written by Angie Morgan & Courtney Lynch
“How much does leadership or executive coaching cost?” We hear that question all the time from professionals seeking to get ahead.

They know that leadership coaching will give them the “more” they need:

  • More tailored feedback
  • More external support as they weigh high-stakes decisions
  • More confidence as they assume greater responsibilities

This “more” comes at a price; and for those who’ve ever been coach-shopping, they know the fees for leadership coaching or executive coaching can vary greatly.

When a business professional engages a coach, it’s an investment of both time and money. Regarding fees, there’s great variability when it comes to leadership coaching costs. While there are coaches who charge $200/hour, there are also many coaching programs that charge more than $100,000 a year per individual for executive coaching fees. Keeping this range in mind, it’s always important to know what you’re investing in prior to selecting either a coach or a specific coaching program.

Factors that Influence Leadership Coaching and Executive Coaching Fees

There are a variety of factors that influence a coaching program’s cost, to include a coach’s:

  • Personal, firsthand experiences that add value to the coaching program
  • Education level, professional credentials, and subject matter expertise
  • Experience in leadership and/or executive coaching
  • Demand for their services
  • Track record for success
  • Results they know they can deliver for their clients (and their client’s organization)

When a coach has many of the aforementioned attributes, it’s natural to assume that their programs will likely cost more.

Another factor that influences leadership coaching and executive coaching fees is the level of employee that the coach is partnered with.

Executive or C-Suite level programs will be greater financial investments due to both the skill-level that the coach needs to possess, as well as the unique needs of the coachee in the program. These needs can include:

  • Flexibility to accommodate an executive’s challenging schedule
  • A strategic and business-focused education to help them lead themselves, their teams, and their organization
  • A coach who understands their business, industry, and their stakeholder landscape

In many executive-level leadership coaching programs, the coachee often isn’t engaging “just” a leadership coach – they’re also working with an experienced consultant who can advise them on high-stakes decisions, innovations, and investments, which can lead to tremendous ROI and impact for their organization.

What Does a Leadership Coaching Program Cost Include?

The primary cost in any coaching program is the coach’s time, which isn’t just captured in the one-on-one conversations with their clients. When a leadership coach partners with a client, there’s often a lot of work supporting their coachee’s development through the following activities:

  • Talking to their coachee’s stakeholders
  • Organizing assessments for the coachee to engage in, such as a 360-degree evaluation
  • Developing action-based learning assignments that their coachee can engage in between coaching conversations
  • Concierge-style services for their coaching clients, to include job-related research, CV preparation for potential board opportunities for their clients, and other needs that emerge during conversations

While some coaches charge by the hour, many coaches offer programs that last a set time period to ensure that their clients have ample time to build leadership skills that require time to develop, such as presentation or strategic thinking skills, or leading through change and uncertainty.

Some coaches are also retained for a set period to support a coachee through a transition, like a new project or promotion, where there are specific milestones to reach and/or skills to build before the program is complete. This style of program can typically last six to nine months.

What’s the Right Investment for You and Your Organization?

As you contemplate leadership coaching costs, either for yourself or a team member you support, a few things to ask are:

  • What are the skills/behaviors that need to be developed?
  • What type of outcomes should be expected in a program?
  • What financial investment is the business/sponsor willing to make?
  • What’s the expected duration of the program?

Spending time answering these questions will best prepare you for a conversation about leadership coaching with a prospective coach.

In closing, as you continue to educate yourself on leadership and executive coaching fees, recognize that there’s no one-size fits all approach. The more you learn about coaching, and all that the investment entails, the better able you’ll be to find a coach and/or coaching program that best meets your needs.

Looking for more leadership coaching resources? Read our article 10 Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Leadership Coach.

Angie Morgan and Courtney Lynch are Lead Star’s founders, experienced leadership coaches, and bestselling authors of SPARK, Leading from the Front, and Bet on You. They help professionals reach new levels of success through their innovative coaching program, Year to Rise.