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Leading Indicator Releases Market Segmentation of the Market for Executive and Life Coaching

Despite the rapid growth of the coaching services market, the key segments that comprise it have not yet been adequately characterized, until now. With 7 percent annual growth, both the life coaching and executive coaching markets have been among the fastest growing industries worldwide. They account for $20 billion of annual revenue in the US alone.

Using Leading Indicator Systems’ (LIS) proprietary AgileBrain, a neuroscience-based emotional / motivational measurement technology, four consumer segments have been identified, each with its own stance toward personal growth and fulfillment, and its own unique sets of emotional needs. The market segmentation study is now available by request from LIS and contains the following information for each segment:

• Segment definition and distinguishing characteristics
• Segment size and importance, respectively, to life and executive coaches
• Demographic profiles, including age, gender, marital status, ethnicity, and income
• Occupational profiles, including industry, work location, role in organization, job satisfaction and engagement, and intent to change employers
• Psychographic profiles, including stress levels, coping styles, emotional needs, values, interests, personality traits, political orientations, attitudes toward work and lives overall, and the benefits of coaching that resonate best with them.

Each segment represents a meaningful share (20 million or more) of the workforce, and each varies meaningfully in terms of openness to coaching, personality traits, and emotional needs.

The four segments fall along a continuum of openness to coaching:

1. The Authentic are 38 million strong (US) and represent the segment most willing to work with an executive or life coach. They tend to be extraverted, agreeable, and open to new experiences. Their top motivations include the needs for Authenticity, Immersion, Success, Recognition, and Justice.

2. The Insecure are a smaller segment at 20 million, however, they are quite willing to enter a coaching relationship. Their most distinguishing personality trait is anxiety. Accordingly, many of their top motivations relate to foundational issues of Safety, Autonomy, Inclusion, and Justice.

3. The Self-Sufficient are the largest segment at 47 million and, as their name suggests, tend to be fiercely independent. They are, however, willing to use alternative coaching models that involve more independent self-work with periodic check-ins. Above all, this segment spikes on conscientiousness. Their top motivations relate largely to outcomes — Fulfilling their Potential, Success, and Recognition, as well as Ethics.

4. The Closed are a smaller segment at 27 million, and, as indicated by their name, tend to be totally unwilling to ask for or receive help. In terms of personality, they tend to be introverted and closed to new experiences. In terms of motivation, they are focused on building Autonomy, a foundational unmet need.

“These segments vary tremendously in their openness to coaching relationships,” explains John Penrose, CEO at Leading Indicator Systems. “By understanding their emotional needs more fully, coaches can help their clients fulfill their goals,” Penrose said, adding “this segmentation can also help coaches be much more effective in both gaining and serving new clients.” To understand the market for executive coaching and life coaching among American workers, LIS conducted a nationally-representative online survey of 812 full-time workers employed by companies with at least 20 employees between November 25th and December 8th, 2021.

Learn more at

About Leading Indicator Systems

Leading Indicator Systems, a trusted partner to human capital consultants and professionals for more than 20 years, provides a portfolio of assessment solutions designed to help move the needle on the things that matter most. Leading Indicator’s Workforce Listening Series is a source of insights on the issues that keep human capital professionals up at night. Offering comprehensive, complementary service offerings that are rigorously scientific while providing partners peace of mind. Company offerings include Talent Development, Leadership Development, Employee Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion, Organizational Alignment, and more. Leading Indicator assessments are used by millions of employees throughout the globe. For more information, visit



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