The Chief Executives Office 

Executive Business Coaching

This Paper provides background to CEO’s decision to launch a training Programme to create a national cadre of professionally qualified senior executive business coaches.

Owing to early retirement and longer lifespans many senior directors of major PLCs and SMEs - often with the county’s leading commercial experience in their sectors - are retiring in their early 50s – to realise that they have circa 30 years – another working lifetime – with no further corporate challenge.  Thousands have come into the unemployment market over the past five years often representing some of the best brains and experience in their business sectors. The market is now saturated with high level financially independent directors seeking some challenge to fulfil them. This gigantic resource is currently languishing at home frustrated and largely untapped. After the first six months experience of ‘retirement’ many come to regret the loss of the cut and thrust of often high profile international roles. Many then try to develop different challenges  - particularly Non Executive Directorships (NXD) and NX Chairmenship ‘Portfolios’. However this is a very competitive marketplace where thousands of high quality executives are competing for very few NXD opportunities. Virtually none of these executives are aware of their potential to be Business coaches or of the rapidly growing demand for them.

Equally, until CEOs initiative, Venture Capital houses were unaware of the possibility of a new market resource; former CEOs and senior directors, who could be professionally trained as Executive Coaches. VCs are now beginning to recognise this as a serious potential new resource of immense value to MBI/O teams. Unlike the appointment of non executive chairmen/directors which can take months, and involves continuing directors fees, an executive coach can be brought into a business at short notice on a daily fee basis. Also it can be seen as a lower risk, new alternative route to bring a potential Non Executive Chairman into a business. An initial role as Coach to the MD can, without immediate commitment on either side, give the parties the chance to check the chemistry..

One to one coaching is growing at an exponential rate in the world marketplace because of two new factors. Firstly the early retirement/longer lifespan situation mentioned above – where for the first time in the commercial market, senior business ‘players’ are available to coach younger ‘players’ just as in the sports world. Agassi and Tiger Woods – the best ‘players’ in the world - have 1:1 coaches!  Prior to the last decade, senior business ‘players’ traditionally retired at age 65. (and often died within 2/3 yrs) Now thousands are retiring around age 50 and living to age 80!  Secondly, remarkable new knowledge of how the brain processes information – how we think, form judgements, behave and react - has led to new training techniques becoming available that are based on the analysis of ‘excellence’ in any activity and then ‘modelling’ the brain processes so that others can be trained very rapidly to transform their behaviours and lives.

For example, a trained coach can ask someone with an above average memory, special questions that will identify to the Coach how the ‘memory man’s’ brain processes information to remember things so well. Very quickly, complete novices can be trained as coaches to ask these questions and identify how the ‘memory’ process is organised in the ‘memory man’s brain. This process is then ‘modelled’ ie. written down, so other people with poor memories can copy or ‘model’ the experts brain behaviour and literally transform their memory process. This process can be applied in any area of human behaviour with startling and dramatic improvements. For example an insecure employee with low self-esteem and fear of people, can be transformed into a confident public speaker within a few hours. A fear of flying can be lost within minutes. An successful but arrogant, aggressive, overbearing manager can be shown how to recognise his behaviour and its impact, and - in his own best interests -adapt it, thus improving team morale instead of destroying it.. This technology is ideal for an MD or management team perhaps seriously out of their depth or facing big new potentially overwhelming challenges, where a fundamental mind shift is needed fast.  

One of the best known tools in the coach’s ‘brain technology toolkit’ is NLP ‘Neuro Linguistic Programming’ Worldwide now, thousands of people are being trained every month in NLP. In as little as 30 residential days training, novices can be become certified personal and business coaches.  Hundreds are now setting up their own businesses to offer those services. Awareness of the new medium is beginning to filter into all organisations – usually below board level. Nevertheless, in the absence of any comparable certification process, many of the new ‘NLP Graduates’ – typically former line or functional managers are offering and securing coaching assignments at board level.

Meanwhile, Chairmen and CEOs are sitting at home unaware of the opportunity for them quickly to train as commercial coaches (of which NLP is but one of the ‘tools’ available) and to lead the growth of this new market at the most significant level in the UK economy. Because of their lengthy commercial experience of developing and growing successful businesses and managing teams of employees, Chairmen and CEOs need minimal training to quickly become successful Coaches.

Basically, they need to understand the coaching process and tools; and have good awareness of the key techniques. Then they can rely on their commercial experience to pursue the unique ‘P&L’ (profit improvement) based coaching process that this Certification programme promotes. 

CEOs took a UK leading initiative in launching an EXTERNALLY CERTIFIED executive coach training programme to addresses that market need. It has 3 residential modules totalling 12 days which, supplemented by circa 30 hours home study, three 3 day coaching assignments and submission of a portfolio, leads to the award of Chester University College/Liverpool University  Post Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching and use of the letters PG Cert. Exec. Coach. It also opens up the opportunity to become part of the CEO National Coaching Register (which is the intended commercial marketing arm of the qualified group. See below). See the full training Syllabus, fee structures and qualification procedures that follow

60 Chairmen, CEO and MDs have been through the training programme so far and the target is to create  a group of 100 covering all commercial disciplines and most key business sectors. In this way coaches can be allocated to match special sector or role experience required by the client.


 Now that evidence is emerging of the success the NCR graduate coaches are achieving from the first three years of this new career initiative, a new business CEONCR is being set up in late Autumn 2005 to provide a marketing and branding organisation for the NCR members.

CLICK here for details of CEONCR 

Unsolicited NCR Executive Coach Graduates Comments.  Names available


  1. ‘After completing the first NCR coach training programme in September 2002, I set up my own coaching business in 2003 and invoiced £50k in coaching fees. I am on target for £100k in the current year’


  1. ‘I set up my coaching business in Spring 2003. After a slow start in the first four months, I  secured coaching contracts in 2003 for £80k in Japan, India, USA and UK. I find it hard to believe how NCR has opened horizons I could only have dreamed of before I did the programme’.


  1. “Coaching is a new market resource never before available. CEOs training programme with Derby University is market leading and utterly essential for anyone seriously wanting to coach at chairman level….. we raised £140m, the second largest IPO in UK. As an endorsement for CEO, the NLP course and all that you do in Derby, I hope this really demonstrates the incredible influence and impact you can have on people’s lives’


  1. “To me this is a remarkably simple and new route into the construction of a portfolio.  As one of the first qualified coaches in the country, I am already in touch with venture capitalists and they are keen on the idea of us helping them improve some of their under-performing deals.  That will inevitably lead on to non-executive directorships or chairmanship opportunities for me.  Quite apart from that, the ability to improve an MDs profit is really easy with the checklists and structures that this programme provides”. 
  2. "I am astonished just watching myself influencing and motivating people since I completed the course.  Within a month I got my first commercial coaching assignment.  The Managing Director of an Australian business is flying into UK for it!  Then I got accepted as an approved coach by one of the UKs largest food groups and have started with one of their directors. That’s how this magical process breaks all traditional thinking.  I am still in a complete whirl but my God is it fun!


 The Executive Coach training programme. Click here