What is Coaching and Why do I need it?

The world is full of opportunity and it’s opening its arms for you to choose how you want to lead it. As leaders of our personal and professional life, we tend to get lost in our own process and thoughts. I’d like to define what coaching is and how it can truly benefit you, your leadership, and business.

Many of you have reached out to me wanting to learn more about what coaching is. There are many different types of coaches and definitions. I focus on the executive and leadership level within companies to help leaders build awareness around their current goals, communication behaviors, and organizational structure to better lead their teams and achieve their organizational goals. A study conducted by Bresser & Wilson (2010) found the benefits of coaching included increased motivation, performance, work-life balance, and better decision making. These are just a few of the benefits, whereas each client gains a combination or more of these benefits.

What Coaching Is

The purpose of this article is to define coaching in different ways so that you have a better understanding around what coaching is and what coaching is not. Below are a few definitions from coach specific programs and federations.

International Coach Federation

Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

Frederick Hudson

Coaches anchor people to their own internal strengths and inspire organizations to dream beyond their plans. They apply emotional and intellectual intelligence to the long haul of life and work. Coaches facilitate the change that clients need as they prepare to face the future with strength and optimism.

The Heart of Coaching by Thomas Crane

Coaching is a healthy, positive, and enabling process that develops the capacity of people to solve today’s business problems. Touching people’s spirits and rekindling what deeply matters to them is what coaching is all about.

Take Time for Your Life by Cheryl Richardson

Coaching is an action-oriented profession with a focus on a client’s current life and plans for the future.

Coaching helps you see the missing pieces that you were not able to see before. It’s an opportunity for self-discovery, client-driven problem solving, and collaborative accountability to reach future oriented goals.

What Coaching is Not


Consultants are hired to come into an organization with a proposed agenda or possible solutions to issues that the organization or leaders may be facing. Coaches show up with no agenda and work with the client to develop their own agenda to becoming a successful leader in their company. Coaches may act like a consultant at times, where they share insights and new ideas from their own knowledge, intuition, and experiences. Coaches stay with their client to implement the development plan and bring out effective change. Coaches are trusted advisors who create a confidential and safe environment for their client to explore his/her challenges, obstacles, issues, and concerns.


Mentors are “role models” for their clients and someone who has already experienced what the client is currently going through. They can provide their clients with insight and best practices. Coaches do not share personal experiences as a model of success, whereas that’s the gain of having a mentor. Since the client is an expert in their own business and current situation, the coach helps the client find the best solutions for their current situation without leading the conversation with the coach’s ideas.

Therapists are typically there to help clients fix problems and overcome issues that have been created from past trauma. Coaches don’t work on mental illnesses, whereas therapists can spend time in that space with their clients. Coaches analyze behaviors, focus on opportunities, and create solutions with their clients’ best interest in mind.

By learning about the various modalities in these helping professions, it can build clarity of what you may need at the moment.

Celebrities Who Use Coaches

Below is a list of a few familiar people who have used a coach to advance in their careers and businesses.

  • Oprah Winfrey: The leader of a massive multi-media brand who turned a local news station into a global brand. Oprah speaks highly of the coaches she’s worked with and recommends others to find a coach that they resonate with in order to reach their goals.

  • Leonardo DiCaprio: The Oscar-winning actor who needed help to escalate his career to the next level worked with Tony Robbins himself to unlock and unleash his potential.

  • Bill Clinton: A former leader of the free world mentions how hard and challenging the job was and can be. Bill hired a successful and well-known coach, Tony Robbins, to help him with these leadership challenges.

  • Eric Schmidt: A successful executive and the former CEO of Google mentions that the best advice he had ever received was to hire an executive coach. Eric was a long time successful executive, so he resisted a coach, but eventually hired one and now says that “everyone needs a coach.”

  • Serena Williams: The queen of tennis worked on building a stronger mindset to overcome a tennis related injury. This is when she hired Tony Robbins to come in and help get her mindset right to get back on the top.

  • Andre Agassi: An expert and legendary tennis player who struggled with addiction wasn’t always #1 at his sport until he benefited from hiring a coach who helped him persevere through addiction to get his mindset right.

  • Metallica: A famous rock band that struggled with the disasters that come along with the music business, such as fame, fortune, and power. Metallica decided to hire a coach to help them work through their team issues and challenges, which resulted in a successful album release and more growth.

These are just a few of the celebrities who have hired a coach to get them to greatness. The first step is understanding that a coach will help you see your current situation from a different perspective. At times we are so deep in our own ways that we have challenges in seeing our own blind spots or the blind spots of what come with running a business. A coach builds your awareness of what you may not be seeing and helps you take action towards creating results and success from those opportunities.

Coaching is a partnership that can help you develop and achieve your goals through behavioral awareness and introspection. Many celebrities have greatly benefited from coaching and overcome their hardships. With that, you can achieve your highest potential as a leader in your profession if you choose to invest in hiring a coach for your journey.

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