Is An Executive Coach Worth It?

Is An Executive Coach Worth It

Is an executive coach worth it? The short answer is yes. While executive coaching is often viewed as a luxury or something that’s reserved for top-level execs, it’s a resource that’s well within reach of any business owner who wants to enhance their leadership skills, achieve their professional goals or overcome business obstacles – no large corner office required.

Most startups love putting their name as CEO on their business profiles, the problem is those people with the CEO title often don’t treat themselves like an actual executive and that’s got to change. You are the decision maker. You need to be able to give direction and follow through with absolute confidence. You might not be getting the executive level pay when you start out but everything about the job needs to be taken on board.

I know from experience that you have a lot on your plate and a huge weight to carry when you own and run your own business, hey I was up around the clock to make my first start-up work. I was so unsure of my ability to hold it together (even though I was netting a six-figure income) that I was still working my corporate job during the day and putting my business orders through at night. It wasn’t until I got an executive coach that I could refine my business systems that saw my business recover from the Aussie dollar crash and reach seven figures annually. 

Getting an executive mindset isn’t easy when you’ve never run a business before, it takes years of practice and experience to learn the ropes. That’s where an executive coach can help fill the gaps in your knowledge and skill to lift your business success to the next level.

In this article, we’ll explore what makes a good executive coach, the problems that executive coaches can help solve and what happens in an executive coaching session.

We’ll cover:

  • Who can benefit from executive coaching
  • Leadership skills development
  • The difference between leadership and executive coaching
  • Executive coaching payments and agreements

By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of what executive coaching entails and whether it’s worth considering for your business.

What Makes a Good Executive Coach?

A good executive coach possesses a unique set of skills, knowledge and experience including communication, trustworthiness and problem-solving skills that enable them to guide individuals to their goals. You need to research your choice of coach carefully to see if their skills and coaching ability match what you are looking for. Because personal experience plays such a big part every coach will offer something different so you want to be sure their skill set matches the changes you want to see in your business. A coach who understands the different types of business models and how to create a sustainable and profitable one can be invaluable to a business owner.

In general, these are the key characteristics a good executive coach will display:

Experience and Expertise

A great executive coach has years of experience working in the business world. You want them to have real-life business experience, not just a piece of paper that says they did a course, so they can back you up with a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities that executives and leaders face. This includes business principles, organisational behaviour and human psychology. An executive coach can help you improve your cash flow by identifying areas where you can save money or generate more revenue. Ask them about the business they have owned and run as well as the typical business problems they solve for their clients to see if it’s the same kind of challenges you are facing.

Strong Communication Skills

A good executive coach builds strong relationships through excellent communication skills. Communication isn’t just about using the right words, it’s also about active listening, asking probing questions and providing constructive feedback. You don’t want a cookie-cut script, good coaches adapt their communication style to suit the person sitting in front of them. One of the most important things that an executive coach can help you with is to know your worth. They can help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses, and to set realistic goals for yourself. They can also help you to negotiate a fair salary or set a competitive price for your products or services.


A good executive coach takes confidentiality seriously and creates a safe space for you to share thoughts, feelings and concerns. They will have a strict confidentiality agreement which means they won’t share any of your information or feedback without your permission.

Ability to Challenge and Support

You’re not looking to be best friends with your coach. Ideally, they will ask some gutsy questions or make observations a friend would be too scared to voice. That doesn’t mean they are allowed to offend you or be rude, but they will need to phrase things in a way that is challenging and pushes you outside of your comfort zone. You want to feel supported and encouraged to overcome your limitations and see different points of view. This can be helpful when it comes to value-based pricing, as it can be difficult to objectively assess the value of your products or services. A good coach can help you to identify the factors that are most important to your customers and to price your products or services accordingly.

Empathy and Emotional Intelligence

I know the term emotional intelligence gets thrown around a lot but this is a key factor you want to see in your executive coach. What that means is they are able to empathise with you and understand where you are coming from. No situation is black and white so having them give advice with high emotional intelligence means they can help find a solution that matches your personality and goals.

Flexibility and Adaptability

A one size fits all approach is cheap and rarely fits well. A good executive coach has an approach that is adaptable and flexible so that coaching is tailored to suit the needs of each individual client. 

A good executive coach is flexible and adaptable, tailoring their approach to suit the needs of each individual client. This is important because no two businesses are the same, and each one will have its own unique business model. A coach who understands different business models can help you identify the one that is right for your company, and can also help you make changes to your business model as needed.

If you’re considering working with an executive coach, it’s important to seek out someone with these key qualities to ensure that you receive the best possible guidance and support. 

What Problems Do Executive Coaches Solve?

Executive coaches help address a wide range of challenges and problems across different aspects of your business. A lot of it depends on what you want to achieve and the coach’s background. While you’ll have a list of things you want to tackle and improve on, sometimes additional things will come up that are incredibly helpful that weren’t planned on.  

Here are some of the most common problems that executive coaches can help solve:

Leadership Development

It’s a myth that leadership is something you are born with. Anyone can train and develop leadership skills for themselves which not only creates great business strength, it’s personally rewarding as well. Executive coaches can help individuals identify and leverage their strengths, improve their communication and interpersonal skills and develop a strategic vision to give their business direction.

Stress and Burnout

Executive coaching can help individuals manage stress and prevent burnout – a far too common and costly problem for self-run businesses. Coaches can help you identify the stress triggers and develop strategies for managing workloads and finding that elusive balance between work and play. 

Career Transitions

Executive coaches can help individuals navigate career transitions, which might be starting a new job, handing over to a manager or taking on a new role within your organisation. For this to be successful a coach will help identify your goals and priorities, develop a plan for achieving them and navigate the challenges and opportunities that arise during the course of the transition.

Conflict Resolution

Conflict comes with a ton of emotion which makes it really hard to find a working solution. Executive coaches can help individuals and teams put personal feelings aside to resolve conflicts and find professional harmony. When you have close working relationships your goals will be achieved faster and you’ll get better performance and less turnover from your staff. 

Coaches can help develop conflict resolution skills to manage and create a positive and collaborative work environment.

Performance Improvement

Executive coaches can help improve business performance by defining and achieving goals. As well as targeted action steps towards goals, a good coach will identify areas for improvement, develop action plans and provide ongoing feedback and support. This means you can check on your progress and make corrections if needed.

Personal Development

Executive coaches can also help individuals with personal development. You can’t ignore personal development. As your business grows you have to grow with it. Your business performance will be capped by what you can personally achieve. By identifying values, boundaries and goals you can gain self-awareness and be motivated to put new habits and behaviours in place to enhance both your personal and professional life.

If you’re struggling with any of these issues, or maybe you are experiencing something else, working with an executive coach can help overcome some of the difficulties that have been distracting you or leading you in the wrong direction.

What Happens in an Executive Coaching Session?

Executive coaching is not business therapy. Although it is run as a regularly scheduled one-on-one session where you discuss your troubles, it focuses on finding a solution and taking the next steps. The sessions are usually around one hour long, face-to-face with a growing number of coaches moving to online meetings. As well as you discussing issues and goals, your coach will ask questions that outline where you are in your business currently as well as where you want to be. If you are vague on this, expect them to stop and help pinpoint exactly where you are and where you are going. Once directions are clear they can help you plan the activities you need to see real results. Follow-up sessions check your progress, help handle any new challenges that have cropped up and make any adjustments needed to keep you powering forward.

Here is what typically happens in an executive coaching session:

Establishing Goals and Expectations

At the beginning of the coaching relationship, you’ll be discussing your goals and expectations for what you want to get out of the coaching engagement. This helps the coach understand your needs and develop a plan that is tailored to what you want, so you see results.

Assessing Strengths and Areas for Improvement

Coaches will typically use assessments, interviews and other tools that help you gain self-awareness and understand their strengths and areas for improvement. While a coach can tell you what’s going on, it’s far better if you figure it out for yourself. With this information, you can start to see your personalised coaching plan unfold which should have you confident, inspired and motivated so that your goals can be reached within your desired timeframe.

Exploring Challenges and Opportunities

Growth comes from exploring challenges and opportunities that will push you out of your comfort zone. This is the only way to enter the growth zone. Your coach will gently uncover underlying issues and help you develop strategies that address them. This may involve exploring different perspectives, developing new skills, or creating action plans. Embracing this part is not only the most exciting part of your coaching program, but it’s also the most rewarding.

Providing Feedback and Support

During the session, your coach will continue to provide feedback and support to help you progress towards your goals and handle the emotional side of things. They are in your corner to cheer you on, recommend a different strategy or provide advice on how to overcome specific challenges. 

Developing Action Plans

At the end of each coaching session, you’ll have an action plan that outlines specific steps you’ve agreed to take between now and the next session. Completing the actions gets you visibly closer to your goal and opens up new skill sets. Your next excessive coaching session will include talking about your actions and what you discovered as you completed them. The action plan is a great way to hold you accountable for success. Your coach can’t run your business, only you can put it all into action. Your coach can help you track your progress by reviewing your financial ratios and providing feedback.

Who Should Receive Executive Coaching?

Executive coaching is a valuable resource for anyone looking to enhance their leadership skills, reach the next level in business and achieve business goals. Here are some specific groups of individuals who may benefit from executive coaching:

Executives and Senior Leaders

Executives and senior leaders are often the primary recipients of executive coaching. Their work with coaches helps develop their leadership skills, improve communication and interpersonal skills and navigate complex organisational challenges.

High-Potential Employees

High-potential employees are individuals who have been identified as having the potential to become future leaders within the organisation. A great company will bring in an executive coach to develop their leadership and management skills, gain self-awareness, and prepare for future roles.

Newly-Promoted Leaders

Change can be difficult which is why newly-promoted leaders may work with coaches to help them transition into their new roles and responsibilities. Coaches can help these individuals identify and address their learning gaps, develop new skills, and establish themselves as effective leaders within the organisation.

Individual Contributors

Individual contributors who are looking to enhance their professional development may also benefit from executive coaching. Coaches can help these individuals identify and pursue their career goals, develop new skills, and overcome any barriers to their success.

Teams and Groups

As well as one-on-one sessions executive coaches may also work with teams and groups within an organisation. In order to create workplace harmony, coaches can help teams improve communication and collaboration, resolve conflicts and work more effectively towards their shared goals.

If you are looking to enhance your leadership skills, achieve your professional goals or address any challenges that prevent you from loving being in your business, working with an executive coach can be a worthwhile and rewarding investment.

What is Executive Coaching for Leadership?

You can look for specific coaches to help with specific goals. Executive coaching for leadership is a specialised form of coaching for identifying leadership skills and helping to use them confidently.  This is really important because having great leadership skills makes the rest of your business easy. You can make decisions, communicate with your team, and basically own that executive mindset I mentioned earlier.

One thing I really want to stress is there is no magic formula for a leader. It’s about you and your personality. Understanding your strengths and leading your business in a way that aligns with your values is what’s going to work, not some copy/paste formula. Executive Coaching for Leadership is all about helping you figure out what your leadership style is and how to bring that into your business for great results. The best part is it’s going to feel natural and genuine because it comes directly from you (and keep in mind, coaching is not mentoring).

Here are some of the key aspects of executive coaching for leadership:


What you need to develop the skills and competencies of an effective leader depends on what you want to achieve and what your strengths are. Your executive coaching for leadership sessions may include developing your vision, setting goals, communicating effectively, setting boundaries, building relationships and managing change, to name a few.


Executive coaching for leadership often begins with a process of goal-setting and strategic planning. Coaches work with their clients to identify their strengths and areas for development, set specific goals and develop a plan of action to achieve those goals. Even though you are the executive of your business and get to delegate as much of the workload as you like, if you are not actively working towards your goals, it’s going to be difficult for you to convince your team to do so. Leadership is all about doing the work so that others will follow your lead.


Executive coaches may provide training or support to develop skills in areas such as communication, decision-making, conflict resolution or delegation. Expect to get a lot of feedback around this as well because this is one area where you can easily make changes and identify strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for improvement.


This is another area where business owners often get confused. Yes, you can delegate your workload but you are still accountable for everything that happens in your business. Knowing how to own the responsibility for goal completion and mistakes is the heart of what makes an executive. Because of this, executive coaching for leadership is a collaborative process that involves a high level of accountability and support. Coaches hold their clients accountable for their goals and actions, provide regular feedback, and offer support and encouragement throughout the coaching process.


Is your executive coaching for leadership working and making improvements in your business? The only way to tell is with measurable outcomes. These are needed to assess the effectiveness of your coaching through improved performance, increased productivity, enhanced leadership skills or achieving specific career goals.

By working with an executive coach for leadership, individuals can enhance their leadership skills and achieve their full potential as leaders.

Do Companies Pay for Executive Coaching?

Yes, it’s pretty common for companies to pay for executive coaching to support the development of their leaders and improve organisational performance. Why? It’s worth it. They can see real results, retain their best staff and have an engaged and motivated workforce.


Executive coaching can provide significant benefits for companies, including improved leadership skills, enhanced decision-making, increased productivity, and better employee engagement. By investing in the development of their leaders, companies can improve their bottom line, increase their competitive advantage, and enhance their organisational culture. It’s a bit of a no-brainer really.


Finding ways to pay for executive coaching can be difficult if you don’t have a budget plan and allocate resources. While there is an outlay you’ll gain so much more in experience and business growth. In some cases, you can make a tax claim for training for you or your staff, so ask your accountant what you can do to meet the requirements. 

In order to be able to afford executive coaching for your business you need to have a plan laid out. 

Development Budgets – Bigger companies have a budget allocated for employee development and training. Consider how you can create a developmental budget for your business either as a part of a broader leadership development program or as an individual coaching opportunity.

Partnership with Coaching Providers – You might have something to offer that’s better than money. Consider if you can offer a services swap where you exchange your business services for coaching.

When weighing up the cost of executive coaching, think about what you will have in the bank when your goals are realised with their help. Discuss your plans and budgets with a coach before committing to the program so they can make sure your financial goals are realistic.

How Long Should Executive Coaching Last?

There isn’t a definitive answer for how long executive coaching should last. The duration of your program varies depending on the goals you set out and what you need to achieve. So saying there are some general guidelines to consider when determining the length of an executive coaching engagement such as:


You want meaningful progress and behaviour change, and that takes time. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to how long an executive coaching engagement should last, aim for around six months to a year to see a big goal completed. Smaller goals can be reached in three to six months which can be a better time frame for more specific or focused coaching goals.


How frequently you meet and what duration your coaching sessions are can also impact how long your executive coaching engagement lasts. Most coaches schedule sessions every two to four weeks but it really depends on you, what your commitment is and what kind of action steps you’ll be completing between sessions. Your sessions may last anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the goals of the coaching engagement and the preferences of you and your coach.


Another important factor to consider is the level of ongoing support and follow-up that may be required after the coaching engagement ends. Some coaches may offer ongoing support, such as occasional check-ins or follow-up sessions, to help individuals maintain progress and continue to build on their coaching goals.

Is An Executive Coach Worth It? – Key Takeaways

Executive coaching is a valuable investment for business owners and their teams to improve leadership skills, increase productivity and achieve long-term business success. Here are some key takeaways highlighted in the article:

  • A good executive coach should have experience, relevant training, and a coaching style that fits the needs and personality of the individual being coached.
  • Executive coaches can help individuals and organisations solve a wide range of problems, from improving communication skills to managing conflict and enhancing strategic thinking.
  • Executive coaching sessions typically involve setting goals, identifying challenges, developing action plans and receiving feedback and support from a coach.
  • Anyone can benefit from executive coaching, including executives, managers, and professionals at all levels.
  • Executive coaching for leadership is a specific type of coaching that focuses on developing leadership skills such as communication, decision-making and managing people and resources.
  • Companies pay for executive coaching as a way to invest in the development of their leaders and improve organisational performance.
  • The length of an executive coaching engagement can vary depending on the goals and needs of the individual being coached, but most coaching engagements last six months to a year, with regular sessions scheduled every two to four weeks.

Overall, executive coaching is an effective tool for developing leadership skills, enhancing performance and achieving long-term success. With the right coach and a commitment to the coaching process, individuals and organisations can realise significant benefits and achieve their goals. For a taste of what Executive Coaching is like with Evolve to Grow, make sure you join our free Facebook group full of our highest performers. 

Is An Executive Coach Worth It? – FAQs

Q: What is the difference between an executive coach and a consultant?

A: The difference is what they work with you on. An executive coach works in developing different skills in their clients in order to reach their potential, while a consultant works with organisations to solve specific problems and provide advice on strategy, operations, and other aspects of the business. There may be overlap but the structure and planning for how to go about it are different.

Q: Can executive coaching help me if I’m not a manager or executive?

A: Yes, executive coaching can benefit all professionals at any level and is particularly helpful to business owners to gain the executive mindset needed to drive their business with confidence. Coaching can help individuals improve their leadership skills, communication, decision-making, and other areas relevant to their specific business or role.

Q: How do I know if I need executive coaching?

A: If you’re struggling with specific aspects of your business, such as managing people, setting priorities, or communicating effectively, executive coaching can help. If you want to develop your leadership skills or reach your potential as a business owner, executive coaching can also be valuable.

Q: How much does executive coaching cost?

A: The cost of executive coaching varies widely. It depends on the coach’s experience and skill, how long you’ll be coached for, what you want to achieve and how complex your goals are. Some coaches charge by the hour, while others offer package deals or monthly retainers. Generally, executive coaching is a significant investment, but the benefits can be well worth the cost.

Q: What if I don’t like my coach or the coaching isn’t working for me?

A: Liking your coach makes a big difference in how much you gain from your sessions. You need to feel supported, safe and motivated in your sessions so choose your coach wisely and get someone who you can trust. That said, it is also normal to experience some discomfort or resistance when working on challenging issues. If you’re not getting the results you want or you don’t feel comfortable with your coach, it’s important to communicate your concerns and work together to make adjustments. In some cases, it may be necessary to find a new coach who is a better fit but communicating what is not working is the first step so start a conversation with your coach before you jump ship.

Q: Can I expect immediate results from executive coaching?

A: While executive coaching can provide valuable insights and help individuals develop new skills, it’s important to recognise that change takes time. You may not see immediate results from coaching, and progress may be gradual rather than dramatic but you should feel a change in your mood and your attitude pretty quickly that will lead to meaningful improvements on paper with time. Coaching is often only as valuable as the effort you put in…