Mar 12

Leaders: When a 500% return on investment is too low

Spend $1 and get $5 to $8 back? I always knew executive coaching was helpful, but those returns sound ridiculous, right? But what if… what if those numbers are low?

There are well-cited studies for executive coaching returns:

  • ROI of $7.90 for every $1 spent on coaching1
  • ROI of almost six times the cost of the coaching2

The tangible factors are often limited to increased productivity, reduced costs, growth in revenue, and higher employee performance, engagement, and retention. 

Beyond dollars and cents, the intangible factors are often cited as increased self-confidence, stronger relationships, and improved communication, agreed by 70-80% of people receiving coaching (source: ICF 2009). 

Plus, people love it: 96% say they would repeat the process again with their Executive Coach.3

So, why are these ROI numbers for effective executive coaching low? Most studies miss an entire area of metrics. Consider these three additional areas of return:

The first is the return on peace of mind, which is no small feat. The stress leaders are under is constant, and most are unaware of the negative implications this stress is causing on bodies, minds, and more until the damage is done. A peaceful mind is a creative one and highly productive one. It can accelerate rhythms in the organization producing more incredible results faster. 

True story: An executive needing funding hit roadblocks. Those roadblocks fell away following a coaching session on that topic. Returning to peace of mind revealed an insight he had been missing. Within hours of the call, funding was committed to and received promptly. 

When good coaches work with willing leaders, the biggest visible gains for the leader are due to inner changes. There is a sweet spot in a person where your brilliance can show up. Leading someone consciously into that sweet spot is the mark of a great coach. The outcome differential is massive. The returns are priceless. The experience creates a hunger for more. The changes are lasting, leaving behind a stronger, wiser executive. 

The second, return on happiness, is something we recently started measuring. It identifies the percentage of time people maintain their happiness. If someone is happy or content only when things are going well, they score 1 to 3 out of ten. If someone can do this even when the “sh&t hits the fan,” that person measures 6 to 7. But, when someone can consistently show up present and influence the happiness and well-being of others, they are at a 9 or 10. Ultimately, we believe this can be associated with financial and performance results.

The third, return on self, measures how aligned our egoic self is with our authentic self. The stripping away of every false idea of who we are, every lie, every distortion will remove any remaining fear and leave us in the state of pure love, the state we were created in the image of. 

The one who goes through the process of dismantling all that is false, healing mental and emotional wounds, and correcting all that is not of love will maximize their return on self.

They will be in tune with their extrasensory skills. They will recognize the greatness in themselves and manifest greatness in the world. They will lead in extraordinary ways. They will support others in living in this state as well and bring out the best in anyone who is following their path. Limitlessness takes hold in these people, and their ability to dream and bring those dreams to life reflects the renewal of the awe they experience daily. The return on self will manifest massive results in the world. 

It will appear that these people are almost superhuman as they are so far ahead of others for a period of time. The leaders who unlock this in themselves will transform our world into something even more remarkable than it is, opening the door for the people who follow them to do the same. How do we measure this? These are the innovators who act as if no one is watching. These are the disciplined ones who stay calm in the storm. These are the courageous who persevere in the face of opposition. These are the ones we look up to because of their impact. The power of one who has maximized this state is greater than 10,000 ignorant of it. If you want greatness, restore yourself to your true nature, LOVE, and watch your life transform, your business take off, and your impact genuinely inspire people to the greatness in their lives. You have this in you. We all do. 

In summary, a great coach won’t tell you what to do in your role. A great coach helps you reconnect with your true nature and unlocks the secrets to your greatness coming alive, thus honoring your birthright to express that greatness in this world. The return on you embodies the return on peace of mind, happiness, and self. Do that and experience how amazing life is. 

Our Optimal Being coaching and programs are specifically designed for this. Set up a no-obligation discovery call to explore it for yourself and your organization at

  1. New business trend: executive coaching, Tampa Bay Times, Published Sep. 4, 2005|Updated Oct. 24, 2005 
  2. (Maximizing the Impact of Executive Coaching, The Manchester Review, 2001, Volume 6, Number 1, Joy McGovern,
  3. Who Benefits From Executive Coaching? You Must Have These 6 Personality Traits, Entrepreneur, 2022, July 11, Ed Rankin