Major League Executive Coaches

major_league_logoWe all know the most famous major league coaches past and present–Phil Jackson, George Halas, and Vince Lombardi to name a few, but how do we identify top Executive Coaches? Here are several on my personal “Who’s Who in Executive Coaching” list:

First on my list is Bill Campbell, coach to many tech giants like Steve Jobs and the founders of Google and Twitter.  Watch this video and learn more about his transition from sports coaching to executive coaching.  Be sure to open the link in a new window if you are viewing this through Blackboard.

Next is Marshall Goldsmith, author of several popular books on leadership and coaching.  He has coached execs at major organizations and has been named by The Wall Street Journal as one of the top 10 executive educators and by Forbes as one of 5 most respected executive coaches.

Steven Berglas made a successful transition from medicine to executive coaching and has written a number of very well received books.  He has a diverse client list that includes top business execs and award-winning professional athletes, Grammy winners, Oscar winners, and internationally-ranked chess Grandmasters.

Help me extend this list by adding your top pick.  Add a comment to tell us the name of a coach–executive, life, career, or organizational–that you think has merit.  If possible, include a link to his or her website.


  • i would add Brene Brown because she has the absolute best self-help books for various topics. I have found solace in several books of hers and they are easy to digest and turn into action.

  • I would add John Maxwell to the list of great coaches. John Maxwell is an author, speaker, and pastor. He has written over 60 books focused on leadership development and maximizing your potential. Some of the books of his that I’ve read that have positively impacted my life and career include 360 Degree Leader, Today Matters, and the 5 Levels of Leadership. John Maxwell’s organization also offers a coaching certification entitled the Global International Maxwell Certification program. His coaching program focuses on inspiring transformation, reaching purpose, vision and goals, personal independence and maximizing your legacy. I would highly recommend visiting his website as well as selecting one of his books to read.

  • The very first coaches in my life were my mother, grandmother and grandfather. They taught me resilience that I have carried throughout my life. I look back on my life and I see how their coaching styles has made me a stronger person that can face almost anything. In 7th grade I had an English teacher by the name of Dave Simpson. He not only coached me in the many tools of English but he coached me in believing that I can do anything. Years later Dave Simpson hired me and he is now my mentor/coach and Director at Youth Guidance. He is one of the best Executive Coaches out there. Dave is at master at organization and consulting. His leadership style is outstanding. I would like to add Dave Simpson to the list of Outstanding Coaches.

  • I would like to add Iyanla Vanzant, she’s a life coach and she’s not only known for her straight forward personality, zero tolerance realities but she’s a well respected coach on reality tv. Iylana’s personal background I believe is what makes her relatable to many women especially women of color and her past difficulties is what makes women drawn to her success. Iyanla throughout her success from being a 6 times Best Selling author, and continuing to uplift and encourage change in others is something that makes many of us continue to appreciate her.

  • I would like to add Tony Robbins to this list. While he may be seen an unconventional at first, if you read his books or watch his show (taped seminars) I believe he is a great motivator, speaker, and development coach. Here is a link to his website:

  • I would like to add Helen Baxter-Southworth to the list! One of her publications is Influence, Culture and Collaboration. Anyone who works across multiple geographies and needs to influence across boarders check out her Influence, Culture and Collaboration assessment tool.

    Her website is:

  • I have two coaches I think important to mention here. There first is Marci Shimoff. She is a coach on happiness and has authored several books and documentaries (The Secret, happy, Happy for No Reason, Love for No Reason). I find her work quite valuable in realigning one’s outlook and personal development in life. Here is her website: Second is Robin Sharma. He is an excellent coach on leadership and author of ‘The Leader Who Had No Title’. Here is his website:

  • I would like to add Bruce Van Horn. Bruce is a life coach, he also wrote several books, leads master mind groups and has a podcast. His work has reached many people in 200 countries around the world, and there are a lot of success stories that come from it. His website:

  • I would also like to add two as well. My first Coach I would like to acknowledge is Alissa Finerman. Author of “Living in Your Top 1%” speaker and personal friend. Alissa, Wharton graduate and who once worked on Wall Street, dropped everything to become a Executive and Life Coach in California. She is a great, kind and intelligent woman. She is usually a key note speaker for various non-profits in the Los Angeles area. I have received a lot of insight from her and her view on business and organizational structure–as well as developing personal goals and achieving them. If you would like to know more about Alissa or would like a quick read on the framework you need to live in your top 1%, I highly recommend this book.

    My 2nd Coach is Consultant, Speaker, Advisor, and Author of “A More Daring Life”: David Berry. David is also a friend of mine. We met at the inauguration of a distinct leadership society i had been inducted to during Business School. He was the keynote speaker who made an impact on all of us your business students. He became a colleague and helped provide a framework for me in entering the world of consulting. He also played a key role in connecting with other key contacts to grow my network.

    I would definitely say these two are great Coaches as fit the mold for Major League Executive Coaches.

  • Bill Campbell leads by example. I appreciated the way he explained that his career is built on wanting to truly learn the business he’s in. His coaching background in sports has brought good attitudes to the forefront of his management structure. He explains corporate culture is all about people. With the right people, you end up with the right culture.

    A coach I’ve admired for many years is Kevin O’Connor. He focuses his work on people who have been promoted and are now tasked with leading their former peers. By connecting before the coaching engagement begins, he breaks down barriers early and is able to establish meaningful connections quickly. Kevin is the author of “Present Like A Pro: The Field Guide to Mastering the Art of Business, Professional, and Public Speaking” and he is always there to help and teach you how to set yourself apart. Check our his website:

  • I offer two!

    Gloria S. Chan
    Gloria provides consulting, speaking, strategic facilitation, and coaching services for women of color, diverse leaders, social visionaries, and their teams. She helps social visionaries and leaders to make powerful impact with confidence and ease.

    Kent Webb
    Our LGBT Executive Coaching program has been created to address unique challenges and opportunities LGBT Executives experience in corporations and organizations. Basic leadership skills and competencies are assessed and re-tooled to meet the demands and expectations of their business world. Special attention is given to becoming and being a Solid Self in their environment that represents executive excellence and honors the diversity he/she brings into the professional environment. Specific attention is devoted to an essential topic for the LGBT executive which is to learn the importance of, how to develop, and leverage personal power and influence in being an effective executive and leader. LGBT Executive Coaching sessions may be conducted within an individual or group format.

  • I would add Thomas Crane to the list of coaches that have made an impact. He transitioned from a winning college basketball coach to author to executive coach and consultant. His book, The Heart of Coaching, is a journey through Transformational Leadership which features unique principles to apply in areas of your life. He speaks of principles and paradigms that provide forums for changing mindsets and lead to improving your life. He places emphasis on the relationship and how to advance your life with small continuous changes toward your goal.

    You can access his blog here:
    You can view his philosophy video here:

  • This article hits home with all of the sports coaches that are mentioned. I couldn’t access the video on Bill Campbell, but was able to do a little research about his career. It was very cool to read about his athletic background and also his transition into executive coaching. I would add Mary Allen to the list. She is the author of The Power of Inner Choice and coaches entrepreneurs, small business owners, as well as authors and speakers. She goes by the name “Life Coach Mary”. Here is a link to her website.

  • I think Sir John Whitmore is a great coach. I read his book “Coaching for Performance” a little while back and I really enjoyed it. He has a way of keeping his message simple so that anyone can understand relatively easily.

  • The very first coaches in my life were my great-grandmother, grandmother, mother and aunt, I call them my tribal leaders. There motivational mama isms were really great. I would like to add Marsha Haygood to the list. Marsha is a Career & Personal Coach and motivational speaker.She is featured in a leadership book entitled Speaking of Success along with bestselling authors, Steven Covey, Ken Blanchard and Jack Canfield. She collaborated on her second book which offers wisdom and career guidance to women of color. The Little Black Book of Success: Laws of Leadership for Black Women was released by Random House in March 2010. Marsha is the Co-founder of Leadership Excellence and Development Strategies, LLC (LEADS) and is one of the founding members of Black Women of Influence (BWOI).

  • I would have to add Sharon Jordan-Evans to the list! She is the best-selling author of ‘Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em: Getting Good People to Stay and Love It’ and ‘Don’t Leave It: 26 Ways to Get What You Want at Work’. She is a highly regarded speaker, consultant, and executive coach.

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