Barton Term Chair at Babson College, in Wellesley, Massachusetts. He is the founder and faculty codirector of the Coaching for Leadership and Teamwork Program, which has trained over 6,000 coaches since the program's inception. Dr. Weintraub is a faculty director at Babson Executive Education, where he develops and conducts executive development programs in leadership and coaching for both domestic and global companies. He is a member of the board of directors of the Graduate School Alliance for Executive Coaching, an organization of graduate-level schools dedicated to advancing the discipline of executive coaching. He is a past president of the Human Resources Council, a Boston-based association of human resources executives. His work has appeared in many publications, including Fortune, Entrepreneur, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Harvard Management Update. His paper on coaching (with Dr. James Hunt) was awarded the “Best Management Development Paper” by the Academy of Management, the largest professional association of business school professors in the world. He is the coauthor (with Dr. James Hunt) of The Coaching Manager: Developing Top Talent in Business (Sage Publications, 2002), which is also published in India and China.

    Dr. Weintraub is also the founder and president of Organizational Dimensions, a management consulting firm in Wellesley, Massachusetts, specializing in leadership training and development, assessment, team building, and executive coaching. Dr. Weintraub has consulted with many organizations, including General Electric, Duke Energy, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Dunkin' Donuts, Children's Hospital Boston, P&O Ports, Fidelity Investments, Titleist Golf, Marriott, and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Much of his current work focuses on helping organizations develop leaders through the integration of assessment, feedback, and developmental coaching. He is also actively involved in the development of certification programs for internal organizational coaches.

    Dr. Weintraub is one of the developers of Star-Teams Insights™, a Web-based assessment report providing developmental feedback in the areas of leadership, teamwork, communications, and work style ( He received his BS degree from the University of Pittsburgh and both his MA and PhD degrees in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Bowling Green State University. Dr. Weintraub can be reached at

    About the Contributors

    Laura Bobotas, RN, BSN, is the Nurse Manager of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children's Hospital Boston. She is an outstanding leader who exemplifies the coaching manager in all that she does. The principles of coaching are embedded into the NICU program for new graduates. This has resulted in a 100% retention rate after 2 years. Laura has nationally presented successful strategies for fostering a coaching culture in health care.

    Paul Carroll is an Instructional Designer and Program Manager at Citizens Financial Group in Providence, Rhode Island. He has 11 years of experience in the training and development field and has worked in several training positions at various financial institutions, including BankBoston, Boston Financial, and Citizens Bank. While offering leadership and organizational development solutions in his current position, Paul is studying to be a certified financial planner (CFP ®) to complement his training and development background.

    Susan Ennis, founder of Susan Ennis Associates, is an executive development consultant with over 25 years of experience. She coaches senior executives and high potential managers from bio-tech, financial services, medical products, high tech, public safety, and non-profit think tanks. Susan specializes in executive level competency modeling and applications such as 360 assessment and development, selection, executive orientations and succession planning. Susan helps companies set up executive coaching systems, along with sourcing, qualifying and brokering executive coaches. As a founding member of The Executive Coaching Forum, Susan has been at the forefront of establishing guidelines and professional standards for the practice of executive coaching. Previously, Susan was the acting Vice President of Learning and Development for Millennium Pharmaceuticals.

    Joe Frodsham is Vice President of Talent for Tenet Healthcare in Dallas, Texas. Before he joined Tenet, Joe was the Corporate Director of Leadership and Professional Development at Whirlpool Corporation. He is originally from western Canada and received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Brigham Young University. Joe has worked with some of the most successful companies in the world and has led groups and successful transformational changes in companies such as Compaq Computer Corporation and Anderson Consulting. He is seen as a thought leader on leadership and organizational development, is a sought-after speaker, and is the coauthor of the book, Make It Work: Navigate Your Career Without Leaving Your Organization.

    Colleen Gentry is Senior Vice President, Executive Development for Wachovia Corporation, the nation's fourth-largest financial services firm. She leads Wachovia's Executive Coaching Practice, which is nationally recognized and benchmarked as a best practice in the arena of corporate coaching and executive development. Prior to her current role, she provided organizational development consulting for several Fortune 200 firms over the past 20 years. Her expertise includes culture integration, executive team development, succession planning, and high-potential development, as well as leading several leadership development functions throughout her career. Colleen is an active member of the Conference Board's Executive Coaching Council, the National OD Network, the New York Coaching Coalition, the International Enneagram Association, and the International Coach Federation. She lives with her partner and husband, and teenage son in Charlotte, North Carolina, but heads to the mountains whenever she can.

    Robert Goodman, founder of RG Goodman Associates, has fifteen years experience helping organizations and individuals perform more effectively around critical business issues. He coaches executives at all levels, including Board Chairs, CEO's, managing partners and group and team leaders. His clients include Barker Steel, Pick ‘n Pay, Inc., Omgeo, Pfizer, Citigroup, Fidelity Management Resources, Putnam Investments and Thompson Financial. Trained at Harvard in Human Development, Bob is a Clinical Associate at McLean Hospital and Clinical Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School. He is a founding board member of The Executive Coaching Forum, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing best practices and ethical guidelines worldwide in the field of executive coaching.

    Patricia A. Hickey, RN, MS, MBA, CNAA, is Vice President of Cardiovascular and Critical Care Services at Children's Hospital Boston. Patty is a transformational leader who has a passion for cultivating talent. Her expertise in program and leadership development is internationally recognized. Her work is extensively published, and she presents regularly at national and international meetings. As a former student of Drs. Hunt and Weintraub, Patty saw the potential for their work at Children's Hospital and co-led the implementation of the coaching leadership model at Children's Hospital Boston.

    William Hodgetts, founder of Hodgetts Associates, is a senior executive coach who brings an extensive knowledge of leadership development, executive assessment, behavioral science and family business to his work with CEO's and other senior leaders. Bill is also currently Vice President of Leadership & Executive Development at Fidelity Investments, where his responsibilities include providing executive coaching, developmental assessments, and other learning resources to senior executives, overseeing executive coaching company wide, and maintaining an extensive referral network of coaching and other development resources. Bill is a founding Board member of The Executive Coaching Forum, an organization devoted to establishing and promoting the highest standards of professional and ethical practice for the field of executive coaching. Bill holds and EdD in human development and psychology from Harvard University, and a BA in government from Cornell University.

    Ellen Kumata is a partner at Cambria Consulting. She led the development of Cambria's practice area in strategic executive coaching. She has more than 20 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies and public sector organizations implementing a range of HR applications, including succession planning, performance management and assessment, recruitment and selection, and executive development. Ellen is currently coaching senior executives at a number of organizations, including Credit Suisse, Wachovia, and Deloitte. Other clients include AT&T, Fidelity, Assurant, Gap, Merrill Lynch, and MetLife. Ellen has a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Michigan, a JD from Wayne State University, and a master's degree in industrial relations and personnel management from the London School of Economics.

    Richard Mansfield has more than 25 years of consulting and executive coaching experience. His current focus is on developing assessment tools and methods to support leadership development and organizational assessment. He has developed numerous 360-degree feedback instruments, feedback reports and resource guides to support development planning and executive coaching. He is a coauthor of The Value-Added Employee, a resource guide for professional development. Before starting his own consulting practice, Richard was a Vice President at the Altwell Group, Director of Research at McBer and Company, and an Associate Professor of Human Development at Temple University. He holds a BA in social relations and an EdD in human development, both from Harvard University.

    Judy Otto, MEd, founding partner of Foundations for Change, has 30 years of experience in organization development, team building, and executive coaching with such companies as the American Management Association, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Entergy Nuclear Northeast, The Gap, General Electric, Hewlett Packard, The Nature Conservancy, and Northeast Utilities. She is a founding member of the Executive Coaching Forum and coauthor of The Executive Coaching Handbook and Appreciative Leaders: In the Eye of the Beholder. Judy has served as adjunct faculty with The Center for Creative Leadership, Columbia University's International Senior Executive Program, Boston University's Executive Challenge Program, Antioch University, and Northeastern University. She has also been an affiliate of Peter Block's Designed Learning and of Development Dimensions International.

    Herminia Shermont, MS, CNA, RN, is Director, Surgical Nursing Program/Patient Services Department at Children's Hospital Boston. Herminia has been a Nurse Leader for over 20 years and has numerous presentations and nursing publications to her credit.

    Susan M. Shaw, RN, MS, is Director of Clinical Operations at Children's Hospital Boston. She is a dynamic leader with 30 years of leadership in nursing and health care. Her current role involves leading the department in its effort to recruit and retain the next generation of nurses. She is actively involved in the senior leadership of the department of nursing and patient services. Susan co-led the implementation of the coaching leadership model at Children's Hospital Boston.

    Lew Stern is President of Stern Consulting and Founder and Director of the Graduate Certificate Program in Executive Coaching at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. He has an active international practice in executive coaching. Previously, Lew was Senior Vice President at Manchester Consulting and before that Vice President of ODI, an international consulting firm where he served such global companies as AT&T, Federal Express, American Express, Proctor and Gamble, and the Royal Bank of Canada. He is co-founder and past president of the New England Society for Applied Psychology and co-founder and past chairman of The Executive Coaching Forum. He is also a co-founder and board member of the Graduate School Alliance for Executive Coaching. He received his master's and PhD in personnel and counseling psychology from the University of Minnesota. He is coauthor of numerous articles and books including The Executive Coaching Handbook, Straight Talk, and Trust-Based Leadership.

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