Lew Stern PhD

President Stern Consulting, Senior Advisor Institute of Coaching, Instructor Part-time Harvard Medical School, and Co-Director of The Executive Coaching Forum

Why I became a coach:

I find people and organizations fascinating. Their complexity provides the challenge to help understand all of the diverse factors that allow them to flourish or prevent them from achieving their potential. Coaching lets me in to the center to help others build awareness, be more effective, and gain optimum satisfaction for themselves and the people they serve and support. I became a coach because I find that individual leaders and leadership teams tend to be smart, driven, and want to learn, continually improve, and make a positive difference. I get to work with diverse people and varied industries and cultures. What’s better than being rewarded for the work you love and helping leaders change peoples’ lives and the societies in which they work and live? Coaching pays forward. So many of the people we coach learn to coach others. The more we coach, study what we do and the results we achieve, the more we help build the capacity for all of us to help each other lead satisfying lives, take care of our communities, and sustain our planet.

Why I care about the Institute of Coaching:

Coaching is at an early stage of development. We need to know what works, for whom, and how. Many individuals and groups around the world are using coaching without coordinating and collaborating with each other to do research and discover best practices to build coaching as a professional and personal discipline. I care about the Institute because it is a leading center to bring together the best minds, practitioners, and users of leadership and health coaching to share what they care about, what they know and learn, and make their learning accessible on a global basis. I care about good research. I value responsible, disciplined practice and sharing the value of coaching with those who can truly make a difference. I care about the Institute of Coaching as an academic and professional home of values-driven, evidence-based professionals who are committed to serving our members and the world community.


Dr. Lew Stern has forty years experience as an executive coach, organization development consultant, and consulting psychologist.  He received his Masters degree and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota. He has served as an adjunct faculty or guest lecturer in business, management, and organization behavior and development at many colleges and universities.  He has served as President of Focus Consulting and Stern Consulting, Vice President at ODI, and Senior Vice President of Manchester Consulting. Lew has consulted to and coached hundreds of senior leaders in varied industries around the world including biotechnology, higher education, manufacturing, transportation, power, high technology, retail, healthcare, financial services, non-profits, the public sector, and telecommunications. He speaks regularly on coaching, leadership, and the impact positive psychology can have on our daily lives and the future of our planet. He has a passion for bringing the power of coaching to leaders around the world and invests half of his time to providing pro bono coaching to non-profit organizations whose missions focus on environmental sustainability, international peace, and quality of life on a national and global level.

Leadership in Organizational Consulting and Coaching Psychology

Lew co-founded and is Co-Director of The Executive Coaching Forum, co-founded and served as President of the New England Society for Applied Psychology, served as a Founding Board Member of the Graduate School Alliance for Executive Coaching, and founded and directed the only Graduate Certificate Program in Executive Coaching in New England (at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology). He founded and served as Executive Director and Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for International Leadership Coaching. He is Senior Advisor to the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and is on the faculty part-time at the Medical School.  

Representative Research and Publications

Dr. Stern has researched and authored or co-authored many articles and books on coaching including most recently: Supervision in Coaching (soon to be published chapter in Psychological Supervision), The Executive Coaching Handbook 6th edition; The Executive Coaching Competency Model; Executive Coaching: Building and Managing Your Professional Practice; Executive Coaching: A Working Definition; Education and Development Guidelines for Coaches; What Progress Has Been Made in Coaching Research (2008-2012); Multidisciplinary Approaches to Leadership Coaching; Beyond Strengths- Practical Coaching Techniques to Help Senior Leaders Change Bad Habits; and Bringing Assessments in Coaching Into the 21st Century. Lew serves as Editorial Board Member of Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research & Practice and an Advisory Board Member of the International Coaching Psychology Review.