Results: Clients' Experiences



The Situation: Barbara, 56, is among the few female executive corporate physician leaders in the country and has been honored for her role as a highly influential leader. Working in a traditional business culture in a highly visible, newly created organizational role presented its own unique set of challenges. She continues to grow in her ability to lead with conviction, strategy, courage...and success.

“Coaching, and specifically Bonnie's partnership style of coaching, is invaluable to me. Books, courses, mentors, and on the job learning all have their roles in career development. But it has been her coaching that has helped me to begin to embrace and embody the executive skills implied by the term "physician executive". Bonnie's experience in healthcare and the business world, and her interpersonal and intuitive skills are a powerful combination. I am delighted to recommend her – as long as she saves time on her schedule for me!“ Barbara R. Paul, MD, Senior Vice President, Fortune 200 company.

The Situation: Clyde, 55, is the president of a multi-office, dual state surgical specialty group practice that he founded. He came to coaching because “my wife told me I had to spend less time at work.” He admitted he was fast approaching burnout and said he’d try anything to get a better handle on how to run his business more efficiently.."if only to save my marriage".

“The benefit of coaching for me was the reanalysis of the strict adherence to my old habits. Those of us type A achievers who reach a certain age have had to develop a strong set of principles by which we conduct our affairs…Over time certain behavioral habits develop which can (in my case) be personally destructive. Bonnie allowed me to see which bad habits can be changed without violating my basic principles. I am still the President but have slowly delegated much more responsibility to my partners and the business manager. Amazingly, they have done well. I am honored to give Bonnie my highest endorsement.” C.S., MD, President, Medical Specialty Group Practice

The Situation: Ben, 44, was a senior partner with an environmental engineering firm who found himself facing a midlife quandry: was engineering truly the right career choice for someone with so many other passionate interests and an elevated social and environmental consciousness? After taking some time off to recalibrate, he confidently returned to his firm and successfully reconstructed his position to include directing the non-profit arm of the firm.

“Years ago, when I first became aware of coaching, it seemed to me self-indulgent and unnecessary. After all, successful self-motivated people are, well, self-motivated. With a few more years of perspective and awareness under my belt, coaching still seems self-indulgent, only now it is both wonderful and necessary. There are few things that have supported my personal professional development as well as a cheerleader who asks tough questions, examines underlying motivations, and challenges me to grow. I have grown and I am better for it. Thank you for launching me into my next phase….I am forever grateful.” Ben Leslie-Bole, Senior Partner and EVP, Engineering Company

The Situation: Marty, 44, was the VP for Operations of a rapidly expanding nationwide dental practice. He was feared by staff, mostly women, who reported to him. While hardly the misogynist he appeared to be on the surface, he did have a big deficit in patience, understanding, appreciation, and the willingness to listen. His job was in jeopardy because of the number of complaints filed by his staff.

“My CEO recommended engaging a Leadership Coach as a means to improve my dysfunctional relationships with my peers, and consequently my leadership skills. I was concerned the experience would be too “touchy feely” for me, but realized it was necessary to advance my career. Once I committed to the process, it wasn’t “touchy feely”, but practical. Bonnie not only challenged me, but also offered real world advice for real world situations. I have improved my relationships with my direct reports, as well as my standing with my superiors.”

18 months later:

“Just felt a need to say hello because I think of you whenever things get challenging at work - this is meant as a compliment. I learned a lot from our time together and a lot has stuck. I notice earlier if I start to get into a pattern of overwork/negativity and although I do slip from time to time, it's easier to recognize and course-correct.” M.K., MBA, Vice President, Nationwide Dental Practice.

The Situation: Lisa, 48, is a highly regarded and very successful attorney and Sr. VP for a national association of healthcare organizations, in her role for several years. She was stunned and angry to receive an evaluation that was critical of her interactions with superiors and other senior organizational leaders. She converted her initial feelings into curious and courageous experimentation to discover why she was seen as "critical, judgmental, and intolerant".

“I had no idea what to expect from a coach, and was fairly certain that I did not really need one. Was I wrong!!  Bonnie has helped me discover the power in developing new ways of communicating with those who experience the world in a completely different way than I do.  Now, I look forward to our appointments as part of my journey to becoming a more effective leader.”

Several months later:

“I just got my written evaluation… I almost cried when I read it.…While I am thankful that I have improved... most importantly, I have learned so much about myself…mainly that I do not have to be afraid of re-evaluating my “imperfections.” It is actually a very freeing experience.” Lisa Gilden., Sr.VP and General Counsel, national association of non-profit healthcare organizations

The Situation: Pat, 52, is a superb clinician who handled complex emergency room cases with ease. However, she had alienated just about everyone she worked with and received numerous patient complaints about her uncaring and rude treatment. She "snapped" at nursing staff routinely, even insulting them. She couldn’t imagine how a coach could help her.

“Working with Bonnie was literally a life-changing experience. Although prior to coaching I drew much satisfaction from my profession, over the years I had accumulated many counter-productive habits and attitudes that prevented me from truly enjoying my work. She tactfully challenged many of my assumptions and firmly but patiently prescribed specific tasks (sometimes emotionally difficult) for me to carry out. I now experience true satisfaction, and even joy, in my interactions with patients and fellow staff. Amazing! I'm like a new person at work. Our CEO just published all of our patient satisfaction scores and I came out a top performer, even beating my hero!” — P.K., MD, Emergency Department, national health maintenance organization

The Situation: Anne, 57, is a surgeon and department head in a busy clinic who gave an unfavorable review to the newest physician on her staff. The new hire complained to senior management, threatening a discrimination suit. Anne was open to understanding her role in contributing to the problem and learning new leadership and mentoring skills.

“Bonnie’s coaching helped me to grow through a very difficult personal and professional transition, coming out stronger and wiser rather than bitter or confused. She helped me learn to tap into my strengths and use them consciously, as well as to develop the emotional skills which help me to be a true leader, an empathetic partner, and a more peaceful person. She guided me to learn the “why” as well as the “how”. It has been more than two years since our sessions, and I find that the lessons we learned have become part of the fabric of how I live my life and conduct myself professionally. What a wonderful gift!” — A.D., MD, Department Chief, nationwide medical group practice.

The Situation: Mary, 34, was recently appointed Chief of Surgery - her first leadership assignment. She faced a significant challenge: she was in her 30s, newly out of med school, and was expected to lead a staff of men – all of whom were old enough to be her father and, collectively, had the reputation of being impossibly difficult to work with.

“I recently had the pleasure of working with Bonnie as my coach. The skills and courage I developed to maximize my leadership potential were invaluable, not only professionally but also for personal growth. Bonnie’s ability to create a supportive atmosphere helped me fully benefit from my time with her, and her motivational skill helped me tokeep pushing forward with my development. Both have been keys to my success in an admittedly challenging situation.” M.A., MD, Chief of Surgery, national health maintenance organization

The Situation: Suzan, 60, is the very talented and successful Executive Director of a highly visible and widely respected non-profit agency. She succeeded in surpassing her capital campaign goal, but at a price. She was facing serious burnout - not sleeping well, overly anxious, self-critical, questioning her job fit, exhausted. Her Board Chair recommended seeking a coach.

“Bonnie….I think of you often and hear your words when I need them. Just wanted to say thank you for all you have given me. You gave me MYSELF back and I find that not only do I like me better but I think I’m more likeable as well. Such a gift.”Suzan Bateson, Executive Director, large California non-profit.



The Situation: Patricia, 59, was rebounding from a miserable and sudden job loss. Only a few months after relocating to her new job as Chief Medical Officer for a large hospital system, the new CEO reorganized his senior staff and Pat was let go. This high energy, deeply committed and passionate professional was trying to figure out what to do next.

“After an unhappy departure from my last position that required me to suddenly uproot my life, a colleague suggested I spend some time with Bonnie working through the transition. Bonnie was terrific. She spent time really getting to know me - my strengths and weaknesses - and she helped me think about what I really wanted to do in the next phase of my career. My immediate reaction was to fill up the hole the job loss had created. She gently reminded me of my own priorities when I was tempted to jump too quickly back into the same type of situation I had just left. I ultimately made the decision to start my own company and am now in the full throes of an entrepreneurial adventure. I am grateful I had the opportunity to work with Bonnie at this critical juncture. She was just what I needed.” P.S., MD. CEO, Medical Consulting Firm

The Situation: Mike, 42, an accomplished attorney on the executive team, was strongly encouraged to seek help from a coach because he was increasingly being described by his colleagues as showing "brash, inconsiderate, bossy, offensive” behavior. He reluctantly agreed to coaching.

“The real discovery for me was how differently others see me than how I regard myself. I honestly had no idea that I made people afraid of me. That was, is, certainly not my intention! Coaching helped me recognize the things I do and say that put people off. It takes hard work to change bad habits,and I suspect it's a lifelong journey for me, but it sure helps to have honest feedback given in a caring way.”  M.M., JD, General Counsel, national healthcare organization

The Situation: Steve, 56, had been planning to retire in a couple of years from his thriving solo dental practice…until the economy tanked. In his second marriage, he was eager to spend more time with his 3 year old twins, and felt his dream had been hijacked. He was struggling to figure out what to do next.

"Working with Bonnie took me on a unique path of personal discovery. Having worked with numerous advisors and counselors over my career, I found her approach fresh and inspiring. Bonnie blends her years of experience in coaching, life and business in a way I feel gives her a special skill set and multiple points of personal reference as a coach. She helped me clarify my strengths and weaknesses, discover my current personal and professional goals, as well the path to achieve them. Almost as important, she taught me how to recognize the obstacles that could block me from my path. Loved my time with her." — Steve McConnel, DDS, Cosmetic Dentistry of Marin (


“Bonnie is a remarkable thought partner in complex matters of transition, goal setting, and matching aspiration and practice. Our coaching sessions are illuminating and energizing. I love that her questions and nuggets remain with me long after our conversations, with her wise voice adding valuable insights to my thought process long after we speak. I have recommended Bonnie to many friends because I value her wisdom and insights, respect her integrity, and relish our conversations.” J.S, President and Executive Director, Legal Non-profit

“I have had the privilege of using Bonnie Clarke as a professional coach on several occasions during my career. I have used her services personally, hired her to facilitate team building and referred her to friends and family. Bonnie is beyond comparison in her coaching skill, client services and creative problem solving. Bonnie understands the dynamic challenges of being an effective leader in demanding situations and organizations. She is one of the most conscientious and professional people I have ever worked with. I highly recommend Bonnie for coaching for anyone interested in mastering the art of leadership.” C.C., Executive Director, Statewide non-profit organization

“My discussions with Bonnie make me see the fullness of my capacity. The questions she asks cause deep reflection that has led to new insights. The mingling of my spirit, soul, job and passions is as natural as flowing water. Most surprising though is that I find the time to do the things she suggests. I am learning accountability to myself for my thoughts and actions by doing this in the coaching relationship.” R.N., MD, physician executive [retired], national healthcare organization

“…Finally and most importantly, I wanted to thank you for the help, friendship, mentorship, and opportunities that you have provided to me over the years. A lot of what I have learned from you… including my transition from (organization’s) administrative structure... has been invaluable and responsible for my success and happiness. Thanks!!!!!!!” D.F.,MD, Department Chief, national healthcare organization

"Bonnie has been an invaluable help to me.  I only wish I had started working with her years ago."  B.S., Executive Vice President [retired], nationwide finance institution

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