L Smith, J Sandstrom The International Journal of Coaching in Organizations 2003
Executive Coaching, as a distinct specialty within the practice of Coaching in Organizations, expanded during the 90’s in such a rapid and broad way, that its senior practitioners felt the need to stop and reflect on their practice even as it was developing. Some of the best Executive Coaches in the country, people driven by an attitude of intellectual rigor and curiosity mixed with generosity and passion, came together to outline the common fundamentals of their work. The resulting 1999 White Paper has remained the most succinct and systematic description of the parameters that define Executive Coaching to date. This article represents key findings, definitions and discoveries about the profession of Executive Coaching. A group of 36 Senior Executive Coaches (see complete listing at end of this paper), thought leaders in the field, met for the purpose of identifying the primary distinguishers of Executive Coaching. This paper is written for the benefit of the following primary audiences: individuals calling themselves Executive Coaches, other coaches of the ICF membership, those coaches who aspire to work at the executive coach level, organizations wishing to hire Executive Coaches, organizations desiring to initiate a coaching culture as a strategic device for retaining talent, coach training organizations and other professional coach organizations. The following areas are covered: Need for such an effort, identifying the basic level of competence in all coaches, definition of Executive Coaching, primary distinguishers, competencies and proficiencies, strategic rationale for hiring Executive Coaches.