Executive Coaching

The deep roots of a coaching culture to nurture and sustain life within a thriving organization

  1. Know the values of the organization, communicate them clearly and communicate them often to everyone throughout the ranks. Solicit feedback to ensure that the message is getting through.
  2. Link your coaching process to the core business strategy of the organization. Coaching means that you start with the end in mind and then consciously move in that direction.
  3. Build on what works. Discover what is working for members of your organization and use that as the foundation for growth. Include all ranks, departments and divisions to ensure that you get the full picture.
  4. “Be” the culture that you want to see in the organization. The action and attitudes, not the words, of the leaders will be adopted by everyone else throughout the ranks. Remember, walk your talk if you want to see meaningful results.
  5. Bring in qualified and credentialed coaches and include them as part of your team to build a coaching culture by working directly with your people on a regular basis. Managers learn a great deal about the coach approach by being coached themselves.
  6. Put all of your managers through accredited coach training programs so that they can develop strong coaching skills to use on a daily basis to conduct team and one on one meetings. The coaching skills will naturally spread throughout the company and will become the norm for communicating, goal setting, action planning, trouble shooting and achieving results.
  7. Ensure that internal and external coaches follow a carefully designed coaching process that aligns actions to desired results. Many professional coaches will adapt their unique processes to your specific needs.
  8. Include the use of coaching skills as part of performance expectations in the annual evaluations of managers. What gets measured gets done so make sure that the coach approach is an expected skill set to be used throughout the management ranks, all the way to the top (remember “be” the culture)
  9. Encourage employees to use the coach approach with clients and suppliers to help them build solutions in partnership with your company. This will create an extra positive experience for them and at the same time, it help your company showcase its wonderful culture. A great thing for attracting top clients as well as top talent.
  10. Always include reviews and discussions around next steps to ensure solid, sustainable growth which is the hallmark of a thriving organization. What’s working, how do we build on this to get to where we want to go from here?


The Pillars Coaching System

 The Pillars have designed a powerful and effective coaching system based on best practices, experience and client feedback. For full details, click here: ThePillars_coaching_EN_HR 

Do you think that a coaching program in your organization would be very beneficial however you need to convince your management team?  

  • Need to present facts that show a positive ROI for Coaching?
  • Need a generic slide deck and word document to save you valuable preparation time for your argument?
  • Need real life case histories and examples?
Get all of this by going here:
Convince your management team that a coaching program for your organization will provide real value.


I recently found this article while surfing the web and really wanted to share it with you. I think it does a great job of explaining the origins of professional coaching as well how it has evolved over time. I have posted it below, in its entirety with permission from Domonique Deshields, office manager of Coach Connection. The title of the article features the word ‘life coach’ and even though The Pillars  specializes in executive coaching, I still feel it is relevant to anyone wanting to know more about the history of coaching. As well as the great history lesson, there is very good content on the current situation of the coaching profession so this information will help readers make good decisions when hiring a coach of their own.

Here it goes, hope you enjoy it as much as I did:

Where Did Life Coaching Come From? What is the Status of Life Coaching Today?
I will try to provide you a brief history of the life coaching profession, the life coaching process we follow at The Coach Connection, and the life coaching industry, and where they are today. I am not a historian nor am I trying to be. I have relied on the doctoral Dissertation by Vikki Brock dated May 2008 entitled: “Grounded Theory of the Roots and Emergence of Coaching,” to provide much of the historical data for this section, as well as my many conversations with Thom Politico, my personal coach and co-founder of The Coach Connection, and my own direct knowledge, and experience. Thom Politico was one of Thomas Leonard’s early clients. Thom also worked with Thomas teaching many of the Coach U classes for over three years.

Vikki’s dissertation is a very recent and complete description of the roots and development of personal coaching. She referenced considerable literature and many personal contacts, which I also referenced. Her dissertation and my personal experiences and knowledge converge to show that I believe that Thomas Leonard was the principal architect and driving force behind defining, documenting, training, and popularizing the coaching process and coaching industry as we know it today. Thomas, as he preferred to be called, began crystallizing the personal coaching processes sometime between 1990 and 1992. I offer this short history description as a basis for your understanding that this coaching process has a real life and real people behind it.

The Origin of “coaching”
The term coach originated in the sports field somewhere in the late 1880s, and has been a well-known sports profession with many different forms for years. “Even today, the term coaching often produces a mental image of a football or basketball coach, and depending on what the coach actually does, this analogy may or may not be adequate because the head coach is usually a general manager or chief executive officer responsible for running an entire program. The image of the quarterback coach or the offensive line coach is somewhat more accurate by enabling others to play through teaching.

W. T. Gallwey wrote his book in 1974 entitled “The Inner Game of Tennis.” According to many people this was the first major transition from the sports coaching model of control and teaching to what Werner Erhard and eventually Leonard developed and fine-tuned into personal coaching.

Brock further shares that “Gallwey’s 1974 inner game approach to sports was based on humanistic and transpersonal psychological principles, and “the concept that the opponent within is more formidable than the one outside” (J. Whitmore, 1992, pp. 5–6). According to Whitmore, “Gallwey was the first to demonstrate a simple and comprehensive method of coaching that could be readily applied to almost any situation” (p. 7).”

Thomas Leonard’s powerful influence on personal coaching.
Thomas Leonard was the driving force behind developing and educating the world about the personal coaching process. Thomas came on the scene from the financial world in about 1988, where he had a life-planning course entitled “Life Creates Your Life.” “Leonard is credited with codifying coaching into a curriculum to teach people how to be a coach and that could be taught globally, taught telephonically, in the early days of coaching.” (Brock pg. 313) Further reports on Leonard “Buck describes Leonard as a synthesizer working with “hundreds, thousands of people to create. But while he was collaborating he also had in his vision, a vision of himself being highly impactful, being a leader, and being competitive against other companies doing similar things. He was intensely competitive and intensely collaborative at the same time” (Dave Buck, personal communication, June 29, 2006). Interviewees credit Leonard with popularizing coaching (S. Clooney, personal communication May 9, 2006; D. Peterson, personal communication, May 1, 2006; J. Selman, personal communication, July 7, 2006.

Brock further reports “Leonard’s contribution as a transmitter was codifying, popularizing, and globalizing the discipline of coaching. Leonard’s background is business, specifically finance, where he was working for (Werner) Erhard and doing life planning on the side. Leonard, and others such as (Laura) Whitworth and (J) Whitmore, took some basic ideas and applied their business background to creating an industry that is called coaching.” Thomas and his partners created the personal coaching process to fulfill the one human void that none of the other nine major human improvement processes would even touch.

Thomas created a new human improvement process that assisted people to discover and unravel the mystery of themselves. The greatest mystery in the world is not global warming, nor whether the Cubs will ever win the series, but is ourselves. This new human improvement process called personal coaching works exceptionally well to assist you to clearly, quickly, completely, and confidentially discover yourself, without any hint of judgment or guilt. With your personal coach, you will become the World’s Leading Expert on you. The greatest form of human improvement and growth is self-awareness.

The Personal Coaching Industry has grown rapidly because it works
The personal coaching industry has grown exponentially since 1992, because personal coaching works so well, and because of Thomas Leonard’s vision, and his energy. Personal coaching has evolved into a very viable and recognized industry because personal coaching accomplishes the exceptional goals it was designed to achieve. I do not believe that many people fully understood the universal ramifications and multiple uses of the personal coaching process. Maybe Thomas did, and that might be why he was such an outspoken advocate of personal coaching

Thomas traveled extensively coaching, speaking, and training wherever he could. He captured the imagination of many people to persuade them to become joint pioneers in this new process. I never met nor spoke with Thomas Leonard. He died of natural causes in February of 2003, before I had the chance.From what I gather, Thomas was a real character with strong beliefs and was prone to contradictions. As Brock said “He was intensely competitive and intensely collaborative at the same time”. Thomas tangled with a number of people whom he felt were competitors. For this reason, some people still have a difficult time acknowledging Thomas Leonard’s real contributions to personal coaching. Likewise, he was a great inspiration and supporter to many others, who still champion his contributions.

The Personal Coaching Industry today
I estimate there are between 30,000 to almost 80,000 people calling themselves coaches today. Approximately 12,000 to 20,000 are added each year. You will have a vast number of coaches to pick from to find the right coach for you. Your best coach can live almost anywhere, because you will want to conduct coaching over the telephone.

There are many different claims to life coaching
Anyone today can call himself or herself a life coach. There are no rules, regulations, laws, restrictions or enforced codes. Because of the many successes of personal coaching in the beginning years, many people have jumped on the bandwagon to take advantage of the good name personal coaching created. Yet, these many different people calling themselves coaches now offer different coaching methods, styles, philosophies, structures, ethics, backgrounds, niches, and purposes. The coaching community itself is also confused about how to determine what the coaching process is. According to Vikki Brock, page 2 “Inside the field there is much divergent thinking of what coaching is and whose approach is best. Outside the field there is even more confusion among clients and the public about what makes up coaching.” Vikki further states: “There are many definitions of coaching, some of which contradict each other based on an influence by practitioner backgrounds, theories, and models.” And she further clarifies that “Most definitions assume an absence of serious mental health problems in the client and that coaching’s purpose is to affect some kind of change using similar knowledge, skills, and techniques.”

The life coaching industry is not perfect!
We estimate that fewer than 20% to 30% of the people who call themselves “coach” are actually performing “personal” coaching that is even similar to the personal coaching process designed by Thomas. In fact, we have only accepted 173 “coaches” out of over 2,400 “coaches” (7.2%) who applied to be accepted as TCC Member Coaches. We proudly admit to having exceptionally high life coaching standards. After all we Guarantee the qualities of our Member Coaches, so they have to be exceptional.

According to Rey Carr and the Peer Resources web site there are about 500 coach training schools. These sprouted up since about 1992. Vikki Brock reports that there are over 17 coaching related Associations. These were created since about 1994.

The personal coaching process used by The Coach Connection Coaches
We at The Coach Connection follow the coaching process created by Thomas Leonard because IT WORKS exceptionally well when used it under the right conditions! I am not claiming that any coaching methods, styles, or philosophies are better or worse than the others. I am not the creator of personal coaching, nor do I have anything to defend. Thomas’ clear personal coaching process is also grounded in very sound, historical, and tested fundamentals. I am strongly recommending that you find and use your ideally matched coach who practices this form of coaching. Over two thousand three hundred Coach Connection clients (2,300) have used this process of personal coaching to achieve great successes. You will too!

The differences between “personal” coaching, “life” coaching, “business” coaching, etc.
Thomas Leonard named his new human improvement process “Personal Coaching.” Because “personal” coaching is very personal. The other titles to “personal” coaching did not appear on the scene until about 10 years later, beginning with the label “life” coach. In 2002, The TV show “Starting Over” created two characters and called them “life coaches” even though their actions and the personal characteristics they exhibited had no relationship to the “personal” coaching process created by Thomas Leonard. Instead, the show took advantage of the personal coaching process that had grown in popularity because it worked so well. But this fictional TV had a very strong influence, especially on the mainstream media who adopted the term “life” coach because one of their own (another Hollywood produced TV program) had coined the phrase and process. Today the term “life” coach is more often associated with the “personal” coaching process.

The successes of the “personal” coaching process and the industry Thomas started has attracted hordes of people who have been attaching “coach” to their name with any title they can find that helps them market their services. Thus, numerous types of coaching titles have sprung up. Some are more informative like business coach, executive coach, sales coach, ADD coach, career coach, and leadership coach, transition coach, retirement coach, mentor coach, real estate coach, and management coach. These are coaching labels we use at The Coach Connection. However, we do not label our coaches the same way. All Coach Connection Member Coaches practice some form of “personal” coaching with special emphasis in certain areas.

Bottom line, the label of the coach has much less to do with selecting the right coach than making sure all four of the key conditions to successful coaching are met to suit you.”

Wasn’t that great? Thank you, Domonique of Coach Connection for your permission to post the article. http://findyourcoach.com/

Do you think that a coaching program in your organization would be very beneficial however you need to convince your management team?  

  • Need to present facts that show a positive ROI for Coaching?
  • Need a generic slide deck and word document to save you valuable preparation time for your argument?
  • Need real life case histories and examples?
Get all of this by going here:
Convince your management team that a coaching program for your organization will provide real value.

If you would like to know more about the coaching services offered by The Pillars, please click on Executive Coaching Services.

This is a new blog site and we will be posting articles about coaching over time. If you would like some information right away, please click on “Coaching for Executives and Management” today.

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