Hi, I'm Sasha. I coach leaders to help them find their footing so they can do the best work of their lives. Learn more about my coaching or sign up to chat.
I also love building and leading high-performance data teams. I've helped many organizations—from venture-backed startups to public radio to NASA—do more with their data. Most recently, I was director of data science at Warby Parker. My favorite projects involve working alongside entrepreneurs and R&D teams to create new, innovative products.
My favorite part of leadership is creating alignment, from the individual through the team and department through the company and where it sits in broader historical trends. I particularly enjoy helping people understand what really drives them and then aligning that with what the organization needs most. It's incredibly rewarding to see them light up and take off like a rocket, and it only started when I added coaching to my leadership toolbox.
I first experienced coaching as a fellow of The Coaching Fellowship, but didn't realize it was a toolset managers could use until Lara Hogan's excellent workshop. On the plane home I devoured The Coaching Habit, and started practicing right away.
The difference wasn't subtle. Without exception, everyone on my team blossomed. Their skills grew faster. They spotted great projects and opportunities, excited to take more ownership of their work. They all looked for ways to offer leadership to the team which created a supportive and high-performing team culture. Coaching was what helped them put their finger on their superpowers and what lights them up, and see ways to flex that in their work.
"[Your integrating coaching into management] was an extremely different experience from other managers I've had. I grew a lot as a person and professionally, beyond the specific job and company." —Christina
Which brings us to today
The results were clear and I loved doing it, so I opened up my coaching practice to people outside my direct team. And I saw these tools work for person after person. Ginell said "this process allows space. It sounds simple, but...it's everything."
Even if you have a great manager who knows how to coach, the catch is that it's impossible to be completely honest with the person who will write your next performance review. Ginell says "since you're not someone that makes decisions about my livelihood, I can be more open and vulnerable about stuff that is mucky and talk it through with you." You have someone in your corner rooting just for you—not the team, not the company. Just you!
Falsehoods I used to believe about coaching
"Coaches are only for people who are failing." This is the old-school approach: struggling executive? Get them a coach! You'll still see this belief floating around, but nowadays it's the most successful folks who seek out coaches to accelerate their results. Most top executives have coaches, and some of the most successful businesses of all time credit their success to coaching.
One of the great paradoxes of being coached is: the higher you go in your career, the more impactful it is, but the less of it you get organically. Your manager (if you even have one!) offers less attention and development. It gets harder to get honest feedback from the people who report up to you. And sometimes you're the only one in your role at your company. Yet people look to you to have it all figured out. An outside coach can be a crucial sounding board in a lonely role.
"I'd say this style of coaching is a better fit for senior people. Their challenges are more unique, and they are asking bigger questions beyond their immediate role." —Emily
"Coaching only helps me." Think of all the people you impact every day: your coworkers, direct reports, customers, community, and family. When you support yourself, you can better serve all of these folks. Investment in yourself is investment in all of them—including all the people yet to come.
"We all are worthy of being helped and seeing our full selves and having someone there to cheerlead for us when we don't know what to cheerlead ourselves for. We all deserve that person." —Ginell
"Who am I to get a coach?" There was a time when I thought coaches were for people "more important" than me. But now I see that everyone deserves a great environment so they can grow and do the best work of their lives. Some people just get this handed to them—supportive teachers, good managers—but others don't get that and somehow still scrap and fight to get where they are. You deserve quality support, even if it doesn't feel like it yet.