Executive coaching is a relationship and a practice to provide leaders the space to move from where they are to where they want to go.

Executive Coaching

The leader and coach partnership is a dynamic relationship that connects the leader to their vision and is a mirror for self-reflection. It optimally works with the self-aware executive who is ready to expand their leadership presence and move forward. Together we commit to specific outcomes, individual growth, and continuous learning.

Why Partner with an Executive Coach?

Reasons leaders seek out a partnership with an executive coach:

  • A move to a new company and/or new role
  • Promotion with expanded responsibilities
  • Succession planning and development
  • Identifying an edge that impacts leadership effectiveness
  • Support for improvement and mastery of specific leadership skills
  • Seeking a professional outsider to act as a sounding board, confidante, and accountability partner

How Does Coaching Work?

It’s all about connection—Coaching is as impactful and meaningful as the coach and leader relationship. They select each other—a deep level of trust and a shared impact characterize a successful coaching relationship.

The Connect Day
Coaching begins with a dynamic full day for the leader and coach to identify key leadership themes, develop their partnership, and design a Leadership Development Map. In the context of achieving enhanced business results, the Map addresses the whole leader, establishing professional, team, career, and personal goals, including next steps and accountability models.

Continuous Development and Partnership
Together, the leader and coach design the best way to regularly meet to support the leader and their goals. These meetings are a continuous journey of discovery and challenges, in service of the leader and their goals.

360 Feedback
In validating the effectiveness of a leader’s performance, it is important to understand both the expectations of those in partnership with the leader as well as the perception of how the leader is performing against those expectations. 360 feedback is an interview process conducted between the coach and the leader’s manager, peers, direct reports, and key stakeholders. These interviews allow the coach to assess the impact of the leader’s performance as well as to highlight opportunities for development.

To make a commitment to a coaching relationship is an act of courage and an investment in your growth as a leader.


What our clients say about us

“We set up my goals by spending the whole day together. To be honest, I went in very skeptical. By the end of the day when we identified the four areas for my coaching focus, I was still at a point of ‘I could’ve told you that – nothing new there.’ But what was different was the accountability, our regular coaching check-ins when we would revisit those four areas, and holding myself accountable to my actions associated with each of the areas.

When an issue bubbled up that was urgent and serious, because of the structure and trust we had, this came forth and became clear this was the real issue of my coaching. Debra was very instrumental in me creating a sense of clarity and executing the outcome in a whole different way than I had ever expected was possible.”

Gilda Gonzales | CEO, The Unity Council (2007-2012)

“There are lots of distractions when you lead a large organization. My coaching partnership gave me focus and a greater capacity to sift through the distractions so I could focus on senior team alignment and engaging with one another to lead our organization. When you’re a senior leader, having a coach isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. It’s a smart decision to have someone to check in with, to bounce things off of, to challenge and support you as you work to be the best leader you can be.”

Debbie Alvarez-Rodriguez | President/CEO
Goodwill of San Francisco
San Mateo and Marin (2002-2012)

“Debra has been an inspiring and powerful coach. She is a consummate professional with high ethics and integrity. Her style and results-driven leadership have produced significant and lasting results. I would highly recommend Debra to anyone who wants to move to their next level of leadership.”

Bill Davidovich SPHR, SHRM-SCP |
Director, Human Resources
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (2012-present)

“Debra was instrumental in my development and success as a senior executive. She provided support and guidance to enhance my personal brand. Debra didn’t attempt to change me, but worked to give me tools and advice on how to approach and successfully navigate important meetings, challenging discussions, presentations and planning. Debra’s senior leadership experience helped me to identify and focus on the most important issues both within and outside the organization.”

Michelle Simpson | SVP, Employer Markets,
Blue Shield of California (2014-2016)

How effective is coaching?

Sheldon Kimber | COO
Recurrent Energy 2011-2014

I was at critical point in my career when I took over as COO of a company that I helped start. I was 32 years old and aggressive, a workaholic with a go-it-alone attitude. In my initial meeting with Debra, I remember telling her that I wanted to try and get a life beyond work and find ways to appear wiser and more poised in my leadership style. In retrospect the naiveté of this request seems obvious, but much of this realization is thanks to Debra.

I had briefly met with other coaches, but I just couldn’t take the lack of structure and analysis in other coach’s methods. Debra’s experiences in her own career proved invaluable to me. Her ascent to a high level early in her career and her own struggles with being a whole and complete person while working as a business leader were familiar ground to me.

Through my work with Debra:
• I began to form a leadership brand of my own.
• I remained aggressive, but picked my moments and issues.
• I delegated and began to see my role as making others more successful.
• I sought credit for my employees and not for myself.

Debra didn’t just teach me what to say or what behaviors made sense in this regard. She provided a sounding board and criticality that eventually made me believe in these new traits and not simply give lip service to them.

In short, I began to redefine my own success around the traits of a more strategic, longer-term brand of leadership.

The overall result was a change in my behavior as a leader, even in the most trying moments. I believe that this is the sign of good coaching, not simply teaching leaders, but helping them to redefine their own beliefs about good practice.