Testimonials

Recommendations from my LinkedIn page
Jamie Knowlton

“When searching for a coach, it was important to me that I found someone who had experienced what it was like to be a startup founder, as opposed to a traditional executive coach or a therapist-turned-coach, because of the unique dynamics at play that must be lived to be learned. I have been working with Michael for over a year now and continue to find his insights valuable and supportive, especially as navigating the rapidly changing world and markets we currently face. The fact that he has lived through the ups and downs of the founders’ journey makes a big difference, and I continue to get great value out of our sessions together.”

Jamie Knowlton
Co-Founder & CFO | Better Place Forests
Brian Chen

“Michael's experience as a startup founder enabled him to truly understand the challenges I faced. His personal and professional dedication to my success really came through in his actions. Last-minute changes or requests for meetings were never a problem, and Michael was always very good at adapting our coaching sessions to whatever challenge was top of mind for me. Throughout our time working together, Michael was a reliable sounding board and an insightful thought partner - I would definitely recommend other startup founders to work with him!”

Brian Chen
Co-Founder & CEO | Room
Andrew Hoag

"Developing leadership skills is difficult and takes practice. It requires learning how to deal with myriad personalities and understanding the best techniques to use at each turn. Michael can quickly get at the core of issues and has an extensive set of actionable recommendations. Working with him has amplified my strengths and lessened my weaknesses. Michael is an incredible mentor that I recommend for anyone looking to hone their leadership skills."

Andrew Hoag
Founder & CEO | Teampay
matteo

“As the CEO of a venture backed start-up I get to take on countless challenges, often at the same time. Having someone who I can trust 100%, that truly understands the dynamics with my co-founders, board, employees, and my strategic partners and has no financial stake in the company is priceless.”

Matteo Franceschetti
Co-Founder & CEO of Eight
david

“I think we all know that there are things we’re not good at, and what those things are, but much of the time we focus on hiding or ignoring them. Michael has helped me work on the things that I’m not good at in a comfortable and productive way…”

David Frakes
Technical Project Lead of Mobile Imaging at Google ATAP
Brian

"Developing leadership skills is difficult and takes practice. It requires learning how to deal with myriad personalities and understanding the best techniques to use at each turn. Michael can quickly get at the core of issues and has an extensive set of actionable recommendations. Working with him has amplified my strengths and lessened my weaknesses. Michael is an incredible mentor that I recommend for anyone looking to hone their leadership skills."

Brian Romanko
VP Engineering at Earnest
brad m

“We recently hired Michael to facilitate an executive offsite with the goals of on-boarding two senior executives and discussing our strategic plans over the next 24 months. I was very impressed with his ability to integrate our new team members so quickly. Michael's style is subtle, effective and lets everyone in the room feel comfortable at all times while ensuring that you don't skip over the most challenging conversations facing your business."

Brad Milne
Co-Founder & COO, Better Place Forests
Mike A

“Just 10 days after joining BPF Michael facilitated a two-day team alignment and bonding offsite with the goal of quickly integrating me into the existing exec team. I have to say that it worked! I have joined many companies in my career and I have never felt so quickly integrated as I do. I have truly hit the ground running!”

Mike Alvarado
Senior VP of Sales, Better Place Forests
greg

"Being a co-founder of a venture funded startup has been an intense, exciting, and (often) humbling experience. I consistently lean on Michael to provide fresh perspectives, new mindsets, and actionable approaches that have kept me going through some challenging circumstances. I have come to trust him with even the most delicate challenges."

Greg Lutze
VSCO Co-Founder & Chief Experience Officer
bryan

"As the CEO of a venture-backed start-up, I need to make sure that every dollar and every hour spent by me and my team is put to good use. I estimate the time and money spent with Michael saved us at least 1000x his price in potential mistakes. When I had a situation that I know needed to be handled with the utmost integrity and care, I relied on Michael to help me and my co-founders. It was frictionless and everyone ended up far better than we started."

Bryan Franklin
Co-Founder and CEO at OutboundWorks
Karen X Cheng

"What I like about Michael's style is that he really gets into the psychological stuff with you. What I found most helpful is that he would help me look under the hood in my brain and emotions so I could understand WHY I was making the decisions I was making or why I felt the way I did. What I appreciated most is that he is an advocate for YOU, not just for your company's bottom line. He taught me to work in a much more sustainable way and I'm much happier and healthier now."

Karen X. Cheng
Founder at Wafffle
David-L

"Michael brings in an unusually wide range of techniques and frameworks to his coaching, which I've found extremely helpful. Michael's superpower of empathy enable him to offer just the right framework or suggestion for many of your challenges. He's also very enthusiastic and makes it fun to work on even the heaviest of issues."

David Langer
MP at Lionheart VC, Co-founder of Zesty
henrik

"I've had the pleasure of being coached by Michael as Co-founder & CEO of a 1000 person company. Michael sees the situation from multiple perspectives and provides you with clear vision on what and how to communicate your message for optimal results. He possess a vast set of skills within management consulting that provides you with tangible tools you can use again and again."

Henrik Zillmer
CEO & Founder at AirHelp
ash-f

"I wanted to try some different types of executive coaching before recommending it to CEOs for whom I work. Michael jumps right into the problems presented, providing a preliminary solution and iterating on it with you in realtime. Michael's followup is excellent, with everything well-documented and an effort made to turn conversations into reusable frameworks. I recommend Michael for situations where you're dealing with a lot of different problems and people."

Ash Fontana
GP at Zetta Capitol
markus

"As co-founder of a startup that has grown from 40 to 140 people over the last two years, my role and challenges are constantly changing. Where Michael helps me the most is understanding where I want to be, what I can do and where I need support as my role shifts..."

Markus Ament
Co-founder & CSO at Taulia
bertram

"Michael has really helped Taulia’s C-team up-level our leadership skills by teaching us improved communication and innovative collaboration practices and transforming any unhealthy personality traits. Leading a company that grows 2-3x year over year puts a lot of stress on the team. Since starting with Michael two years ago I see how much more high functioning we are as a team, despite the stress. Personally I appreciate how Michael has helped me increase my emotional intelligence and as a result I believe I may have become a better CEO."

Bertram Meyer
Co-founder & CEO at Taulia
caroline

"As COO of Toca Boca I am confronted with the typical challenges all fast growth startup leaders face. I shared the most sensitive issues with Michael and could trust him to coach me in an honest and objective way, challenging me to think with new perspectives and to grow as a person. I am very grateful to have worked with Michael and would highly recommend him to any executive who wants to grow as a leader."

Caroline Ingeborn
President and COO at Toca Boca
aaron

“Michael consistently helps me clear away the details that threaten to keep me from realizing my Big Vision. He keeps me focused on the forest, not the trees. This has helped me delegate and lead, rather than reaching in and doing… ”

Aaron Cammarata
Technical Project Lead of AR Games at Google ATAP
Brad Nardick

"Nothing has accelerated my learning curve faster than the time I was in an executive coaching engagement with Michael. His ability to recognize behavioral patterns and empathetically coach entrepreneurs is truly superhuman. Michael is also an expert system implementer, he gave me many mental models through which to view my challenges. I highly recommend Michael for entrepreneurs who are serious about leveling up their personal and professional game."

Brad Nardick
CEO, The Bazaar Inc
Khellar Crawford

"An integral part of founder life is weeding through the myriad opportunities to work with consultants, guides, mentors, and advisors of every variety. I heard about Michael through an existing relationship and took a leap of faith. After having worked with him for going on 5 months my only advice, if you're considering hiring him, is to proceed with abandon. He is capable, connected, and heartfully vested."

Khellar Crawford
Founder & CEO | Otomo
Dean Van Es

“Michael is great at identifying blocks and blind spots and is an expert at helping me open them up to find the gold inside. It can be challenging at times but he's persistent and always seems to ask the right questions! He brings insights and perspective that I would not normally consider which definitely help with problems I have to solve as a CEO and a human. ”

Dean Van Es
Founder & CEO | Fast Cover Insurance
Cormac Eubanks

"Michael's style is the perfect balance of empathy and being able to challenge you on your less-than-productive implicit assumptions. Being coached by Michael will not only improve effectiveness at your job, but will make you reflect in new ways on your relationships outside of work as well. He draws from his breadth of knowledge in coaching, personal development, and Eastern thought to effectively tailor the coaching experience to the individual. I would heartily recommend Michael."

Cormac Eubanks
VP Product Design | Skycatch
Fede Menapace

"Micheal coached me through one of the most demanding periods of my entrepreneurial career. Micheal has a unique ability to connect at a very deep personal level. During our meetings, Michael provided me with immediately useful tools as well as a medium-term leadership development plan. Our work together allowed me to achieve an even more functional and productive relationship with my co-founders and my team, unlocking the potential that had yet to be realized. Even after our program was over, he remained a close mentor, friend, and advisor."

Fede Menapace
Co-founder & CEO | Travelnuts
Richard Yanowitch

“Michael is an excellent executive coach, especially in start-up environments. He deals well with complex business, strategy, and personnel issues. Michael was effective in multiple aspects of his coaching assignment, from 1-on-1s, to group interviews, 360 feedback process, setting goals and objectives, and actionable plans. I highly recommend Michael.”

Richard Yanowitch
CEO | Brandcast
Cameron Yarbrough

"I hired Michael to help me think through and strategize an important transition for my company. His very human approach helped me anticipate the challenges that would arise, and best practices on how to manage those challenges. What I appreciate about him most is his commitment to authenticity/integrity in leadership as a guiding principle. I would certainly recommend Michael to any executive or founder who needs support around company culture transformation, or depth approach to leadership support."

Cameron Yarbrough
CEO at Torch (YC W18)
Jim Ying

"Each session with Michael left me with valuable insights and new leadership strategies I could implement immediately. From new approaches to difficult conversations to new ways to inspire 110% from my team. Whatever my challenge, Michael always had a fresh leadership approach for me."

Jim Ying
VP, Games | Tango me
Norm Wong

“Michael was able to understand my unique challenges, point out opportunities to expand my impact as a leader, and give me custom practices to do so. I had never worked with a coach before Michael and was happily surprised by how valuable I found his perspective and support.”

Norm Wong
VP Finance | Tango Me
Jonathan Lowenhar

"It's been 2 years since Michael began working with various members of our senior team. Since then we've ended our sales slump and have experienced extraordinary growth, employee turnover has dwindled and we've constructed an exceptional leadership team. Michael has coached, educated, and collaborated with us all along the way."

Jonathan Lowenhar
President & COO | Taulia Inc
Deryk Wenaus

"In the early stages of Retreat.guru Michael not only shared cutting edge best practices but many times during a session jumped in to help us get stuff done! A recent example, I was stuck creating a key job description; Michael jumped in, remixed what I wrote, ultimately making the description much more appealing. As a result, we found and hired our first lead engineer! The fact that Michael has built a software company himself makes his coaching highly relevant."

Deryk Wenaus
Co-founder & COO | Retreat.guru
Cameron Wenaus

“Having a business development coach who had himself founded and scaled a successful web company was invaluable. I brought Michael on in the very early stages of our new company retreat.guru to help us figure out MVP, target market, and how to pitch angel investors. Michael’s coaching accelerated our progress and prevented countless mistakes we would have otherwise only learned through trial and error.”

Cameron Wenaus
Co-founder & CEO | Retreat.Guru
Anese Cavanaugh

"Taking my business to the next level (and beyond) required me to change some deeply rooted habits that were holding me back. For example, learning how to surrender control and delegate more to my team as well as navigating rapid growth. Michael was brilliant at identifying the hidden beliefs slowing me down and leading me throughout his processes for eliminating them. The year we spent working together was incredibly valuable to my growth as a leader, and to my business overall. I recommend Michael to anyone who wants to up-level their game in a way that's authentic and powerful."

Anese Cavanaugh
Chief Performance Office | Active Choices / IEP
Todd Jason

"As a serial entrepreneur, I can't recommend Michael enough. His style aims at going to the root cause issues of what might be holding you (me) back and it is definitely time well spent to be in his field. I can see how he uses all of his various skills and interests (including spirituality and even 'shamanism') in his approach to coaching modern-day entrepreneurs."

Todd Jason
Founder & CEO | Amplifield
Syed Haris Ali

“The coaching Michael provided has been incredibly useful for my professional growth as a manager. Specifically, he taught me how to lead a technical team at a high level without needing to implement everything myself. I’ve been able to build bigger things with multiple people working in parallel with a fraction of the stress. I highly recommend Michael.”

Syed Haris Ali
Head of Mobile | Skycatch
Aaron Hayos

"For confidentiality reasons I can't speak to the details but trust me when I say Michael helped me work through the most sensitive of challenges an executive can face. At this point, I can't imagine a situation where Michael couldn't add substantial value..."

Aaron Hayos
CFO | Tubi