All Articles Leadership Management How can an executive coach make you a better leader? 

How can an executive coach make you a better leader? 

Leaders who may be struggling to advance, rekindle a passion for their work or boost productivity may benefit from working with an executive coach.

5 min read


executive coach

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When was the last time you sat down and really considered the path of your working life — past, present and future? Have you mapped out where you want to be next year? Identified your strengths? Your areas of development? Friends, colleagues, mentors and managers are great resources for discussions and feedback, but for real, unbiased insight into how you can achieve your goals, you need to consider an executive coach


Executive coaches have the expertise, techniques and tools to assist you in achieving what you want most from your working career, often in half the time. They can provide honest and objective third-party feedback to help you develop the skills you need to move beyond your current limitations and self-doubt. Working with an executive coach, you’ll be prepared for current challenges, increased change and future assignments. Coaches aren’t just for struggling staff or to help you course correct; they also help you discover a better path or simply move from good to great.

Here are five ways I have helped my clients, and how an executive coach could help you.

1. Identify strategies for better decision-making and overall productivity

Whether your habits have you stuck in a rut or you just want to up your game, an executive coach can help you pinpoint the areas where you can change your approach and improve your output. Sometimes, it can be as simple as identifying the low and no-value tasks that are eating up your time, and either delegating or eliminating them. Maybe you need to consider your time management, or uncover the hours in which you are most productive. An executive coach can work with you to inventory your typical workday/week and make the most of your time on the job.

2. Increase visibility and opportunities for advancement

One of the number one areas I’ve been called on for in my work as an executive coach is in visibility to gain career advancement opportunities. It’s hard to get promoted when no one knows who you are, yet so many of us are discouraged from advocating for ourselves or highlighting our own achievements. People love to say, “your work will speak for itself,” but I’ve found that’s just not true, especially for those with a more understated personal style. If you’re not one to speak up and speak out for your own career growth, an executive coach can help you build the tools needed to self-advocate without it feeling like a braggart. Not everyone needs or wants to hire a billboard to declare their awesomeness to the world. Let an executive coach help you identify the tactics for improved visibility that still feel right and true for you.

3. Improve talent management and employee retention

You’ll hear more and more often: people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers. If you want to become a rockstar in your organization, you’re going to want to attract and keep key talent who are effective, loyal and passionate about the work. To do that, you need great leadership skills — from delivering feedback, to managing personal dynamics and advocating for others. There are a wealth of great tactics that an executive coach can help you hone. They can help you start with an inventory of your strengths and areas of development, and tailor a custom training plan to maximize your leadership skills.

4. Discover work/life balance

If you, like many of my clients, struggle to find the balance between work and personal life, an executive coach can really help you clarify and classify your priorities and help you determine what really is important to you in life. Here is one of the key places the unbiased third-party perspective can really help in getting to the heart of what you want. Let an executive coach help you set your path and find strategies to stick to it for an overall happier life.

5. Rekindle passion for work

Are you wondering where your fire for the job has gone? You’re not alone if you find that the excitement you once had for your job has waned over the years. An executive coach can help you take stock of your priorities, identify the areas of work that bring you joy and zero in on the types of tasks that fill you with dread. Armed with a better understanding of how you like to work, an executive coach can be invaluable in deciding your next steps — whether that’s applying for new positions elsewhere or revisiting your job description and making a case to your boss for a more fulfilling role in your current organization. 

Hiring an executive coach may prove to be one of the strongest career moves you’ve ever made. Gaining an unbiased outsider’s perspective is always illuminating and useful. Doing so, in regard to your career, is rewarding with confidence, a sense of direction and life-work balance. An executive coach will help you create successful action plans, identify obstacles that might limit your plan’s success and suggestions to implement the plan.


As an executive coach, Joel Garfinkle is recognized as one of the top 50 coaches in the U.S. Global Gurus named Joel #14 on its list of top 30 global coaching experts. As a Master Certified Coach, his focused areas are: executive presence, career advancement, newly promoted, and leading with influence. Joel is the author of 11 books, including “Executive Presence: Step Into Your Power, Convey Confidence and Lead With Conviction.” Subscribe to his Fulfillment at Work Newsletter which is delivered to over 10,000 people. You can view his video library of over 200+ easily actionable 2-minute inspirational video clips by subscribing to his YouTube Channel.

Opinions expressed by SmartBrief contributors are their own.


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