“The Sherpa team loves what they do...and they have fun doing some very important work.”

~ Marshall Goldsmith, World's Top Executive Coach

philos-4Why do Executive Coaches use the Sherpa name?


In the Himalayas, the native guides that assist climbers to the top of Everest are called Sherpas. Sherpas have a global reputation because:


  • They predict weather that makes a climb dangerous or impossible.
  • They know the terrain and design routes for the climb.
  • They offer suggestions, ideas and the tools of the trade skills and resources needed for the climb.


Sherpa executive coaches take on the role of the Sherpa climbing guide: enabling, advising and assisting in difficult environments with limited options.


Sherpa coaching clients, like climbers on Everest, must endure the hardships, put forth the effort, and be subject to the risks involved in reaching their goals. Ultimately, they must reach the summit through their own skill and determination.

philos-1The Sherpa Philosophy for Leadership Development


Each client’s strengths have taken him to his current position of leadership. Only by addressing weaknesses, those obstacles that prevent a leader from getting to the next level of success, will the client see continued professional progress.


This philosophy is in stark contrast to people who tell you to emphasize your strengths, and surround yourself with people who cover your weaknesses. It’s fun to talk about what you are already good at, but it doesn’t solve any problems when you have to step up and perform.

As executive coaches, Sherpas deal with business behavior.


philos-2In the Sherpa Stance, we ask four questions that determine if a conversation is permitted, and whether it’s worthwhile:


  • Is it Precise? Are we talking about a problem, a symptom or a feeling? Sherpas only spend time on problems.
  • Is it Personal? If it’s too personal, we don’t continue.
  • Is it Present tense? Sherpas live in the moment, and in the future, not the past.
  • Is it Possible? Will a change in your client’s behavior actually fix this problem?


We deal only with specific, achievable business behavior. Our process makes sure of that.


The benefits of coaching come from a clear, proven process. Without that, you wander into personal issues and history.


Without a process, you can work toward an ill-defined goal with no road map, no documentation and no deadline.

Coaching Philosophy Video Part 1

Coaching Philosophy Video Part 2

philos-3The Sherpa process is detailed enough to produce a 350-page book and 80-page client guide. It’s specific, yet flexible enough to accommodate any client’s development needs.


Our executive coaching certification classes at multiple universities teach the process in detail.


Sherpa clients experience the benefits of a proven process, while finding it transparent.


Every phase and every step includes assessments, journaling and ‘homework’ assignments, to keep the coaching process moving between meetings. Here’s a quick summary:


  • Phase One: We will be looking at you, the real you. (Taking Stock).
  • Phase Two: You’ll look at the important people in your life and how they affect and support you. (Global View).
  • Phase Three: Then we’ll discover your motivations, why people and things affect you the way they do and how to create and communicate expectations. (Destination)
  • Phase Four: We will work on specific areas that will affect your day-to-day work life. We’ll organize and structure goals that fit your needs. (Charting the Course)
  • Phase Five: Then we’ll make sure it’s planned for success, checking that accountability and attitude are right where they should be. (Agenda)
  • Phase Six: When we are done, we’ll have cause to celebrate the benefits of coaching. (The Summit)
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