Coach Erica Santoni, BOLDLY Executive Coach holding ICF ACC and a MBA from Harvard Business School

Coach Spotlight: Coach Erica

May 23, 2024

Posted by Lisa Singh

Welcome to the BOLDLY Coach Spotlight! This week we are delighted to feature Coach Erica, an ICF ACC Executive Coach who empowers high-performing leaders to maximize their effectiveness and impact. Coach Erica has an extensive background as a people leader in Tech and brings a wealth of expertise in strategic talent management to her coaching practice. Thank you for joining us Coach Erica!

1) To begin, can you share with us where you are currently based, along with any other places you've lived in the past?

I live in the heart of the Silicon Valley, in Mountain View. I moved here five years ago from Boston, and before that, I lived in Europe - London, Paris, and Milan, where I am originally from. I am lucky I have been able to call “home” so many beautiful places.


2)  What does your typical weekend look like?

Weekends are for reconnecting with friends and family, not only in person but also virtually as many of the people I am close with live in different time zones. Weekends are also for rest and recharge with my husband and puppy. We like spending time outdoors - reading at the park, hiking, and enjoying the beautiful weather and nature.


3) Can you please walk us through your professional journey and the key milestones that have shaped your career path?

I started my career in management consulting and corporate strategy, supporting C-suite leaders in tackling the most strategic challenges for their organizations. That’s where I first realized how the people aspect was truly the most important one in any project I worked on, despite it being often overlooked. Wanting to bridge that gap, I decided to do an MBA at Harvard Business School, where I focused on leadership and human capital management. I then took on HR and DEI leadership roles at Tech companies, helping leaders, teams, and organizations become more effective, inclusive, and high-performing. I continue to drive that impact today, through a mix of coaching, consulting, and learning and development solutions.


4) You are an Executive Coach, an Instructor at Stanford, and a consultant. How do you balance these roles, and what insights from one role do you bring into the other?

They are all expressions of different parts of my skillset, which complement each other quite nicely and work synergistically together. It’s a bit like having a Swiss knife where depending on the situation, I leverage the most fitting tool. For example, I may wear my consulting hat to diagnose issues, my instructor hat to share best practices, and my coaching hat to unlock new insights. Even in engagements that are only focused on one aspect, having a broader skillset enables me to hold a 360 view of the broader context within which I am working, ensuring I can help clients drive the desired change more effectively. 


5) I believe you also spend some time volunteering, can you tell us about this?

I mentor young professionals and university students, with a particular focus on women, helping them navigate their careers. I hope my advice can help younger generations succeed.


6) What advantages do you feel individuals who undergo coaching gain in contrast to those who do not participate in coaching sessions?

Coaching creates a powerful virtuous cycle in the lives of individuals as they become more aware and expand their views - of themselves, of those around them, of what it is and what could be - and, consequently, become more intentional in what they do and who they are. This elevates their impact, opens up new possibilities, and leads to greater fulfillment. 


7) Can you describe your approach to helping clients identify their strengths, weaknesses, and areas for growth within their career and leadership paths?

In a one-on-one coaching engagement, an initial assessment is helpful to set a baseline and to identify areas of strengths and opportunities to focus on. I look at them through three lenses: 

·  The “client” lens, where together we identify the client’s areas of genius, values, and priorities, as well as the gaps in fulfillment and areas of lower effectiveness

·  The “others” lens, where we embed 360 feedback from relevant stakeholders

·  The “context” lens, where we embed insights about the external environment, for example, what it takes to be successful in a specific project or at a specific company

This assessment enables us to identify areas of focus and a baseline against which to measure future progress. Additional layers of complexity usually emerge through the coaching engagement, for example uncovering the limiting beliefs or competing commitments that have been holding the client back. It is part of the work to release them to unlock a greater level of effectiveness.


8) Can you share examples of how you've helped clients overcome challenges or obstacles in their careers and achieve their desired outcomes?

I worked with a leader who felt dissatisfied in his role. We first identified the main source of frustration: a builder by nature, he felt he was not spending enough time on things that energized him now that he had risen up the corporate ladder. Together, we worked on finding ways for him to express his “builder” identify, both at work and outside. We also focused on evolving the way he was engaging in some of the activities that he felt were draining his energy to be more in alignment with who he is and his values, e.g., from “playing the politics game” to “building relationships to get things done together”. By doing so, he found greater fulfillment in his life and career, and became more effective in the workplace, showing up and leading in a way that felt uniquely authentic to who he is.


Another example is when I worked with a people manager who stepped into a leadership role for the first time. He was a brilliant operator and subject-matter-expert, but lacked the softer skills needed to inspire, coach, and develop teams. When under pressure, his ego would prevent him from rising to the occasion. I helped him build his skillset around communication, coaching, and executive presence, and embrace his new identity as a leader, letting go of the operating mechanism that made him successful in the past but that was currently staying in the way of his growth and impact.


9) Lastly, what metrics or indicators do you use to measure the success and effectiveness of your coaching interventions with clients?

As we set goals upfront, we align on the KPIs to measure progress. So while every engagement is different, the ways to measure progress are usually around goal achievement, behavioral change, and performance improvement.

Thank you again Coach Erica for joining us in this week's BOLDLY Coach Spotlight! To book a complimentary 30-minute chemistry session with Coach Erica, or to learn more about the services we offer at BOLDLY, visit or email

About the Author:

Lisa Singh is an Australian, living with her family in the beautiful South Pacific. As Coach Business Partner Lead for BOLDLY, Lisa's team screen and onboard coaches onto our global marketplace, then enable the matching and engagement process so that coaches can do what they do best: deliver exceptional coaching journeys to our coachees. In her role with BOLDLY she loves meeting top coaches and promoting their work for a win:win. Connect with Lisa here.

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