Survey Reveals Executives Want More Personal Development


As popular as all forms of coaching have become in recent years, mystery still exists around the purpose, value and ROI on executive coaching, along with what qualifies an individual as an ‘executive coach’.  Below are excerpts our industry’s most reliable the hot-off-the-press annual executive coaching survey.

The Sherpa Executive Coaching Survey offers insight into leadership development, based on information from coaches and those who hire them.  The Sherpa Executive Coaching Survey is co-sponsored by executive education departments at the University of Georgia, Texas Christian University and Miami University.

Executive Summary
There’s a revolution going on. Business as usual is not enough. People want more from their jobs, and they are going to get it.

• From a Fortune 500 company: The top fifteen executives are asked what they really want. They don’t want more money. They are not concerned about work-life balance. What they want is more personal development.

• From a Fortune 100 company: Highly paid technicians and engineers are ‘topped out’, without any real career path. Executive Coaches introduce a focus on self-discovery and communication. Self awareness is good for the soul, and it’s good for business, too.

• From a Fortune top 20 company: A new president comes to HR and says: “I’ve been here two weeks, and I already know we have a problem. All these people and no new training for five years. Tell me what you want. I will find the money.”
Coaching as a business tool continues to gain legitimacy. (2009 Harvard Business Review)
Personal Development vs. Training vs. Self Improvement:

Personal development is intriguing, because it is more than training.

• Training means: “I get knowledge.”

• Self-improvement means “I get better.”

• Personal development means more. It’s about strengthening relationships, communication and business behavior.
One-on-one coaching is the most immediate, effective and ‘personal’ kind of personal development.

Training budgets for 2011 will be increasing at a higher rate than we have seen in many years. (Chief Learning Officer, Nov. 2010)

After a pullback in recent years, organizations are again offering coaching to all levels of management, instead of restricting services to include only top line executives.

• Demand for executive coaching is on the rise. Over half of HR professionals and business leaders interviewed also expect an increase.

• A vast majority of business professionals see the value of coaching as very high. The credibility of coaching increases every year.

• Coaching is used more and more often for leadership development as opposed to problem solving.

• In 2006, almost 90% of HR professionals and coaching clients felt the value of coaching was either somewhat high or very high. ‘High value’ perceptions now exceed 94 percent.

What qualifies an individual as an executive coach?

It takes two things to make a good coach: training and experience. Here’s what people have told Sherpa, when asked: “What is the most appropriate background for an executive coach?”

• Therapy and counseling are a solid basis for personal and life coaching.

• Business experience (not necessarily industry specific) tops everything else this year as the best background for an executive coach.

• Support for training that includes certification (verification that a body of knowledge has been mastered) has increased over the years

84 percent  of respondents who had been in a coaching relationship consider certification important’ or ‘very important.’
Consumer demand for credentialed coaches is growing. (2010 ICF Consumer Awareness Study)

I hope this synopsis of the 6th Annual Sherpa Executive Coaching Survey has shed light on the wisdom and benefits of adding a qualified executive coach to your team.

If you’d like additional ‘closer to home’ benefits of working with an executive coach glance at the testimonials on my website: You may see some familiar names.

If you’d like additional information, this report is available as a free download at

Ann Golden Eglé, MCC (Master Certified Coach), helps successful individuals make positive changes in their behavior to attain heightened success.  Coaching and consulting since 1998 and President of Golden Visions & Associates, LLC, Ann can be reached at 541-385-8887 or Subscribe to Ann’s weekly e-mail ‘Success Thoughts’.


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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