Anne Marie Segal, CEO, Segal Coaching LLC

Anne Marie Segal is an executive coach, the author of two career-related books, and the founder of Segal Coaching LLC. After working for fifteen years as an attorney, it became clear to her that she was ready to make a transition out of law, and she fearlessly set about determining a new path for her career.

Over the course of many personal and professional conversations, including some with career coaches, Anne Marie realized that she had become deeply engaged in the questions and search for answers that accompany transition, growth, value clarification, and professional development. April 2015 brought about the launch of Segal Coaching, a firm tailored to attorneys, executives, and board candidates who are seeking career development. Anne Marie’s approach, arising out of her experience as a certified coach and a lifelong writer, helps her clients navigate career transitions, emphasize their strengths, and meet their professional goals.

Let’s discover Anne Marie’s remarkable journey and how she is making meaningful changes in people’s lives.

Journey from a Practicing Lawyer to an Executive Coach & Writer

Anne Marie began college as a journalism major, then migrated into creative writing and visual arts – specifically photography. She spent the early years of her professional career as an art historian, then changed gears to attend law school. A career in law appealed to her as a mix of using her writing skills, incorporating her interests in languages and travel, and making a practical impact in the world. For 15 years, she worked as an attorney in four different legal settings: three law firms (AmLaw100, a smaller firm with former Big Law attorneys and a solo practice) and a private investment fund manager. Most days, she loved being a lawyer, but her creative side wistfully yearned for a different balance of time, heart, and mind.

After gaining experience across multiple legal fields – corporate, compliance, investment funds, private equity, employment, litigation prep, trademark, estate planning, non-profit law, and others – Anne Marie discovered the most fulfilling part of her role: the relationships she fostered with colleagues, internal and external clients, prospective talent, and even opposing counsel and business teams. She loved working with talented individuals, many of whom were on the verge of something even greater, if they could only unlock the right doors. The other great reason she loved being a lawyer was writing. “I have always loved putting words on a page, stringing concepts and sounds together, knowing how the written word can inform, persuade, and delight,” reveals Anne Marie.

Aware that for personal reasons it was time to make another career change, Anne Marie took stock of her interests and talents and the needs of the marketplace in late 2014. She says, “I realized that I wanted to be more directly involved in helping people achieve success (however they defined it), and I wanted to do it on my own terms.” She began the process of transforming her informal mentoring, relationship-building, and passion for writing into a full-time career and launching a coaching practice around these skills. Making such a radical change in career path is not everyone’s cup of tea, but for Anne Marie, her new role as a career coach and resume writer – creative, grounded, and focused on making meaningful changes in people’s lives – is the perfect fit.

A Deep Dive into the World of Executive Coaching

According to Anne Marie, there are two categories of people who pursue a career in the coaching field. On one hand, there are people who decide to become a coach because they had their own mentor who made a huge impact on them. On the flipside, you will find people who had to ride through a number of rough spots on their own and wish they had known to find themselves a coach. “I am definitely in the latter camp,” states Anne Marie. “I want to help others have it easier than I did.”

Headquartered in Stamford, CT, Segal Coaching LLC is the brainchild of Anne Marie, offering leadership coaching and writing for executives and board candidates. The firm specializes in senior leadership development, team & organizational development, board & executive resume writing, LinkedIn profile writing, executive presence & personal branding, and interview preparation. The majority of Segal Coaching’s clients are C-Suite or other senior leaders, including General Counsel and board of director candidates.

Tailoring Coaching Sessions to Meet Client Needs

As an executive coach, Anne Marie considers her main job to be helping clients understand their values and intrinsic motivations (and how these can help them navigate their next steps) as well as how and where they get in their own way. At the same time, clients often seek her input on a variety of topics, such as creating compelling and authentic personal branding and general and specific leadership guidance including how to shift their mindset to accelerate the path to the next phase of their career.

Furthermore, Anne Marie is sought out because of her grounded and pragmatic nature. Her expertise in “how deals get done” and past leadership roles in a variety of settings, including with teams who could be better aligned or had unclear goals, sets her apart as an influential coach in the industry. At the same time, she has learned that although she can empathize with and understand a client’s challenges, it is her job as a coach to help them gain awareness and see what is – in every situation – within their power to change.

People often mention to Anne Marie that their last coach was a “cheerleader,” and that they need more than a cheerleader. They want someone who can help them make huge shifts in career, not just channel positivity. “That’s a bit of an oversimplification because we should never stop celebrating our wins,” says Anne Marie, “but it rings true about the way I work with clients.”

The Art of Personal Value Proposition Development

A core part of Anne Marie’s work revolves around personal value proposition development. Clients learn new ways to articulate and “own” their value, and this plays out in several key ways. Sometimes, they need to build confidence for their next big transformation. They may require Anne Marie’s insights on which mountain to climb, why they are climbing it, and whether they have what they need to make the journey. “These are questions they could ask themselves directly, but there’s a heightened awareness and accountability that comes from the coaching relationship and from ‘showing up’ as I walk them through their goals, challenges, and assumptions,” Anne Marie explains.

Other times, a client has been climbing so fast that they haven’t had a chance to regroup, so that is an essential part of the work Anne Marie and the client do together. For example, a C-Suite executive may have decided to target CEO roles. The personal value proposition they had until that point needs to shift along with their new intended target, because the value one brings as a CFO, COO, General Counsel, or other C-Suite executive is inherently different from the expectations placed on a CEO. The same is true for executives (including CEOs) who are rebranding themselves as they pivot to serving on a corporate board of directors.

It is also often the case that someone becomes such an expert in one area that either they need to expand their personal brand beyond that area or, conversely, they need to truly lean into that expertise. Anne Marie says, “I work with clients to understand how their strengths and priorities intersect with the needs of open and potential roles in the marketplace of employers and other potential fits where they can add value.”

For the Love of Writing

As a creative person, Anne Marie considers writing a perfect medium to share a message with a larger audience. It also helps to organize thoughts when one takes the time to put words on the page and send them out into the world. As an author, she released her first book, Master the Interview, in October 2016 and her second book, Know Yourself, Grow Your Career, in September 2017.

Anne Marie’s first book, Master the Interview, is a key resource for professionals, packed with information and guidance that will help clients thrive. From networking and creating value propositions to answering tough questions and evaluating offers, Master the Interview gives clients the tools they need to decode the interview process. Filled with insider accounts, expert advice, and workbook exercises, clients will be able to demonstrate to target employers that they are indeed the ones to hire. She is currently in the process of revising and publishing the second edition.

Her second book, Know Yourself, Grow Your Career, is also a multi-unit workbook and designed to help individuals articulate their strengths and professional priorities (in light of current and potential roles) and develop a personal value proposition for their career. This book is a highly useful manual that is valuable to career coaches and any motivated reader who is willing to invest the time and energy in themselves to reach their goals.

Connecting with Audiences in a Meaningful Way

Anne Marie’s goal as a speaker is not only to share her insights, but to help others recognize their own wisdom. “Whether I am running my own workshops or presenting at a conference or client site, I am always seeking to present information in a way that is meaningful for those who are attending,” she says. “I have learned many lessons over the years about how to be more effective at public speaking, and I approach it (as everything else) as a chance to continue to learn.”

PODER25: General Counsel Diversity Talent Pipeline of Hispanic In-House Counsel

From the start and through the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Anne Marie served as Facilitator of the PODER25 diversity pipeline for the Hispanic National Bar Association and HNBA VIA Fund. This role encompassed talent development, recruiter engagement, program management, resume feedback, career transition coaching, and overall team leadership of more than 60 Hispanic in-house lawyers who were current or high-potential candidates for Fortune 500 and other top Chief Legal Officer/General Counsel roles.

As Facilitator, Anne Marie restructured and evolved the program from an early-stage initiative to a best-in-class and highly selective leadership accelerator. She also teamed up with other program leadership to plan, recruit for, launch, and onboard PODER25’s Advisory Council of Fortune 500 and other prominent General Counsel.

Success Story

Once, Anne Marie was working with a very high-level executive who was retiring and wanted to launch a corporate board career. With Anne Marie’s help, he moved from being nervous about whether he would land a role to serving on numerous public and private company boards. He is now a mentor to others in the same process. She shares, “This was a transformative win. At the same time, while we like to celebrate the big stories, there are lots of aha moments on every single coaching call.”

Roadmap to the Future

Going forward, Anne Marie plans to evolve Segal Coaching to meet the needs of her clients. This includes further building out of corporate board readiness coaching and programming, for example, including her signature board mastermind program. She also plans to release a second edition of Master the Interview in April 2024 and additional books are currently in the works.

In addition, Anne Marie is currently learning her fifth language – Italian which she is documenting on a nearly daily basis on YouTube. She is always looking for new opportunities to build leadership bridges across cultures, languages, and geographies and to inspire others to transform their own professional and personal visions into reality.

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