Judy Nelson

Be responsive to everyone immediately. Folks don’t call or send an email or visit without expecting (consciously or unsconsicouly) expecting an immediate response. Don’t disappoint them.

There’s nothing Judy Nelson hasn’t done — and what she didn’t finish in her first career she wrapped up in her second!

Hailing from Los Angeles, California, Judy now owns and operates Judy Nelson Executive Coaching as her encore career. Deeply passionate about helping to develop leaders in business, Judy offers her clients personally tailored development plans that help them grow into their leadership positions with authority, confidence, and pragmatism. Nonprofits are notoriously mismanaged and poorly run because their mission to do good takes precedence over good business practice. However, having effectively run multiple nonprofit endeavors, Judy is especially equipped to help mission-driven leaders continue to execute their tasks with the precision and efficacy of a for-profit business.

In her first career, Judy worked herself as a CEO at various nonprofits in California. Most notably, Judy ran Hollygrove home for homeless youth. This home grew came to the public’s attention as the home of Norma Jeane Mortenson — more commonly known as Marilyn Monroe. Judy’s experience as a leader in the Nonprofit world uniquely equips her to guide and advise other nonprofit CEOs on their journey toward their professional goals.

Judy is especially passionate about fostering healthy relationships between managers and their employees. Often, miscommunications and asymmetric expectations can lead to stalwarted efforts, incomplete projects, and overall business problems. By developing leaders who are at once understanding and pragmatic, businesses can work efficiently and better serve their missions. Burnout is also a huge problem is the nonprofit world, as the work is often grueling and thankless. As such, Judy is a champion of the sabbatical for executives so that they can rest from the company and the company can rest from them.

Judy is also certified to conduct the Big Five Personality Test, which helps people identify which character traits most strongly guide their behavior. The Big Five traits are Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism, and years of psychology have indicated that these five personality traits underlie all other traits, behaviors, motives, and interactions. The Big Five is a useful tool both for individual leaders to learn more about themselves, but also for teams at a workplace. When workers know what makes their colleagues tick, they can have more meaningful and productive interactions and avoid

As a part of her “encore career,” Judy wrote and published a book about her journeys in leadership and self-actualization. Intentional Leadership: How I learned to control my tongue…almost! Is a fun and relatable journey into Judy’s life, profession, insights, and lessons. Complete with personal anecdotes and cartoons, Intentional Leadership is a must-read for leaders of all ages to help them through trouble spots and challenges, both run-of-the-mill and unique.

Judy Nelson is also a certified member of Forbes Coaches Council, an organization of executive coaches from across the world who exchange ideas and best practices. Judy has written articles that appear in Forbes as a part of her membership. Topics she’s touched on in her think pieces include accuracy in performance reviews, confidence, taking sabbaticals, and how to resolve conflicts that arise with personality clashes. Alongside other members, Judy regularly contributes smaller pieces that go out in a newsletter to other accomplished executive coaches.

Throughout all the iterations of her career, Judy Nelson has prided herself on her keenness of judgement, compassion, and ability to lead with intentionality.

Where did the idea for Judy Nelson Executive Coaching come from?

After closing my 30 year career as a nonprofit CEO, the “encore career” of executive coaching seemed a natural choice. My first website adviser suggested Coach Judy Nelson as a moniker and it stuck. (Plus it’s easy to spell in an email address!)

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

My days are filled with excitement starting with 30 minutes of learning on the web and connecting with the people who are important to me. Then I start working with coaching clients who live on different parts of the globe. I work by phone or via Skype or Zoom. (If the latter is with video, then I need to put on some makeup and dress professionally from the waist up!)

How do you bring ideas to life?

My brain overflows constantly with ideas and the challenge is ignoring the non strategic ideas to focus on the few that may have merit. I am a visual person so I often try to picture the idea and a path to it in my head. If the path actually leads to something useful, I’ll web search for information and decide if it’s worth pursuing.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

I’m thrilled to be living in a time with exploding new knowledge so that trend energizes me.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Scanning the environment–the minute I wake up. Whether the magnificent view from my house or the web or my memory. All of the images I’ve collected and am collected launch my creativity to new heights.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Listen, listen, listen. You don’t know as much as you think you do. Not even half. Like your kindergarten teacher said, “Stop, Look, Listen” and reflect!

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Be responsive to everyone immediately. Folks don’t call or send an email or visit without expecting (consciously or unsconsicouly) expecting an immediate response. Don’t disappoint them.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

My main successful strategy is about listening crucially and responding conscientiously to those who seek my counsel. All of us need to be heard. A successful coach is there for whoever calls or tries to connect.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Biggest failure was listening to all those who bombarded me when I first became a certified coach. Really?! Ignore all those pitches and figure out who you are, what you want to accomplish and what skills you have to get there.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Listen to your current contacts. Explore their ideas, needs, advice. Create a support committee to launch or expand your business–and listen, listen, listen. Those folks are the source of all your future referrals–if you’re really listening!)

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

Hard to choose — LastPass saves my biscuits as does Dropbox.

What is your favorite quote?

Probably Einstein (but one of many): “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.


Coach Judy Nelson on Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/coachjudynelson
Coach Judy Nelson on Twitter: twitter.com/coachjudynelson