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Executive Life Coaching

What is an Executive Life Coach?

by Melanie Espeland, Executive Coach of Espeland Enterprises

Melanie Espeland


Is something missing from your life and career? Do you desire more?

Are you thinking about making a pivot, or having difficulty planning your next step?

Are you struggling to balance work and life integration?

Have you worked with Executive Coaches but felt like they were missing the big picture, or what makes you “happy”?

Then an Executive Life Coach may be a great fit for you to level up. Read more to understand what a coach is, and how it works, and how Espeland Enterprises can help you, your team, or your organization.

What is Executive Life Coaching?

Our careers are an integral part of our lives, so you may need a multifaceted Life Coach who also has been in the boardroom. This is a coach who can lead you to achieve integration of the priorities in both your personal and professional life. They can also help a business or human resources team provide integrative development to employees, allowing for improved productivity at work. Overall, this is the type of coach who can make a difference across your entire life.

Who is executive coaching for?

Coaching can be beneficial for business leaders, such as the c suite, company leaders, a vice president, executives, or other professional roles. Both businesses and employees of all types can achieve their full potential and overcome challenges.

To learn more about executive coaching and the common misconceptions, read my article here.

What is the difference between a Life Coach and Executive Life Coach?

Life Coaches.

Life Coaches are a type of wellness professional who focus on helping a client make progress in their life in order to attain greater fulfillment. Life Coaches have completed coaching training or course work, and certification from a respected group such as the International Coaching Federation (ICF). These coaches tend to work with clients on self awareness, personal development, and personal goals specifically. Life Coaches will use coaching strategies to create and develop thought provoking questions and reveal your blind spots. Not all Life Coaches are created equal, as training programs, level of experience, and types of clients may vary greatly.

Executive Coaches.

Alternatively, many Executive Coaches practice executive coaching or otherwise called leadership coaching. Executive Coaches focus typically on how to develop leadership skill and achieve success specifically in the workplace, whether their clients are leaders, managers, or employees. Their executive coaching oversight typically will not include personal life. Additionally, the types of development offered by human resources to an executive typically focuses on executive coaching versus personal development. Similar to Life Coaches, Executive Coaches have coaching training and certification from a well-known and respected group such as the International Coaching Federation (ICF). They may focus on a specific industry, topic, or niche within executive coaching.

Executive Life Coaches.

Lastly, an Executive Life Coach has both personal and business expertise, and typically leadership training. These Executive Coaches focus on the whole person, including how to realize and achieve goals in the professional and personal lives of clients. They also have the same coaching certifications, but have a hybrid mix of experience and skills, allowing them to think holistically about work life integration.

For example, these particular Life Coaches will help you feel comfortable in a confidential and safe place. Through a structured process clients will explore their needs, goals, challenges, and create a future focused action plan.

I personally consider myself an Executive Coach, Life Coach, and Executive Life Coach based upon my educational background, certifications, skills, experiences, and capabilities. As a competent coach, I can lead executives, a human resources team, or the leadership of an entire business.

Coaching in team meetings

What does the executive coaching process look like?

The coaching process can be in the form of a course or individual coaching sessions. My tested and proven 6 step coaching process that allows for customization for your specific needs.  It  includes psychometric qualitative and quantitative assessments to track your progress and ROI.  And, you’ll get a custom coaching program and a personal relationship that makes a lasting effect on your lifetime.

Typically my first meeting will be in the form of a consultation, where coach and client can explore if the relationship is the right fit.

Topics in Executive Life Coaching.

A list of example topics that your Executive Life Coach may cover are listed below, and should be tailored to your needs and action plan.

  • executive coaching

  • life coaching

  • leadership coaching, leadership style, and leadership roles in your business

  • how to better manage direct reports or teams

  • developing a creative process and outlet in your personal life

  • how to overcome challenges

  • personal development and relationships

  • how to develop an action plan for your dream job

Coaching others at work

A Life Coaching & Executive Coaching Example.

Typically in life we face decisions that will effect both our professional and personal lives. For instance, a client may be frustrated by their job. An Executive Coach could provide advice on how to manage office politics or build leadership skills. However, an hybrid life coach can provide a holistic view of planning your next career move.

Building a clear perspective through deep self-reflection and honesty with oneself will allow you to have stronger vision and executive presence. If you have more clarity on where you are going and why you are going there, then you will be more confident in identifying your daily, weekly, and monthly career moves.

Example: Obituary Exercise.

If you need more clarity on your overall career + life plan, you may want to start with this coaching exercise, which is writing your own obituary. While morose, this allows for you to think about the end goals first so that you can plan out the steps A to Z in between. Obituaries talk about your personal life, family, and professional accomplishments, so include all of them in your writing. This is a deeply personal exercise.

Think about what will be important towards the end of life. How do you want to be remembered? What is your legacy?

Example: Force Ranking Priorities.

Many coaches will work to understand a client, including their motivations and priorities. Knowing what makes a client tick will make a difference in the coaching outcome.

A coach can help clients force rank priorities by discussing priorities and goals in both the professional and personal realm. Then, they can guide the client to track how much time they are spending on specific activities during a week, in 15 minute increments.

Next, the coach will review if the allocation of time aligns to priorities – how is time spent enabling the most important things in your life?

While simple and tactical, this coaching tool can help uncover surprises and how a client where they need to make changes in their day to day.

The logistics of Executive Life Coaching.

Cost is minimal when seen as an investment.

While it is true that life coaching, executive coaching, or leadership coaching require an investment in the four to five figure range, they also have long lasting effects on your career success. In general, they may cost less than your annual vacations or a luxury watch, while providing leaders with the influence, focus, and success they deserve.

Additionally, consider speaking with human resources to understand if your business has a budget for coaching, executive coaches, or professional development.

Lastly, while insurance won’t cover life coaching as it may therapy, many find the life coaching process is much a more direct, rewarding, and faster approach.

Time can vary but will provide ongoing benefits.

Engagements for coaching clients will vary in length depending upon your needs and your executive coach. Different coaches will offer different programs, however, you can expect to commit to a few months of coaching to achieve meaningful results. If your needs are more focused on executive coaching and a specific goal at work, then you may be able to meet your needs quickly. If your needs are more focused on life coaching, then you may wish to work with a life coach for an ongoing period of time.

Working with me at Espeland Enterprises will typically be at least a 4 month coaching commitment, where I create a customized program based upon your needs. This is with the exception of single Power Hours.

When and where life coaching happens.

Life coaching and executive coaching can be equally successful when done virtually online or in person. An executive coach can be helpful at many times in your life cycle, and it is never too late or too early to seek support.

Executive Life Coaching Case Studies.

Many coaches may not have the relevant experience, so make sure that your coach has proven success with your goals and your archetype. I’ve coached my clients through 1-on-1 coaching relationships, masterclasses, group coaching, and online courses.

My testimonials in video and written format are available here.

Case Study

How to choose your Executive Coach.

Executive coaches and life coaches should have gone through at least one coaching program and have experience with high potential managers. They should have helped enhance leadership skills; improved relationships with a person or a team; and/or in building excellent communication skills.

This life coach should convey confidence; have self awareness; understand what it takes to lead in your field; and what typical skills required.

How to work with Executive Life Coach Melanie Espeland.

You can work with me (Melanie Espeland), the Executive Coach of Espeland Enterprises, by scheduling a consultation to learn more about my packages. Or, if you have an urgent issue, or don’t want to wait for a consultation, you can schedule a Power Hour.

Have Questions?

If you have any questions about personal and professional development, leadership skills, or executive coaching, email us at

Melanie Espeland

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