Executive Coaching + CEO Advising
I help successful leaders make lasting positive change using a diverse set of tools in my coaching tool kit, including being an ICF certified PCC coach, David Allen’s Getting Things Done, Crucial Conversations, Marshall Goldsmith’s Stakeholder Centered Coaching, Non-Violent Communications, Rational Behavior Theory, brain science, mindfulness, EQ360 and MBTI.
I support executive leaders, start-up founders and CEOs as they transition to higher levels of leadership, grow their companies and lead their teams. I inspire my clients to pursue purpose and meaning in their work and lives. I'm relentless in holding my client's accountable to achieve their dreams.
There are three key areas of focus in my executive coaching practice:
Start-Up Founders and CEO's
Executives in Transition
Emerging Corporate Leaders
Mentoring start-up Founders/CEO’s as they grow and build their companies:
Start-up founders and CEOs face a unique set of challenges and pressures that many of us will never know. Taking their vision and making it real, convincing others to invest (including friends and family members), constantly being concerned about the payoff in the end, whether or not it will succeed, if they will provide a return on the investment or if they'll leave everyone in the lurch if it fails. The pressure is enormous. The ability to tolerate risk crucial.
The early stage of building a team, assembling a board, attracting investors, and pitching to VC's is incredibly stressful and much of it is completely new for the first time start up founder. Not to mention actually building the product and delivering on objectives. Being a non-partisan sounding board where others feel safe is my primary task, asking questions that help my clients make sure they're covering all the angles, providing insight on what it takes to develop and grow as a leader, helping them create structures, systems and practices to grow and develop their team, and gathering input from their team and the Board on progress are all part of our work together.
My clients have raised millions of dollars in funds, doubled and tripled in size and seen what was once a fledgling dream of an idea become actualized. There is no greater reward than seeing my clients succeed in their goals.
Executives in Transition/Career Coaching for those seeking new opportunities:
I’ve been very successful at helping C-suite and executive clients find new roles as they navigate the unchartered territory of transition and change in their lives. One of my core strengths is helping people tap in to their purpose and find work that is meaningful for them. Crucial to this is understanding their strengths while identifying self-sabotaging mechanisms that can impede their ability to succeed.
In some circumstances I’ve helped clients re-engage in their current role or company where I’ve helped them secure raises, promotions and find greater joy and job satisfaction. When that was not possible, and the client desired to find other work or was removed from the position or company, my task has been to support them as they seek new employment, and in many cases, change careers or even create their own businesses, find Board opportunities or shape new lives post-career.
I'm happy to report that they almost always land on their feet and are exponentially happier with where they end up than where they started.
EMERGING Corporate Leaders:
I am typically contracted by HR departments of mid-size to large organizations to support the transition of leaders as they move up the ranks in their organizations, increasing their levels of responsibility and influence. These engagements include supporting clients with strategic thinking, time management, delegation, presence and mindfulness, communication, interpersonal skills, conflict resolution skills, work/life balance, giving and receiving feedback, emotional intelligence and leading and managing others.
Meet Your Coach
Founder of Gates Group, LLC, Laura is an ICF PCC Executive Leadership Coach with over 25 years experience coaching, training and facilitating leaders to create more impactful teams, cultures and organizations.
Her clients span the globe and include NASA, Shell Oil, VISA, Capital One, AT+T, Hewlett Packard, McKesson, the Department of Energy, the US Navy, the Pentagon, M+T Bank, Mahindra BT, Silicon Valley Giants and venture-backed start-up CEOs. Laura was a founding member of Learning as Leadership, a leadership training company she helped build for 22 years.
Laura previously ran a marketing consulting business after beginning her career at Citibank on Wall Street. She is certified in International Coaches Federation (Professional Certified Coach) David Allen’s Getting Things Done, Marshall Goldsmith’s Stakeholder Centered Coaching, Non-Violent Communications, Rational Behavior Therapy, 360º Assessments, including EQ360, Meyers Briggs Type Indicator and DiSc.
She has B.S. in Business from Syracuse University’s School of Management and is a graduate of the San Francisco Renaissance Entrepreneur Center. A constant learner, she is currently studying Leadership and Creativity through IDEO, the Silicon Valley innovation hub.
In additional to facilitating workshops for thousands of leaders in the past 22 years, Laura has presented, including the Project Management Institute of Silicon Valley, Visa Corporation for Return to Work, Wisdompreneurs, Wisdom 2.0 Unplugged, the Global Women’s International Network conference in Rome and Prague, Pegasus Systems Thinking Conference, the San Rafael Leadership Institute, HR Forum, Marin County Women’s Commission, California Staffing Professionals, the ARMA Houston Conference, the University of North Texas International Conference on Work Teams, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, Women in Communications, and the San Francisco Business and Professional Women's organization and Mills College.
What Do I Bring To Coaching?
Let’s face it, leading people is hard work. Inspiring people to do what you need them to do is hard work. Prioritizing what’s important is hard work. Changing yourself to be the person you know you can be is probably the hardest undertaking of your life. I get it.
I’ve coached hundreds of leaders in the past 20 years and believe me, you’re not alone.
You're not the only one feeling like you are drowning in chaos, frustrated with people’s inability to follow your lead and desperately seeking 5 minutes of alone time to be able to have one strategic thought amongst the daily barrage of needs and requests.
And let’s not even mention getting your kid’s college essay done so she’s not working at McDonald’s while you are simultaneously researching your mom’s living options after 80. We are in a time that requires more of us when we feel we have less to give.
This is where I come in.
The sounding board.
The voice of reason.
The clear cut, no BS direct mirroring.
The reminder of the bigger picture, the holder of your goals and aspirations and the nudges towards what has meaning and purpose outside of the daily grind.
And the occasional tough love, when needed.