Career Spotlight: Leadership Coach

What Is Leadership Coaching and Is It the Career Path for You?

Businesses across all industries require an effective leader who can lead people to achieve the organization’s goals. People looking to earn high-level leadership roles such as vice president, CEO, COO, director, or president of an organization should invest in a leadership coach. Leadership coaches help individuals achieve personal and professional growth.

What Is a Leadership Coach?

A leadership coach guides clients to achieve personal and professional growth. Depending on the organization you work for, as a leadership coach you may work with people who are new to their leadership roles, or you may provide continued support for established leaders who are looking to do better. Typically, leadership coaches have a variety of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Provide ongoing feedback to employees on their leadership skills as they progress through their career
  • Create training programs that include leadership development, conflict resolution, communication skills, coaching, and other relevant leadership development topics
  • Help managers develop effective leadership styles that fit the company, personality, and situation
  • Develop training programs for new hires and conduct interviews with employees who are leaving the organization
  • Observe managers in their work environment
  • In addition, leadership coaches mentor senior leaders on ways to improve their ability to manage effectively.

    Job Outlook of a Leadership Coach

    A position as a leadership coach is highly desirable. While we haven’t seen a huge amount of positions available for leadership coaches, they are growing. It is expected for more leadership coaching positions to appear as small companies, organizations, and startups launch. It is also typical to find leadership coaches who work part-time or for themselves, rather than for a large organization. This creates a flexible work environment and allows you to decide who your clients are. It is more risky than a typical job since you are not guaranteed payment unless you have clients.

    According to Zip Recruiter, leadership coaches make around $62k on average, per year. Many salaries depend on how many clients a leadership coach has, what level the client is in within the organization, and whether leadership coaches work for themselves or an organization.

    Skills Needed to Be a Leadership Coach

    Leadership coaches can act as counselors or mentors to their clients depending on the organization or situation in which they are working. To be a successful leadership coach, the following skills are needed:

  • Communication. As a leadership coach, you will work with many different people, and many different types of leaders. You must be able to communicate effectively with each client, as well as with the client’s supervisor.
  • Confidence. You will most likely be working with people in high-level leadership roles at some point during your career. It is important for coaches to have confidence in their abilities to help others develop their skills.
  • Time management. You must have excellent time management skills to ensure the expectations of your clients are met. You will most likely work with a few clients at one time, so being able to prioritize and dedicate the proper amount of time to each client is important.
  • Empathy.You must be able to understand where your clients are coming from to help them overcome their own challenges.
  • Additionally, a leadership coach must be a strong leader. This probably sounds obvious, but it is worth pointing out. People who are leadership coaches usually have a background in leadership positions.

    Education Needed to Be a Leadership Coach

    A career as a leadership coach is highly rewarding. While there is no clear path to becoming a leadership coach, there are ideal qualities and requirements when it comes to looking for leadership coaches. In addition to the skills above, leadership coaches typically have:

  • A bachelor’s degree in psychology, management, business administration, or a related field. A deep understanding of human psychology and behavior, as well as a background in managing people, will set you up for success.
  • Leadership coaches looking to work with high-level positions could require a master’s degree in business administration, organizational leadership, or a related field.
  • Lastly, experience! Leadership coaches know how to run a business, or a team. They tend to have years of experience in a range of leadership roles.
  • If you are looking for an advanced degree in leadership but are not sure a master’s degree is necessary, a graduate certificate in leadership from Excelsior University may be the right choice for you!