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“With support, people create the most amazing things” says Latina Executive Coach Elena Armijo on the importance of mentors

When companies are looking to hire a leadership position, emotional intelligence often the most sought after qualification.  A recent survey found 71% of employers said they value EQ over IQ, noting that leaders with high emotional intelligence are more likely to stay calm under pressure, resolve conflict effectively, and respond to co-workers with empathy.

Executive Leadership Coach

Elena Armijo, Latina entrepreneur and Executive Leadership Coach. (Photo courtesy of Elena Armijo)

After years as an acclaimed Executive Leadership Coach, Latina entrepreneur Elena Armijo founded The C-Suite Collective, a boutique holistic coaching and training agency with the mission to equip and empower successful C-suite executives, founders, and entrepreneurs with holistic executive coaching programs and customized support for teams that foster culture change, organizational growth, and generational impact for years to come that helps them attain their goals in a healthy, efficient way.

“Emotional intelligence starts with managers being emotionally aware,” Elena says.

Elena offers in-depth and customized executive programs for high performers who are at the top of their respective fields – from CEOs of leading businesses, to professional athletes, policy-focused individuals, entertainers and artists, and more. In addition to her work as a professional coach, Elena also hosts the podcast “In A Manner of Speaking…with Elena Armijo” where she amplifies women’s voices and encourages you to go after your dreams.  

She was inspired to become an Executive and Leadership Coach through her work as a professional opera singer, experiencing first hand the benefits coaching had on transforming her own mindset. Drawn to work with ambitious top performers like herself, she realized she could bring unique insight to the coaching business after spending a decade “on the other side of the table.”

“I was a professional opera singer before I pivoted to coaching.  I had spent over 20 years preparing for a career in opera and came to NY in 2007 to start singing professionally.  My path quickly took off, and at one point, I was traveling 10 months out of the year and only came back to NY to change out clothes in my suitcase.  In 2014, I realized something had to change,” Elena shares. 

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She was burned out at the time, struggling in her relationships and missing family gatherings back home. Working to make a change in her life, Elena decided to hire a coach herself and she soon began benefiting from experience. 

“I was able to see that I had built my entire career from a place of proving my worth to the world and over working.  I had to slow down and learn more about who I was as a person to even begin to find out what I wanted to do,” she says. 

Most of Elena’s own struggles have stemmed from a “core wound” of feeling not good enough in the world. Many with similar limiting beliefs may question their success or doubt their abilities to do a good job and succeed. 

“This has been something I have struggled with my entire life and have done a lot of healing work around,” Elena says. “It showed up for me like questioning whether I could follow through on a contract I just landed, getting a new rockstar client and being in disbelief that I could support them, or worrying that when my team and company grows, that it could all come falling down.” 

After working with a coach, therapist, and healers in the world, as well as sharing what she learned with her family, she has been able to release these limiting beliefs around her self worth and continues to do so today.

“I now have the tools and support system to know that when those feelings come up it simply needs some loving care and compassion. This is something I wouldn’t have known in the beginning of my career.” 

Executive Leadership Coach

“My focus is always on how this benefits ALL of us; no one needs to go without, and better yet, we can all walk away from the table satisfied and happy.” (Photo courtesy of Elena Armijo)

“My mission is to support high achievers in creating more impact”

Experiencing the benefits of coaching in her own life, Elena fell in love with coaching just as much as she loves music, and eventually decided to open her own business in 2015 and become and Executive Leadership Coach to help others who struggled like her. 

“My mission is to support high achievers in creating more impact in the world through authentic expression and experience.  And we all have fun while we do it!  With more support, people create the most amazing things.”

Executive Leadership Coach

“No one does this alone and support changes everything.” (Photo courtesy of Elena Armijo)

Growing up, Elena’s family table was always full. Her parents made sure there was more than enough food for everyone who needed it, and it’s this sentiment that Elena carries with her, both literally and figuratively in her life and profession. 

“I make sure everyone eats. As a business owner, I make sure everyone wins with me. I believe this is one way we can create true equity and inclusion as well as legacy.  So anytime I am speaking to prospective companies, clients, or my own team, my focus is always on how this benefits ALL of us; no one needs to go without, and better yet, we can all walk away from the table satisfied and happy.”

Partnering with Elena, clients have created and achieved the professional and personal impact in the world they once perceived unattainable.

Elena shares the story of one client who was able to completely shift her limiting beliefs and find success. 

“My client, a woman of color and an executive, hired me to work on owning her power and voice in the world.  When she came to me she was afraid, burnt out, and resigned around playing “the game” of getting ahead in a system that was not built for her.  By the end of our work together she said something really simple.  ‘I learned through our work that I may not be able to change the system, but I sure can find ways to be fully me within it, own what I want, and choose my path moving forward if it’s not working.  I finally see the freedom I have in choosing how I respond in any situation.’” 

You might be interested: “We don’t need to do it alone” says SBA’s Bibi Hidalgo, to aspiring Latina entrepreneurs 

These words from her client filled her with joy. Being able to help others find the pathways to their own success is Elena’s personal success, she says. 

For leaders and executives in high pressure jobs, taking the time to cultivate emotional intelligence and a positive success mindset is crucial. To those looking to start shifting their limiting beliefs and opening those doorways to success, Elena advises that you start by surrounding yourself with support.  

“There are so many women that want to mentor, coach, and be by your side to help you rise.  No one does this alone and support changes everything.  Hire a coach, therapist, healer, or mentor that will help you see more possibilities than you might currently know exists. This is how we achieve success and growth together!” 


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executive coach Ginny Baro

Changing leadership after #METOO a conversation with executive coach Dr. Ginny Baro

Dr. Ginny A. Baro is an international executive coach, motivational speaker, leadership expert, and CEO and founder of her executive coaching and career strategy companies ExecutiveBound and Fearless Women @ Work. Over her twenty-five years experience in corporate technology and financial services, Ginny has served in multiple leadership roles.

Using her extensive knowledge of the corporate world and her skills as an executive coach and mentor, Ginny is helping executives lead powerfully, intelligently, and with integrity in the “new workplace,” post the #METOO movement.

Dr Ginny Baro executive coach

The new workplace

The workplace is currently at a transitional point, forced to evolve after the events of the #METOO movement which began in 2017. Since then there has been a tremendous push on those in positions of power to lead better and ensure a safe, productive work environment. Ginny has risen to this call to action and based her two companies around the goal of improving leadership and working environments.

“Leaders set the tone for an organization,” says Ginny. “They make or break a work culture, and they either engage employees or turn them off. However, many leaders often do not have the tools or necessary skills to successfully lead and manage in a new, complex era that demands talent diversity, inclusion, high engagement, collaboration, and faster, better solutions.”

After over two decades working in the corporate world, Ginny was very aware of the issues facing executives and leaders. She knew many of her colleagues faced workplace dissatisfaction. Many were miserable and dreaded going to work. Ginny became a confidant and mentor to these friends, colleagues, and fellow leaders.

“I noticed shenanigans that went on in the workplace, and how many great employees left a company because they had a manager who behaved horribly,” Ginny explained. “I gravitated towards wanting to find the solution and for years became a student of how to lead and build higher performing, engaging teams.”

As Ginny began her business, she drew upon extensive real-life corporate experiences to build solutions that address the issues her peers and teams faced daily. The main three primary challenges she found where:

  • Many leaders struggle to create a work culture that engages employees and brings out the best in people, which leads to mediocre performance.
  • Executives don’t always have a clear roadmap to transform a hostile work environment for one that’s inclusive, regardless of gender and background, and where employees and leaders aren’t subjected to bullying behavior and sometimes even sexual misconduct.
  • Leaders typically don’t receive the support and training required to develop self-leadership skills and lead themselves and others powerfully.

Having identified these key issues, Ginny began building approaches to tackle these challenges head-on, first by working with individual leaders as a professional mentor and executive coach, and second by partnering with organizations that would prioritize addressing these challenges.

The road to entrepreneurship  

Ginny became a Certified Professional Coach in 2015, and in 2017 she launched her business Fearless Women @ Work and also published the Amazon #1 Bestseller Fearless Women at Work: Five Powerful Strategies to Thrive in Your Career and Life! .

The following year she launched her second company, ExecutiveBound, an executive coaching firm which focuses on helping executives to develop their leadership teams.

“Everything seemed to happen so fast, one success after another, but the road to entrepreneurship was far from straightforward,” she said to LatinasinBusiness.us

Ginny formally began her journey to entrepreneurship in late 2016 when unforeseeable circumstances led her to reconsider her career. After over two decades working in the corporate world, Ginny decided it was time for something new. Re-evaluating what was most important in her life she quickly realized the three things she valued most were the well-being of her son, peace of mind, and her health.

“At the time my commute to the metro NYC job market required over three hours a day from Sussex County, NJ,” Ginny explains. “The combination of a long commute and a desire for flexibility to meet the needs of my growing son pushed me to get creative.”

And get creative she did. She reflected on all that she had experienced and learned in her own leadership roles and realized she wanted to help other women navigate the leadership world as an executive coach and mentor.

A big believer in coaches, mentors, and the power of networking, Ginny sought out those very people in her own life to help and support her.  

“Like many new business owners, I had to figure out everything from scratch—from identifying my ideal client, ideal lead generation, closing the sale, marketing, PR, business digitization, operational implementation, every aspect of it, and so on.”

executive coach

Fearless Women at Work is a must read for all working women. Click on cover to purchase.

Instead of trying to do it all herself, Ginny reached out to those who had the expertise and could teach her something new. She hired a business coach to help her learn how to run a business. She hired book coaches who taught her how to write her book in only six months, get it published, and turn it into a bestseller. Leaning on others to guide and teach her was an invaluable asset and true to her own goals of wanting to help others as an executive coach herself. No one person can know it all, but together they can learn from and inspire each other toward greater potential.

“We are creating a community of leaders united by our commitment to uncover choices and possibilities. I encourage authenticity and integrity—I do what I say and live what I advocate,” says Ginny. “My cultural background encompasses a strong work ethic and a sense of elevating others along the way. ‘Una mano lava la otra.—One hand washes the other.’”

The help of others made the journey less stressful, but there were still some challenges: finances and securing clients. At first Ginny struggled with learning how to identify and consistently reach her target market.

“As an entrepreneur, knowing where your next client is coming from and creating a healthy sales funnel to generate potential client leads is imperative. That has been the toughest aspect of running the business thus far.”

Ginny has found that networking with fellow LinkedIn and other professional groups, live and virtual, has been incredibly helpful. And the more she has contemplated the question of her ideal client she has discovered the answer is herself.

“I realized I was my ideal client,” says Ginny, “a leader who wanted to do right by my employees, while also dealing with the shortcomings and challenges women, especially women of color face advancing in their careers.”

On the issue of finances, Ginny was lucky that she had considerable savings to work from, which not every small business has when starting out. These savings were able to sustain her and her son while she got her business off the ground. She was also able to finance all the training she received from professional coaches. However she still ended her first year in the red after all these expenses. This was a setback but not unexpected. Still, the experiences and insight she gained in that first year were invaluable.  

“I learned in only one year more than I could have imagined while establishing a healthy business model from which to continue to grow.”

Inspiring future leaders  

executive coach

Dr Ginny A. Baro with Fearless Girl, a bronze sculpture by Kristen Visbal.

Growing up in a small village in the Dominican Republic, Ginny saw a lot of sadness and despair –from physical abuse to emotional abuse and dis-empowerment. She saw that the people around her lived in survival mode–women did not have access to education and suffered along with their children. Growing up in this environment  inspired her to become educated and to rise beyond these early experiences while still recognizing the value and lessons they taught her.

At the age of fourteen she came to the U.S. and since then has actualized her life dream of becoming a successful professional woman and leader. Now she is inspiring future women to do the same.

Sharing some words of advice to future entrepreneurs, Ginny believes in first and foremost to be prepared.

“Learn all you can about your field. Connect with others in that area and get informed. Network, read books, watch videos, biographies. Speak with real people who have done it and get their perspective—notice the pros and the cons and go into it with eyes wide-open,” she shared. 

“Second, trust your gut. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Trust you have the emotional, mental, and spiritual resources to deliver. Finally, find the joy.  Focus on your definition of success, the impact you want to have, and how you want to feel in this world. Consider what brings you joy, what matters to you, and how to leverage your marketable skills,” she advises. 

For Ginny, her joy comes from helping others. In her work as an executive coach and mentor, Ginny has had the opportunity to transform the lives of many individuals, especially women. This she feels is the “ultimate success.” 

“The ultimate success in anything we do goes hand in hand with building great relationships and contributing to others who need our support and expertise,” says Ginny. “To me, nothing feels better than helping others. As you help them, you learn about yourself, and you play your part in making this blip of a lifetime count. As I remind myself, remember that you’re supported by the universe and the universal energy that is love.