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From Entrepreneur to High-Impact Coach

Entrepreneur Bill Gallagher made a discovery in late 2001 that was to change the course of his career. At the time, he was CEO of a jewelry business. “I had an epiphany that my most satisfying moments were when I was contributing to other people,” he recalls. Often, he used tools from the Rockefeller Habits—the foundation for the Scaling Up system for growing a company—to assist him in guiding his team.

In around 2007, he started to toy with the idea of becoming a coach. He’d helped the jewelry company navigate several crises and continue to grow and had a wealth of experience as a CEO or executive in other types of companies, including a group of radio stations where he had been a partner, two tech companies and a research firm. 

By 2013, he began doing CEO coaching and leading workshops. After becoming a Scaling Up Certified coach, he shifted his focus to teaching that system to his clients. Rather than seeking companies that want to double revenue, he looks for clients who want to grow way beyond that and 10x or 100x their size—or dominate an industry.

His emphasis is on helping clients develop their leadership. “I am not really an accountability-centered coach,” says Gallagher. “I’m much more intuitive and focused more on their leadership skills and the way they look at their problems.” 

Today, Gallagher, who is based in San Francisco, serves 11 clients on retainer, with a focus on technology companies and international clients. “I’ve helped a couple of companies become a leader in their category globally,” he says. “I helped three companies hit a $1 billion valuation.” 

Gallagher is also host of the Scaling Up Business Podcast. He’s currently getting set to a launch a group training program called 20,000 Scale-ups in mid-2022. “It will double our impact,” he says. 

When Gallagher is not coaching, he takes eight to 10 weeks off per year to recharge. He enjoys skiing, sailing and spending time with his family. Another passion is cooking. “I’m always trying to make a better meatloaf,” he says. 

Coaching, with its flexibility, offers him his ideal lifestyle: “My life is really good,” he says. 

Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish is founder of the world-renowned Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and chaired for fifteen years EO’s premiere CEO program, the “Birthing of Giants” and WEO’s “Advanced Business” executive program both held at MIT. Founder and CEO of Gazelles, a global executive education and coaching company with over 150 coaching partners on six continents, Verne has spent the past three decades helping companies scale-up. The “Growth Guy” syndicated columnist, he’s also the Venture columnist for FORTUNE magazine. He’s the author of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0); Mastering the Rockefeller Habits; and along with the editors of Fortune, authored The Greatest Business Decisions of All Times," for which Jim Collins wrote the foreword. Verne also chairs FORTUNE Magazine’s annual Leadership and Growth Summits and serves on several boards including chairman of The Riordan Clinic and the newly launched Geoversity. He is an investor in many scale-ups. A father of four, he enjoys piano, tennis, and magic as a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.