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Executive Sparring – it can be lonely at the top For many people in leading positions, “lonely at the top“ is not just a simple cliché, but rather a sad reality. A personal sparring partner can make a crucial difference and this is exactly what renowned Swiss executive coach Thomas Gelmi specialises in.

leadership and communication but very often career related topics are discussed as well. Emulated from top-class sports


A recent study of executive coaching which was published by the Stanford Graduate School of Business confirms: pressure and need for personal support on higher management levels are massive and the consequences of neglecting these facts can be fatal, both personally and economically. Europe’s shortcoming While in the U. S. various forms of personal coaching and consulting have steadily become a usual and legitimate way of support for managers and executives during the past 25 years, in Europe a rather prob-

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lem and deficit oriented perception is only beginning to shift towards a more resource and potential oriented way of seeing things, in which top-performers especially have a sparring partner at their side.This can support executives in improving their selfawareness, in reducing blind spots, in developing their personal strengths even more and in growing in areas that are important to them. Over all, this leads to more authenticity and lasting contentment – for themselves and for their environment. The topics usually range from self-awareness and self-management to coping with stress,

This kind of partnership can best be compared with top-class sports, where the function of a personal sparring partner or coach originally stems from. Top athletes like Roger Federer all have a personal coach and, regardless of their success, they don’t stop working with their coaches but have established long term relationships with them. If we look back in time, when terms such as ‘sparring partner’ or ‘coach’ didn’t even exist, personal and professional topics were often discussed with friends, family members, close confidants or even a priest. Of course, these persons can still be an excellent choice, provided that one has the opportunity and access to them.