Today’s business environment is ever changing and competitive, requiring that executives continue to learn, develop and change. While learning and development sit easily with most of us, change and willingness to change can be challenging. I recognise this challenge and work with my clients to support them through their journey of growth and change and help them to be the best that they can be.

As an executive coach I provide a confidential and trustworthy sounding board, support and understanding, a safe space to explore ideas and options, and to offer objective challenge.

If you are an executive in business and your desire is to increase effectiveness, personal and professional fulfilment and realise more of your potential, executive coaching will facilitate this journey.

For the organisation, executive coaching enables its executives reach new heights in performance and effectiveness, unleashing their full potential.

What is
Executive Coaching

There are many definitions of coaching / executive coaching, here are just a few of them:

“Coaching is the facilitation of learning and development with the purpose of improving performance and enhancing effective action, goal achievement and personal satisfaction. It invariably involves growth and change, whether that is in perspective, attitude or behaviour” (Peter Bluckert, Psychological Dimensions of Executive Coaching, 2006).

The International Coaching Federation defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential”.

"A collaborative solution-focused, results-orientated and systematic process in which the coach facilitates the enhancement of work performance, life experience, self-directed learning and personal growth of the coachee (executive)." (Anthony Grant, University of Sydney, 2000)

Executive coaching focuses on the agenda of the executive and the executive’s goals. Executive coaching is a series of one-to-one sessions (or conversations) that facilitate the executive learn about himself or herself, develop and determine their own solutions and answers. The process provides the executive with an objective, and focussed thinking partner. When the goal or challenge is clearly identified during the coaching process, the executive is then empowered to determine their plan or solution.

It’s important to understand the difference between coaching and advising, mentoring, counselling and other developmental interventions.

Executive coaching is not:

  • Offering expert advice (the executive is the expert)
  • Therapy / psychoanalysis (the coach needs to know where the boundaries lie)
  • Tell (it is about “ask”)
  • Guidance and advice (it’s about exploration)
  • Direction (it’s experiential, new ways of doing, thinking, learning)
  • A makeover (it’s about long term growth and change)

Executive Coaching

There are many reasons why executives seek executive coaching and all cases are different. The reason(s) may include:

  • To reach a goal
  • To develop as a leader
  • To get a different perspective
  • You are recently promoted and wish to increase your chances of success
  • You feel “stuck”
  • To be more effective
  • You need to have a confidential conversation with someone outside of your organisation
  • To change “something” but aren’t sure what “it” is
  • You want to step back from and learn from your experiences
  • You want to improve you people management skills
  • To increase your awareness

In executive coaching you (the executive) identify the issue and the possible solution. The executive coach facilitates the process. The process involves real engagement. Desirable outcomes include increased effectiveness, self-improvement and a deeper understanding of self, others and issues.

The focus of executive coaching is a “win-win” outcome for the executive and the executive’s organisation - the wellbeing, development and motivation of the executive and the performance of the organisation are compatible and complimentary. The objective is a positive outcome for both executive and organisation.

can be coached?

If you are ready to devote the time and the energy to making real changes in your work or life then executive coaching is for you. A key question is are you willing to be coached? If yes, then coaching is for you. A conversation usually helps clarify if you are ready for coaching. If you would like to have such a conversation, just call or mail (see contact page).

Typically those availing of executive coaching include:

How the process starts

Starting the process varies from client to client. Before coaching sessions begin, the executive/executive's sponsor and the coach have a conversation which will include the following:

It is important to have a coaching conversation to give the executive a feeling about coaching and the process. The purpose of the meeting is to see if there is a ‘fit’ between the executive and the coach. If the chemistry isn’t right either party may decide not to proceed.

If the ‘fit’ is right then it’s time to move forward….typically with four to six sessions over a period of three to six months.

Next - agree the contract.

With the permission of the executive, the coach may engage in some profiling work and data gathering. But this depends on the agreed programme and what the executive is comfortable with.

Sessions begin...develop the agenda…develop the implementation…follow up…evaluate….

About Tom Armstrong

I am an executive coach with a business background. My interest in executive coaching is driven by a desire to facilitate clients to reach their potential.

I offer a safe space to explore ideas and options. I believe that success is achieved by creating an environment in which people can thrive, a lesson learnt in business and through coaching in sport.

The joy of coaching for me is witnessing and facilitating clients grow and change professionally and personally, taking greater control over their lives and realising their potential. I have an MSc in Business and Executive Coaching from the Michael Smurfit Business School, UCD and, I am an associate member of the Association for Coaching in Ireland. I am a certified Personal Profile Analysis practitioner.


I graduated from Trinity College Dublin (Business Studies) in 1983 and I am a chartered accountant with over 25 years’ experience in business. I was the Finance Director of Toyota Ireland for over 10 years and CFO of Killeen Group Holdings for over four years and have a wide range of senior experience of the hotel and leisure sectors, property, investment, equestrian and family office. I managed for many years using a 'coaching style', focusing on getting the best out of teams as well as myself. I continue to consult in this area.

Current journey

I'm very aware of the many challenges and opportunities facing executives in business… 'lonely at the top', the challenges of moving to the next level, how managing relationships is critical to effectiveness and success. I want to help executives on that journey.

(Tom Armstrong Executive Coaching is a registered business name of Tom Armstrong Executive Coaching and Consulting Limited)


Tony Quinn, Senior Executive, Consumer Healthcare & Pharmaceutical sector

"As a professional executive coach Tom has shown me the true value of coaching which resulted in identification of a specific set of behaviours unique to my situation and a highly charged desire to take positive action to achieve my goals.

Tom gets to the real area of improvement and development ensuring absolute focus on what matters most.

I knew from the outset in working with Tom that I was being coached at the most supreme level in my career to date where Tom’s application of his acclaimed coaching credentials, his accomplished professional business career, his high level of emotional intelligence and most of all his burning passion for coaching has completely transformed my approach, confidence and motivation to delivering clear strategic objectives in my personal and professional life."

FA, Senior Executive IT sector

My coaching sessions with Tom took place when I was in a period of career transition. I found that coaching helped me to view my reality from an alternative perspective. It also helped me to stand back and weigh up my options more objectively.

I had never met Tom before and in many ways we were very different. However, to my surprise we built a good relationship based on trust and mutual respect in a short space of time. This allowed me become more open and less guarded in my thinking and feelings.

Tom is an experienced professional with a strong business background and he combines this experience with his strong inter personal skills to maximise the effectiveness of the coaching sessions. He's clearly interested in people.


I sought coaching from Tom when I was at a business and career crossroads. Our conversations broadened my perspective and clarified my options and priorities.

Tom was very personable, down-to-earth and cognisant of my best interests. He was a perceptive listener who helped me identify and tease out the key personal and career issues while contributing a combination of objectivity and common-sense grounded in valuable commercial experience, insight and understanding.

I found the process guided me to a solid and informed decision and was highly worthwhile.


You can contact me using the contact form, alternatively you can use one of the links below:

+353 086 8228400


IMI Business Campus, Sandyford Road, Dublin 16

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