Christine Tao

Sounding Board | San Francisco, CA

Leadership development through scalable and real-time coaching.

#ToryBurchFellows

The Sounding Board 1:1 coaching platform.

Company description…

Sounding Board virtually connects real-life, professionally trained leadership coaches with managers, through a scalable web and messaging platform. For the price of a workshop or boot camp, we provide personalized, real impact-driving one-on-one leadership development in addition to tools and developmental insights for Human Resources.

I started my business because…

In less than three years, the startup I was at scaled from 30 to 300, $100 million plus in revenue. I was promoted to the executive management team for the first time and was lucky our CEO invested in a coach for me. It was the most impactful professional development I had ever experienced. I ended up bringing in a coach for all my direct reports. However, the program was eventually cut because it was very expensive and not scalable. Today, my co-founder Lori is my executive coach and we are passionate about making coaching accessible to any developing leaders at all levels in a company.

What makes my company unique…

We are a female founding team that is innovating the $45 billion leadership training market. We are combining the best of human interaction with the power of technology to make personalized development more affordable, accessible, and scalable.

One of our core strengths is our team. We are experienced executives and serial entrepreneurs with extensive startup operating experience. We have scaled businesses to $100 million+ in less than three years, so we know how to build high-growth startups. Our co-founder, Lori, was one of the first of 300 coaches certified in the profession and is an expert in the field.

Mantra I live by…

Be curious and open-minded and always keep learning.

You should vote for me because…

Starting and running a company takes an incredible amount of work, perseverance, and agility. Founders have to go through the fire every day. I’ve been battle tested and bring an incredible passion for developing our next generation of leaders. We are collaborating with companies and their people to be the best they can be at work and to rethink what it means to truly lead.

Top 3 goals for my business are…

  1. Grow the business!
  2. Hire and grow our team.
  3. Deliver the next generation of our coaching platform and product.

Women entrepreneurs are…

Relentless – we do more with less, every time.

Being a Tory Burch Foundation Fellow would allow me to…

Learn from Tory’s personal experience building a recognizable brand in such a short time. In Silicon Valley, we sometimes focus too much on technology and product, and we don’t realize how critical marketing and branding are. I am always looking for ways to broaden my perspectives, to meet other entrepreneurs, and to also give back and mentor others.

Best moment at my company so far…

Hearing testimonials from our clients sharing how their coach has helped them become the ‘best version of themselves as a leader’ or that their teams have told them they ‘are a far better manager than before’.

I am inspired by…

Those who have the courage and resolve to chart their own paths.

I #EmbraceAmbition because…

I want to make an impact, and I want my daughter to see that she can do anything she sets her mind to.

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