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How we got here.

Our first clients were laid off Dot-com executives who found themselves out of work, many for the first time in their lives. We made a name for ourselves by helping these leaders pivot and move on to greater opportunities.


As their careers grew in new directions they turned to us for Executive Coaching, Leadership Development and Team Development services. We’re proud that our firm has grown almost entirely by referral.

From Stanford Business School to Hewlett Packard, Google, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Rockefeller Foundation and Genentech, we’ve had the honor and pleasure of working with people and organizations who are doing astonishing things.
With more than a dozen partners and consultants on board today, we aren’t the largest leadership development firm and that’s fine with us.

We’ve always been more interested in rolling up our shirt sleeves and helping leaders move the needle than creating a juggernaut.

Learn about the milestones on our journey so far just by clicking on "What Happened?" under each year.

2002

What Happened?

The Dot-com boom just went bust and San Francisco is full of accomplished professionals who have been laid off and are wondering where to take their careers.

Heather Corcoran and Rebecca Zucker, both MBAs fresh out of a coaching certification program, see an opportunity to help their peers. They offer a career workshop in San Francisco and Palo Alto aimed at alumni of Stanford and other business schools. Michael Melcher begins offering the same workshop in New York City.

The programs were so successful, that Heather and Rebecca form Next Step Partners and begin leading career workshops at business schools across the country, including Duke University, UCLA, Wharton, Carnegie Mellon, USC, among others. Workshops expand internationally to business schools in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Milan.

2003

What Happened?

NSP breaks into corporate when a top tier management consulting firm retains us to provide Career Transition services to departing professionals.

We also begin delivering Executive Coaching services. Our first engagement is with a leader at Hewlett Packard.

Jordan Stark joins as a Partner to launch our Team Development and Leadership Development programs.

Point B, a consulting firm, hires us to coach one of their business unit leaders. This engagement leads to a contract to coach all of the firm’s senior leaders. We also create a Leadership Development program to teach its leaders Feedback and Coaching skills. This strong client relationship continues to this day.

2005

What Happened?

Walmart.com becomes a client. We develop a plan for the development of their leaders and a program about managing employee performance.

2006

What Happened?

Lucasfilm and Citigroup become clients.

Michael Melcher joins as Partner and leads our New York presence. His combination of executive coaching, program design and workshop facilitation experience make him the perfect person to build our East coast presence.

We have our first overseas engagement, delivering a series of integrated workshops at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. This is followed some months later by an engagement at the Bocconi University MBA program in Milan.

2007

What Happened?

We publish the MBA Career Handbook and the Career Handbook for Working Professionals. The latter is private labeled by Harvard Business School Alumni Career Services and is purchased by Stanford Business School, The Haas School of Business and The Wharton MBA Program for Executives, among others, for use with their alumni and executive/part-time MBA students.

Digital Realty Trust hires us to train all of their employees globally in Goal Setting, Coaching and Feedback skills.

Michael Melcher’s book, The Creative Lawyer: A Practical Guide to Authentic Professional Satisfaction, a self-coaching book for lawyers, is published by the American Bar Association. Described as “surprisingly funny,” it continues to build audience; an expanded second edition is published in July 2014.

2008

What Happened?

Google and Doctors Without Borders become clients.

Davis Polk & Wardwell becomes a client, in New York and later in Menlo Park.

2009

What Happened?

We deepen our expertise in large-scale global leadership development programs and design a Leadership Development program with Genentech, called “The Strategic Team Leader.”

The Hewlett Foundation becomes a key client, launching our work in the philanthropic sector. We provide Executive Coaching to all managers.

Apple becomes a client.

2010

What Happened?

Natural Resources Defense Council becomes a client.

Following their merger with Roche, Genentech asks us to help them create Leading in a Global Enterprise, a Leadership Development program for its North American executives..

2011

What Happened?

Population Services International becomes a client. We begin to work with their senior leaders in Washington as well as throughout Latin America and the Caribbean and, later, in Africa and Southeast Asia.

Hewlett Foundation staff perception results improve significantly on all measures targeted by our work with them.

BNP Paribas signs on. We collaborate in creating a Career Development program focused on individuals enrolled in the bank’s top talent program; we later develop additional leadership curricula.

Natural Resources Defense Council asks us to design and launch a Leadership Development program for nearly 40 emerging leaders on two coasts.

2012

What Happened?

Shari Cohen, a consultant with us since 2008, becomes a Partner to deepen our Leadership Development, Executive Coaching and program evaluation expertise.

Rockefeller Foundation and Clorox become clients.

Natural Resources Defense Council, an Executive Coaching client since 2010, asks us to design and develop a Leadership Development program for emerging leaders.

2013

What Happened?

The Leadership Development program that we designed for Genentech on Leading in a Global Enterprise wins a Brandon Hall Excellence Award for Best Leadership Development Program.

Survey results show 96% of our Executive Coaching clients make significant and sustainable progress towards their coaching goals.

2014

What Happened?

Nielsen signs us on to coach senior executives handpicked by the CEO as part of their Global Leadership Program.

eBay hires us to deliver a kick-off event for the legal department's Women’s Initiative Network (WIN).

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Rebecca Zucker | Next Step Partners Michael Melcher | Next Step Partner Shari Cohen | Next Step Partners

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