Executive Coach vs. Business Coach – Which One Do You Need?


Do you need an executive coach or a business coach? Aren’t these two coaches the same?

No, they are not the same. There are clear differences between an executive coach and a business coach. Depending on your circumstances, you may need one or the other, or even both. Let’s explore the differences between these two powerful development experts.

What is an Executive Coach?

An executive coach is a type of career coach who specializes in coaching people in leadership roles. Leadership roles include:

  • managers
  • supervisors
  • C-suite executives (CEO, CFO, etc.)
  • business owners
  • and entrepreneurs.

These coaches help leaders develop better decision-making, managerial, communication, and facilitation skills. These skills can make or break an executive’s career. This is especially the case of a new executive transition to management.

Professionals who become masterful leaders are more likely to experience greater career success and higher income potential than their peers. Coaching often revolves around aligning the executive’s personal mission with their organization’s mission.

Like a career coach, an executive coach can be hired directly by any individual who wants to invest in their own professional development. An organization who understands that investing in their leadership impacts their business as a whole can also hire executive coaches. Some organizations even have in-house executive coaches as permanent staff.

What is a Business Coach?

A business coach focuses on improving the operations of an organization to ensure its long-term success, sustainability, and profitability. These coaches work directly with the business owner and/or leadership team to define goals, uncover challenges, and ensure their actions remain true to the organization’s mission and vision.

Entrepreneurs and business owners use business coaches to brainstorm and evaluate ideas, develop strategic plans, and be held accountable to their commitments. Business coaches also help organizations manage change and rapid business growth. Some business coaches specialize in only a specific business area like sales and marketing, growth strategies, or talent acquisition.

Since this type of coach works directly with the business owner and leadership team, they are often skilled executive coaches as well. Business coaches understand both the challenges executives face as well as the general concerns a growing business may have. A business coach can take a holistic approach to the leadership’s professional development and the organization’s business development for a maximum return on investment.

Which type of coach is right for you?

This depends on what your goals are. An executive coach will be the perfect fit for you if your aim is to advance your leadership career.  A business coach may be more up your alley if you’re an entrepreneur seeking business success. -Read more about choosing the right business coach.

Hiring a business coach can give you the best of both worlds by incorporating both executive coaching and business coaching. As a Master Business Coach, I offer both types of coaching.

My mission is to transform dreamers into successful entrepreneurs. After over 20 years in business, I know that successful entrepreneurs achieve success by attracting and retaining good help. This begins with their leadership.

I also know that the most successful leaders have strong entrepreneurial spirits and often consider side gigs as consultants, coaches, speakers, and authors. My background and experience in corporate training and workforce development makes me uniquely qualified to help you to achieve your success goals no matter which side of the fence you’re on. Contact me to explore if coaching is right for you.

Do you have an executive coach or a business coach? How did you know what was the right choice for your needs? Let me know in the comments below and if you found value in this post, please share with your networks.

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