Meet Christine Tao, creating a one-stop shop for executive coaching.

Meet Christine Tao, creating a one-stop shop for executive coaching.

The Transformational Journey of Sounding Board’s CEO, Christine Tao

Christine Tao

“It was so transformational for me that I ended up bringing coaching to my own team and starting a company to make coaching more accessible to leaders earlier in their careers, when I could have used it most,” says Christine Tao, the cofounder and CEO of Sounding Board.

Tao’s journey from being coached to becoming a coach herself and eventually starting her own company is a testament to the power of coaching and its impact on personal and professional growth. Her entrepreneurial journey started with a realization that coaching should be accessible to leaders at all stages of their careers, not just the top executives. This realization led her to not only start a company but also find a cofounder in her former coach, Lori Mazan.

“I started the company with my [former] coach, Lori Mazan,” says Tao. “She was one of the first of 300 coaches certified in the profession. With her deep domain expertise and my scale-up experience, we felt we could democratize access to coaching without commoditizing it.”

And so, Sounding Board was born. Today, the company provides a one-stop shop for executive coaching needs, offering both coaching services and software tools to companies looking to invest in the development of their high-potential employees. Sounding Board’s corporate customers include big names like Intel and Conagra, as well as promising tech startups such as Chime and Cloudera.

While Sounding Board has been successful in its mission to make coaching more accessible, it has not been without its challenges. Tao admits that navigating the current economic climate has been one of the biggest hurdles for the company. “While we were lucky to raise capital right before the economic downturn, we, like many others, are having to stretch that capital through this down cycle,” says Tao, who still meets with an executive coach regularly.

Despite the challenges, Tao’s passion for her work shines through. She believes in the power of sports as a release from the stresses of being a founder and a busy mom. Volleyball has been her lifelong sport and even played a role in her personal life as she met her husband through the sport. However, during the pandemic, Tao discovered pickleball and has become obsessed with it, adding a new dimension to her love for sports.

The journey of Christine Tao and Sounding Board reflects the transformative power of coaching. By making coaching accessible to leaders at all stages of their careers, Sounding Board is not only helping individuals grow but also driving organizational success. With a combination of deep domain expertise and scale-up experience, Tao and Mazan are paving the way for a future where coaching becomes an integral part of personal and professional development.

The ANBLE Founders Forum, of which Tao is a part, is an exclusive community of entrepreneurs chosen by ANBLE’s editorial team to participate in the annual Brainstorm Tech conference. The forum brings together diverse entrepreneurs from different sectors and demographics, creating an environment where knowledge sharing and collaboration thrive.

As Sounding Board continues to navigate the economic landscape and expand its reach, Christine Tao remains committed to the mission of democratizing access to coaching. Her journey from being a coached individual to a coaching entrepreneur is a testament to the transformative power of coaching and its ability to shape careers and businesses alike.