daniel kivatinos

Executive Coaching, A Secret Weapon

Rock Health Digital Health CEO Summit

The first time I ever considered getting executive coaching for myself and my team was at the Rock Health Digital Health CEO Summit, I saw one of the panelists talking about hiring an executive coach for themselves and for their team. Up until that point I had been building my start-up without executive coaching. I realize we needed a bench of amazing coaches, thinking that getting executive coaching for me and the executive team would be something that would help facilitate and keep the team on the same page and to help the company grow.

Football teams, boxers, soccer teams, and basketball teams have coaches why not your start-up? The best CEOs and founding teams get help and advice from advisors, board members, their team, and their customers, having a coach is another support system most founders don’t think of. Even the best of the best teams in the business world add executive coaching to help the founders. For example, Apple’s founder Steve Jobs, former executive chairman and CEO of Google Eric Schmidt, and Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg worked with Bill Campbell, you can fund more about the million-dollar coach. Being a founder can be a long and lonely path so having a coach to run ideas, strategy, and short and long-term incentives and concepts is amazingly valuable.

The band Metallica has been around for decades, in the movie “Metallica: Some Kind of Monster” the band was insightful and hired a therapist and coach Phil Towle to help keep the band together since they lost their bass player Jason Newstead and the band was falling apart, exec coach fits a need in that same way helping a person grow in their career and personal life.

I started to dig and look for executive coaching teams and realized it was hard at first to find a good team. After interviewing several coaching teams I started to understand the coaching community, after interviewing so many people I realized there is a big market out there for executive coaching. There’s a large amount of amazing talent out there to help you grow, and help your team. 

Founders of InnerSpace

One of the first experiences I had was with a Y Combinator company called Innerspace, a wisdom community for startup founders. Innerspace was founded by Joe Greenstein the founder and former CEO of Flixster & Rotten Tomatoes and Semira Rahemtulla who held free sessions for founders in San Francisco, it was an amazing experience to go to these events, and see top-tier Exec Coaches that were presenting and helping founders.

Kim Scott, Executive Coach

Several founders, leaders, and company executives approached me about executive coaching and how that might work. Like any relationship, it must work for the person getting coaching and for the Coach. What I did throughout the years was interviewed several coaches, I highly recommend interviewing around five executive coaches to see if there might be a fit. Getting a coach is very similar to hiring a psychologist, you must see what is out there and see what might work for you, seeing if you might fit with their personality, the way they work, and the dynamics between you both to really get an idea of how they can help you. I bucket some Executive Coaches amazing for company offsites, others are amazing at running retirees, others are amazing for 1-1 coaching, and others for doing a one-time session on a focus topic. You can always try before you commit, maybe do a month of sessions to see how things go and check-in to see if the coaching is working. Scaling yourself and getting the growth that you need is so important to see what best fits you and your team’s needs, but offsite with an executive coach to see if they can work well with you and possibly with your team. If there are several cofounders you can even create strategies to align the founders getting the same executive coach to work with all of the founders on a monthly basis, it depends on you you’re co-founders and your team’s needs on how you want to pick and use your executive coach again they’re there is a resource and a sounding board for you so really you’re in the driver seat to see if they’re giving you the advice that helps you bring your company and your startup to the next level.

Investors at times can also give Executive Coaching advice from time to time, but I found few founders that look outside to get that executive coaching expertise.

I built a bunch of possible executive coaches with that I could work by going to several of these sessions to find coaches that I could work with and my team. I highly recommend you look up this list and consider some of these possible options feel free to reach out to any of them and let them know that I mentioned them to you.


I can’t say enough good things about this executive coaching team, if you are looking for sure talk with them. You can find the founders here.

Ed Batista

Profile photo of Ed Batista

Ed is an executive coach who I did a session with, he is amazing if you can get him, sign up for his blog and newsletter, always insightful 🙂

Kim Scott

Profile photo of Kim Scott

Kim wrote several famous books, Radical Candor, and Just Work. Kim and her team do coaching sessions, you can sign up for them here.

Michael Terrell

Profile photo of Michael Terrell

Michael is another coach that amazing and should be considered, he has a podcast and book, this is his website.

Larissa Conte

Profile photo of Larissa Conte

Larissa is another coach with who I have taken a session who is amazing, this is her LinkedIn.

Kate Roeske-Zummer

Profile photo of Kate Roeske-Zummer

Kate’s website is https://humanityworks.com, she also has a book.

Caroline Webb

Profile photo of Caroline Webb

Caroline wrote a book “How to have a good day” and does coaching,

Wendy Bittner

Profile photo of Wendy Bittner

Wendy is a partner at Cultivating Leadership.

Jerry Colonna founder of Reboot.io

Jerry Colonna

The Reboot.io team does 1-1 sessions, do retreat/boot camps, and has an amazing podcast.

Mark Voorsanger

Profile photo of Mark Voorsanger

Mark, CPCC is from Skyward Coaching, his website can be found here.

It is important to recognize that building a company is hard and growing as a founder is a must.

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