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Carlos DaSilva is an executive leadership coach and speaker who helps people achieve positive lasting change in their career and life. He has coached over 100 entrepreneurs as Managing Director of the Silicon Valley Founder Institute Accelerator and trained thousands of executives from companies such as Nestlé, SWATCH, ALCON, UBS, and BMW.

Carlos has built a reputation as a supportive, results-oriented change agent, pairing his scientific grounding in management with a pragmatic approach to leadership development. His expertise and insights have helped numerous entrepreneurs and executives achieve their leadership goals.

With a PhD in Management Science, Carlos is the Director of the Executive MBA at the HEG School of Management Switzerland while running a boutique coaching firm that helps executives become better leaders and run better teams. 

As an author and speaker, Carlos is a candid and compassionate voice. He has spoken live on every continent but Antarctica, sharing stages with best-selling author Daniel Pink, awarding winning photographer Platon, and world-famous UGG Shoes founder Brian Smith, to name a few.

What sets Carlos apart as a coach is not a particular strength, but instead a combination of strengths that are mutually reinforcing. You will find talented people in every area of executive development. It's the combinations that are rare.

Carlos ‘origins are from the small coastal village of Cascais, Portugal. He loves the ocean, strong winds and scenic roads. Carlos is a kitesurf aficionado, a sports car enthusiast and an aspiring stoic.

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In my work as a professor of leadership and behavioral coach, I have gone through three distinct phases.

  • In phase one – I believed that my clients would become better because of me. I thought that the coach was the key variable in behavioral change. I was wrong. Research from Marshall Goldsmith based on 86,000 respondents reveals that the key variable for successful change in leadership behavior is not the coach, teacher or advisor. The key variables that will determine long-term leadership progress are the leaders being coached and their work colleagues. It is not about proving how smart I am.

  • In phase two – I spent most of my time focusing on my coaching clients. I slowly learned that a motivated, hard-working leader was more important than a brilliant coach. I learned that their ongoing efforts meant more than my clever ideas. Don´t expect that it’s the coach’s responsibility to make you change. It’s not the coach’s job. It’s yours. Too many people think that a “celebrity coach” will solve their problems. That’s like thinking you’ll get in shape if you have the world’s best personal trainer. A good trainer will help, obviously, but in the end the only way you’ll get in shape is if you work out. I believe it is Arnold Schwarzenegger who said, “Nobody got muscles by watching me lift weights.”

  • In phase three (where I am now) – I learned to spend most of my time not with my coaching client but with the key stakeholders around my client. I focus on helping my clients learn from everyone around them. Rather than having some coach explain to you how to be a great listener – which you can find easily online -  what you need is a process of asking the people around you, “What are some ways I can do a better job of listening to you?” They’re going to give you specific, concrete ideas that relate to them—how they perceive you as a listener—not the generic ideas a coach or the internet would give. Even though they’re not experts on the topic of listening, they actually know more about how you listen, or don’t, than you do, or certainly than a coach does.

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Since I use a “pay only for results” coaching process, I have had to learn to qualify my coaching clients. This means that I only work with clients that I believe will greatly benefit from my coaching process.

I do not work with leaders who are not really motivated to change. Have you ever tried to change the behavior of a successful adult that had no interest in changing? How much luck did you have? Probably none!


I only work with executives who are willing to make a sincere effort to change and who believe that this change will help them become better leaders. My most successful coaching clients are executives who are committed to being great role models for leadership development and for living their company’s values.

I have personally worked with several CEOs. One reason that they are so effective in leading people is that they are always trying to improve themselves – not just asking everyone else to improve.

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While behavioral coaching is only one branch in the coaching field, it is the most widely used type of coaching for executives. Most requests for executive coaching involve behavioral change. While this process can be very meaningful and valuable for top executives, it can be just as useful for high-potential future leaders. These are the people who have great careers in front of them.

People often ask, “Can executives really change their behavior?” The answer is definitely yes. If they didn’t, my work would be meaningless. Everybody can improve their leadership behaviors.


At the top of major organizations even a small positive change in behavior can have a big impact. From an organizational perspective, the fact that the executive is trying to change leadership behavior (and is being a role model for personal development to the team) may be even more important than what the executive is trying to change.


One key message that I have given every Leader that I coach is “To help others develop and grow – be the driver - start with yourself.”

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