Elizabeth Fried



As an executive coach, Elizabeth is best known for helping her clients quickly achieve insight and move to action for improved individual and corporate performance.  She has an uncanny ability see what others can’t and has honed her talents to bring these insights to her clients.  She works with emerging, transitioning and C-Suite Leaders, helping them to develop the leadership skills required to thrive in today’s changing business landscape.  

She skillfully helps them focus on solutions rather than problems.  This keeps conversations at a high level to avoid getting lost in the details.  Elizabeth typically combines 360 feedback, behavioral assessments and current neuroscience research in her coaching process.  She is committed to helping her clients use their brain power in new ways, so they can efficiently achieve the lasting results they desire.

Elizabeth has authored three books and was a compensation consultant for 20 years.  She has been president of N. E. Fried and Associates, Inc., since 1983.  What sets her apart from other coaches and enhances her credibility with senior management is her deep expertise in business.

Watch the brief, 2-minute video below to gain a better understanding of how her background as a compensation consultant helps you with business issues.


My clients typically range from $5M to Multi-Billion-dollar private sector corporate organizations.  Occasionally, I work with state and federal governmental organizations, including the military as well as educational institutions.  Typical clients may be seeking professional leadership development, performance improvement, team building skills, or career transition.  Periodically I will accept private clients.  To accommodate private clients, I offer two partial scholarships a year to worthy candidates.  If you intend to fund your coaching privately, it's always a good idea to talk with me via SKYPE or ZOOM so that we can discuss your needs and determine if you qualify for this special opportunity. 

Watch the brief video to understand how I set my fees to provide my clients the most valuable experience.   

Partial List of Clients

  • Georgia National Guard                2009-2010
  • ACCO Brands                                   2009-2018
  • Solatube International                   2010-Present
  • US Dept of the Interior                   2011
  • San Diego County Reg. Airport     2011-2018
  • CA Dept. of Fee and Tax Admin   2013-Present
  • Crush Sports                                   2011-2012
  • Blackbox Distribution                    2012
  • Breg, Inc.                                          2012-2014
  • Wawanesa Insurance                     2013-2014
  • River Springs Charter School        2014-2016
  • Western Dairy Assoc.                     2014-2015
  • Shoe Metro                                      2014-2015
  • Baker Electric                                   2015-2015
  • Merch Connections                        2016-2017
  • Peñasco Valley Telephone            2017-Present
  • National HouseCheck                    2018-Present
  • Kayla-Leah                                       2018-Present
  • Classical Academies                       2018-Present

Professional Services Offered

We offer coaching, training, consulting or workshops in:

  • Assessments
  • Strategy and Alignment
  • Communication/Interpersonal Skills (Emotional Intelligence)
  • Goal Setting
  • Board Presentations
  • Career Transition
  • Coaching and Developing Others
  • Effective leadership
  • Effective delegation and empowerment skills
  • Effective conflict resolution
  • Performance Management
  • Image Improvement
  • Talent Acquisition/Retention
  • Team Building
  • Time Management/Priority Setting

Projects / Case Studies / Results

  • Successfully provided coaching to the Sr. HR Leader of a two-billion-dollar office products manufacturer and distributor emerging from the brink of bankruptcy to strengthen his communication and delegation skills. This enabled him to effectively reorganize, empower, and mentor staff, helping them to adapt to rapid change and think strategically.
  • Coached the CEO of a major aerospace contractor to improve performance of his top team and set the tone for best leadership practices throughout the organization resulting in lower turnover, reduced absenteeism, and fewer employee complaints.
  • Coached the president of a leading environmental lighting company in his desire to expand market share nationally and internationally by identifying and strengthening the leadership capabilities of his top team.
  • Coached a top-level executive in a major Federal Government Agency to develop self-awareness and emotional intelligence, reduce stress, improve collaboration with her team and effectively communicate with peers.
  • Successfully coached the owner of a Los Angeles based recording studio operating in a volatile, highly competitive environment to improve his problem-solving techniques and decision-making process that resulted in a significant increase in annual revenues.

What Clients Can Expect.

"When Elizabeth and I began working together, the company was in the process of being acquired.  With any acquisition there is always a certain level of turmoil, and we were no different. We experienced significant changes in our culture that affected not only the way we did business but also created dramatic increases in the environmental pace and workforce expectations.  Elizabeth was instrumental in helping me pilot the company to achieve a safe landing through this stormy time.  In doing so, she provided the tough feedback necessary to keep me focused on the organization’s goals.  She consistently held my feet to fire, and did so with humor and sincere encouragement.  For me, she was most valuable in her uncanny ability to quickly synthesize the dynamics of whatever was going on at the moment and simplify it, allowing me to step back and broaden my perspective.   Then she would provide me the precise tools I needed to effectively address the situation.  I truly appreciated our time together.  I learned a lot, laughed a lot (often at myself), and believe I am a more successful leader because of it." 

      –Brad Lee, President, Breg, Inc., Carlsbad, CA 

"At the time I engaged Elizabeth Fried, my company was growing fast. So why did I need a coach?  For the first 10 years as a co-founder and entrepreneur, I wore many hats, taking on the lion’s share of the operational, sales and marketing roles. Now that I had a competent leadership team to manage these functions, I asked myself, “Where do I fit in?”  Elizabeth helped me to realize that I still had a very important role, just a different one.  I began to recognize that for senior management to drive and meet the organization’s goals, they needed a highly strategic leader whose vision and core values focused on their development.  My role now was to help them become better thinkers and leaders.  To accomplish this, Elizabeth designed our sessions to build my skills and confidence.  She challenged me to stretch my thinking about the business, face conflict fearlessly, and inspire my staff by improving my communication style and skills.  She always held me accountable.  Finally, I am pleased to report that our business is doing great and I feel more prepared and confident as a leader."

     –David Duong, CEO, SHOEMETRO, San Diego, CA  (UPDATE:  One year after completing our coaching engagement, David sold his company in March, 2016 to DSW for $62.5 Million--I'm so proud of him!)

"At the start of my coaching sessions with Elizabeth, my company was suffering from low morale, an uninspired culture, and an undefined mission. The force behind these headwinds was my leadership style, or lack thereof. I routinely held any and all decisions to myself, despite the fact that doing so would pull me away from being a true leader that would further the company as a whole. Through 18 months of coaching with Elizabeth, I am happy to say that I am surrounded by an ideal set of staff members who I can depend on through mutual trust. I am able to value their feedback and input as I continue to grow into the leader that my company needs. Morale has significantly increased. We have a list of core values, a defined mission statement, and a clear vision as to where we are headed next. This has led us to refine many of our current processes and also develop exciting new ventures within our existing business that will propel the company to new levels in the future" 

     –Ryan Nelson, President, MerchConnections, San Diego, CA   

Honors / Awards

  • 2016-2018 San Diego Business Journal’s Book of Lists - Top 15 Executive Development Companies
  • 2018  North American Business Award  Best Development & Training Services Provider in the Western USA,
  • 2017 California State Business Award Best in Executive Coaching Excellence Award for Leadership Training Programs.
  • 2017 Honor FoundationNavy Paddle for Extraordinary Volunteerism in Pro Bono Coaching
  • 2016 Connected Women of Influence Finalist Nominee Lifetime Legacy
  • 2010-2012 Globalgurus.net, now GlobalGurus.org World’s top 15 most influential executive coaches

Affiliations / Organizations

  • San Diego Professional Coaches Alliance Board – 2-Term President and various Board Positions

  • Society of Human Resources Management
  • The Honor Foundation – Coach Tribe:  Created “It’s My Honor” Videos to help them pursue employment

  1. House Check Foundation Board – Founding Board Member
  2. Big Brothers/Big Sisters Board 


Dr. N. Elizabeth Fried, author, speaker, consultant, and executive coach is president of N. E. Fried and Associates, Inc, dba The Learning Engine, where she has served over 1500 clients.  Her focus is leadership development and career transition, primarily serving C-Suite Executives and their top Leadership teams for both large and small businesses.

In 2018 her firm was the Recipient of the North American Business Award for Best Development & Training Services Provider in the Western USA, and in 2017, the firm received the California State Business Award for Best in Executive Coaching & Excellence Award for Leadership Training Programs.  Additionally, the San Diego Business Journal’s 2016, 2017, and 2018 Book of Lists named her firm among the Top 15 Executive Development Companies.   In 2012 she was ranked for third consecutive year as among the world's top 15 most influential executive coaches by coachinggurus.net, now:  globalgurus.org.  Personally, she was a finalist nominee in 2016 by The Connected Women of Influence for a lifetime legacy award and recognized by the California Senate and Legislature for this honor. 

Elizabeth served a two-year term as the president of the San Diego Professional Coaches Alliance and supervised organizational development graduate students from Alliant University, where she was named Supervisor of the Year.  Additionally, she served on the board of Big Brothers/Big Sisters as VP of Marketing for the Columbus, OH chapter and most recently she has been asked to join the National HouseCheck Foundation Board in Boise, ID, which serves victims of domestic abuse.  Her deepest heart work is with The Honor Foundation, which serves special operation forces, such as Navy SEALs, Marine Raiders, Delta Force, and Green Berets.  There she provides pro bono coaching services to help these special operators transition to the civilian workforce.  In 2017, she was awarded the prestigious Navy Paddle for her extensive donation of time and talent. 

Elizabeth received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University and has been repeatedly invited to speak to national, regional, and local professional conferences and business groups.

Resources & Offers

For corporate clients, we offer a complementary preliminary 30-45-minute ZOOM or SKYPE meeting to determine your needs and “fit.”   If you are a private client, I offer two partial scholarships a year to worthy candidates.  You are also entitled to a SKYPE or ZOOM meeting to discuss your needs and determine if you qualify for this special scholarship opportunity. 

We do not bill by the hour.   Our typical engagement for leadership development is 12-18 months.  We also offer spot coaching, which is typically a 3-month package to address one particularly skill area.

In case you missed it above, watch our video on how we set our fees.

Contact Me


Please tell me where to send your SDPCA email