Best Practices for Senior level interim excutives and independent management consultants wrt 'do i need an executive coach?'

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Independent Consultants and Life Coaches

While there is no preexisting information to fully answer your question, we've used the available data to pull together helpful findings. Some of the benefits of executive career coaching for senior executives are enhanced clarity and confidence, as well as being able to build a personal brand for career transition. Investing in executive career coaching can result both in higher earnings and qualitative career changes. Also, best practices for finding an executive career coach include identifying a success scenario, building a shortlist of candidates, conducting a background check, and interviewing their clients.

Below you'll find an outline of our research methodology to better understand why the information you've requested is publicly unavailable, as well as a deep dive into our findings.


To complete your request, I reviewed the request details thoroughly. I found that in the chat transcript, the goal of the research is for the client to be able to answer the potential coachee "whether or not they should hire a life coach / executive coach to help them thrive in their independent consultant practices." Therefore, I decided to focus on the three questions around benefits, return on investment, and guidelines for finding an executive career coach.

I searched industry reports, trusted media articles, and client testimonials from executive coaching agencies themselves to obtain material from the coachees' POV. I found that case studies from senior consultancy executives are arbitrary to the agencies' websites/testimonials section. The same was true for case studies from senior executives transitioning to freelance work in the gig economy. However, I found sources that answered the three questions for senior executives undergoing a career change and whether hiring an executive or life coach, out-of-pocket, is worth it. Please continue below to see the results of my research.


Regarding the question "Does it make sense to hire an exec coach for personal development, to help build your brand, to help you network?", I found the following sources building a case for hiring an executive coach.

PCM offers executive career coaching for senior leaders and executives who are at a crossroads in their careers. Their program includes career review, profiling, skill assessment and career action plan among others.

PCM lists five benefits of their executive career coaching program:
• Clarity — coachee defines their goals, strengths and action plans
• Marketability — coachee understands and builds their career capital
• Satisfaction — coachee benefits from positive changes in their career
• Confidence — coachee takes control of their career direction
• Direction — coachee draws up a practical action plan for their career transition

Blue Steps also outlined other benefits of executive career guidance. These include avoiding a career drift and identifying career options. Blue Steps also addressed the need to build a personal brand to increase visibility through executive career guidance. This involves honing communication skills to promote the coachee's strengths and attract opportunities, which can help in building a personal brand for an independent consultant executive.

Finally, Rockport gives a snapshot of senior executives who underwent career coaching and successfully launched into their new career directions. These include a senior business executive who became CEO and product designer, a consultancy firm partner who became a director of a nonprofit organization and a lawyer who became a publisher. Rockport's program for senior executives is called Rockport Career Reinvention Program.


Regarding the question "Is it worth it (is there a good return on investment)?", I found a resource that justifies the hiring an executive career coach out-of-pocket.

While coaching is hard to quantify except in terms of anecdotal experience, Wolfgang asserts that people who want progress can afford executive career coaching.
Wolfgang asks prospective clients to consider the following:

• Radical life changes because of proper career coaching
• Quick ROI (return on investment) on career coaching
• Lifetime benefits from the right career path due to expert coaching

Wolfgang also draws up a possible scenario to show how career coaching pays for itself:

"Let's look at an example: if a career coach helped you earn an additional $4,000/year in salary then, even if you spent $3,000 on your coach, you would have made your investment back within 9 months. But don’t forget, that extra $4,000 is now added to your base which future raises are calculated from. Year-after-year you are still earning that $4,000 even if you never get a raise. If a career coach helped you identify a career that allowed you to have more time in your life to enjoy hobbies, travel, etc., what is the price you would put on that?"

To provide balance, Talent Economy offers a counterpoint argument asserting that individuals with self-awareness and discipline can make it without hiring an executive coach. The article mentions two tools that individuals can use for self-coaching: the change story and skills matrix. Together with accountability and self-evaluation, executives and leaders can take charge of their own career coaching without hiring outside help.

BEST PRACTICES: finding an executive career coach

To answer the question "How do you find the best / right coach?", I used Managers and Leaders' list of guidelines:

Identify your success scenario when working with an executive career coach.
Build a shortlist of candidate coaches.
• Conduct a background check.
• Ask for historical cases from candidate coaches similar to your own case.
Interview their clients to have firsthand accounts of the candidate coach's style and expertise.

Inc. also gives additional guidelines:
• Gauge your initial chemistry with the coach.
• Search for a coach with the right background for your needs.
• Review the coach's expertise.
• Ask for a walk-through of the coach's process.


To wrap it up, despite lack of publicly available data around executive career coaching specifically for senior-level independent consultants, we've used available data to pull together the following key findings: the benefits of executive career coaching for senior executives, the return on investment (ROI) of an out-of-pocket executive career coaching, and best practices for finding an executive career coach.