Malcolm Avner


Malcolm Avner has successfully coached business leaders and management teams for over 20 years. Drawing from his past experience as a business executive, entrepreneur and athlete, he blends personal and professional development techniques to help clients gain the insights, tools and guidance to take their work– and their life – to the next level.

These days, Malcolm is most passionate about helping key leaders who seek to acquire the skills, systems and relatability necessary to perform to their potential. Indications of the coaching need include a leader who is frustrated with lack of progress, overseeing an organization in conflict, cliquishness, or general underperformance. Malcolm’s mission is to develop more conscious leaders who create a more purposeful, rewarding experience for all stakeholders.


Clients represent a wide range of industries, including hospitality, construction, real estate, software, life science, advertising, management consulting, and much more. Malcolm’s work is about improving the leader’s ability to relate, motivate, cultivate talent and create an innovative and empowering workplace. The industry of the business has little bearing on this work. Malcolm’s client company profile has the following characteristics:

  • Commitment to the well-being and development of employees
  • Dedicated to being an industry leader in customer service
  • Adherence to values that require ethical behavior and high integrity

Professional Services Offered

One-to-One Coaching: Programs are customized to help the coachee perform to their potential and achieve their goals and deepest desires. These transformative engagements are conducted online or in person.

Management Team Coaching – A Foundation for Unity: This group program is designed to improve team performance by addressing the nature of conflict and resentments, laying a foundation for sustainable, trust-based relationships. Based on the teachings of The Four Agreements, by Miguel Ruiz, participants learn to interact with integrity, trustworthiness and self-accountability. Programs are conducted via live, interactive video conference.

Management Team Coaching for High-potential Leaders: A combination of 1-to-1 and group sessions, this hybrid coaching model is designed to prepare the next generation of senior leaders for success. Geared towards those with unmistakable talent but unmet potential and a need to increase emotional intelligence, this fast-track program instills the emotional maturity and self-awareness needed to succeed in a senior leadership position. This program is administered via phone and video conference, so group members may be geographically dispersed.

Retreats and Coaching Intensives for Individuals and Leadership Teams: Several programs address various situations, including a chronic issue; organizational emergency; strategic planning; alignment of values, vision and mission; or “vision quest” (finding direction through an immersive connection to nature). Location and duration vary, and retreats are customized to the client need. Email for more information [email protected].

Projects / Case Studies / Results

  • IT Department Under the Gun

Coachee: VP of Information Technology

Issue: Underperforming department that provides internal and external tech support. Personal reputation for unreliability. Conflict with a difficult peer on the management team.

Result: In the Coachee’s words: “I learned to manage my time more efficiently, identify communication barriers and gained an awareness of the repercussions of my decisions. Malcolm was incredibly skilled at asking tough questions that helped me see things from a different perspective. I am a much better communicator and better foresee the consequences of my words and actions. The tools I learned will be helpful for the rest of my life and career.”

  • Burned Out and Trapped in His Own Company

Coachee:  Founder & CEO of a mid-size advertising/marketing firm

Issue: Overwhelmed with workload. Understaffed and delegating inadequately. Frustrated and burned out. Neglectful of family and of personal health.

Result: In the Coachee’s words: “My work with Malcolm has taken some unexpected turns, to my benefit and for the benefit of my company. Specifically, he has helped me focus on the things I can change, without feeling bad or being distracted by things I can’t change. He has helped me recognize previously invisible ways that I impede myself and frustrate myself and others. He has introduced me to value systems and communication techniques that have improved my leadership style, thus helping shift the stubborn culture of my company. He has been a valuable sounding board regarding key personnel management and organization strategy. In addition, he has guided my business partner (who is my wife) and me to agree on boundaries that help us keep work conversations from dominating our personal time and enable us to better enjoy our time together.”

  • Partners Who Don’t Speak the Same Language

Coachee: COO and Partner (with sibling) in a mid-size custom promotions and marketing products company

Issue: The partners experience a mutually aggravating pattern of communication that make cooperation and mutual respect elusive. Work is unfulfilling. Company culture is splintered.

Result: As a result of a methodical process of self-discovery, the coachee now understands his contribution to the friction in the relationship, and has specific techniques to change his thoughts, words and behaviors in the moment; thus, largely defusing resentment before conflict arises. Established boundaries that allow the coachee to perform the work that is most rewarding, personally and for the company.

What Clients Can Expect

“Malcolm came highly recommended to me from our attorney to assist in the transition of a family-owned business. During the course of our work, I was greatly impressed with Malcolm’s acute analysis and expertise in business management. His insights and suggestions were invaluable in the ongoing negotiations with our new CEO, as well as with the establishment of our new board of directors and reconfiguration of our management team. His coaching enabled me to put an effective plan into place which will serve the company well into the future.”
     – Ailene McManus, CFO

“Malcolm has a gift. It’s not often that you discover care, dedication and inspiration from the same source.  Malcolm has the rare ability to draw out your best qualities and then helps map out a plan to capitalize on those strengths. I marvel at the daily and weekly changes in my world since I started working with Malcolm.  He provides positive input, practical applications and a systematic method of assessing progress. If you’re broken, Malcolm can inspire you to re-build.  If you’re lost, Malcolm can show you new paths. And if you just want to better lead and exceed, Malcolm can help guide you to achieve your goals.
     – John Lehmann, CEO & Serial Entrepreneur

"Malcolm’s coaching and mentorship have provided me with a valuable advantage in leadership and communication. He has brought much more to the table than being a Consultant or Executive Coach. I greatly value his integrity, professionalism, and reliability. I consider him a strategic partner and trusted friend. His philosophy and teachings have inspired me with a new perspective on self-awareness, leadership, and effective communication techniques. Malcolm has also integrated highly effective tools and exercises that I use to hold myself and others accountable, starting with speaking impeccably and maintaining integrity. He has been very helpful in providing his perspective and advice when I have been faced with complicated and challenging management issues. The success of our work together is clearly evident in my change in leadership and communication, as well as a much-improved culture within my organization. I highly recommend Malcolm Avner as a Leadership Coach."
       – Sandor Dizes, Director of Corporate Finance

"Working with you has been one of the hardest but most beneficial things that I have ever done, and I am better for it. I never hesitate to share my growth story and newfound principles for work and life. I have come a long way and the people that I care most about are the beneficiaries."
     – Larry Neuhoff, Regional Manager

Additional Client Comments here:

Professional Certifications / Qualifications

  • MBA, Business Management
  • Certification in TQM (Total Quality Management)
  • Certification in Solution Selling
  • Certification in The New Agreements in the Workplace (based on The Four Agreements, by Miguel Ruiz)
  • Certified Life Coach
  • Certified Master/Teacher of Energy Therapy
  • Licensed Healer Practitioner
  • Coursework in shamanic counseling
  • Certified Instructor of DreamWork
  • Certified Tennis Instructor, USPTA
  • Black Belt, Cuong Nhu Oriental Martial Arts

Honors / Awards

  • Founder & Chairman, Conscious Capitalism San Diego
  • Toastmaster of the Year, Toastmasters International

Affiliations / Organizations

  • Conscious Capitalism
  • San Diego Professional Coaches Alliance
  • Association for Corporate Growth
  • Pacific Community Ventures
  • Corporate Finance Council of San Diego
  • CONNECT Springboard
  • Strategic Trusted Advisors Roundtable
  • Toastmasters International


Early in my careers – both as a professional athlete and a business builder – my focus was guided by conventional wisdom on how to achieve success: play by the rules and outwork the competition. I followed that wisdom and I became, by most measures, successful. But something was missing. I felt unfulfilled, despite my achievements. I eventually learned that while hard work and playing within the “rules” can generate success, success is hollow because the guidance is incomplete. A bit like wearing shoelaces as a bathing suit – it just doesn’t cover enough of what really matters.

After experiencing some painful but necessary life lessons, and doing some serious soul searching, I discovered new life guidance that ultimately drove me to where I am today:

  • Goals that are aligned with a higher purpose (more than just making money or impressing people) are the most rewarding – financially, emotionally and spiritually
  • Updating longstanding beliefs and behavior patterns – even the ones that seem most sacred – opens the door to better results
  • Having fun at work isn’t a diversion of energy; it’s a source of energy…and creativity… and motivation!

Integrating these guiding principles into my life changed everything. I found fulfillment, spiritual connection, and career direction. My outlook on life was so profoundly changed that I knew I had to help others find their path as well. I found my calling, as they say.

Today, I coach business leaders who, in many cases, have slogged the same winding path of dissatisfaction that I did. These leaders are people who have demonstrated talent and the ability to create value for their organizations – yet seem to continually attract conflict, disarray and discontent. I feel their pain, because I have been there and done that. There is an unbearably high cost to avoiding one’s true calling. And that calling doesn’t necessarily mean a new job. A calling can be woven into the fabric of daily life – if one is open, honest and ready for change.

Contact Me


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