Coaching Credentials

  • ICF Associate Certified Coach (PCC Certification pending review)
  • New Ventures West Coaching Program
  • Team Coaching International certified team coach
  • Action Learning Coaching certification, World Institute of Action Learning (WIAL)
  • Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching education

Leadership Experience

  • Central Intelligence Agency
  • Program Manager, Strategic Leadership Development, Experiential Learning Program
  • Career Development and Training Branch
  • Field Operations Management


  • Department of Energy
  • Center for Excellence in Public Leadership, George Washington University
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA
  • Korn Ferry International
  • Department of Homeland Security agencies
  • Edizen Corporation
  • Booz Allen Hamilton


  • M.A., Fielding Graduate University, Human and Organizational Systems
  • B.A., Cornell  University, Economics

Client Feedback

“Valerie’s coaching approach for executives is both rigorous and compassionate. She aided me in learning how to accurately detect, dissect, and dissolve the flow of daily problems that streamed endlessly one after another at the senior level at which I functioned.  Her coaching method quantifiably strengthened my existing corporate problem-solving skills. Well worth the investment of time and energy!”

Valerie Lingeman, The Learning Advantage, Juicy Works coachJuicy Work Coaches

Meet Valerie Lingeman

What does “Juicy Work” mean to you?

Juicy work is work that doesn’t feel like work.  It feels creative.  Juicy work gives us back more energy than it takes out of us. It nourishes and feeds our own growth. The infusion of energy and creativity overflows into the rest of our life, enriching our relationships, our communities, and our pursuits and pastimes.

Can you give an example of how you helped someone find their “Juicy Work” through coaching?

I was coaching a manager who had been selected for another international assignment, returning to a business unit with an organizational culture she found stifling and oppressive.  As a woman in this culture, rising into managerial ranks, she was one among few.  The unspoken understanding was that if you could make it here, you could succeed to senior levels in the organization.

While the assignment was a vote of confidence, my client felt as if she were going back into a meat-grinder. She was stuck — yearning to create a more self-directed life where she could be more fulfilled and authentic at work, but feeling like she had to just go where the organization directed her.

She took the international assignment, unenthusiastically, and we worked together via phone, email, and chat.  She began to track her energy levels.  What was she doing when she felt most alive? We explored the conflict between her inner desire for change, and all of the “should” language in her head, the voice of the organization telling her what to do. We used assessment instruments to zero in on her strengths as a leader.  We dug deep to explore her values and how they were reflected in  — or in conflict with – aspects of the culture. She discovered a passion for helping people develop to their greatest potential, and began exploring options for a next assignment that would allow her to indulge that passion.  Long story short:  she courageously stepped off the fast track and reshaped her career path, growing skills in training, education, and leadership coaching. She steered toward leadership roles that played to her strengths and allowed her to partner with people who shared her values. Today, she works happily with leaders both inside and outside of her organization, helping them recharge and rediscover both impact and fun through their work.

How else have you used coaching?

As a leadership and team coach, I love to use these skill sets in tandem. Coaching helps individual leaders grow their influence and impact.  Imagine what happens when leaders invite their teams to engage in coaching with them: results are magnified and ripple through the organization.  Together, leaders and teams create alignment of purpose, values, and operating principles.  They become very clear on what they are trying to accomplish together, and in conversations about things that matter, team members appreciate and leverage each others’ strengths and interests in service of their common goal.  Team members develop a lasting capacity to team effectively, no matter what teams they find themselves on in the future.

How have you seen “Juicy Work” impact a whole organization?

As a program manager for a federal agency, I was responsible for creating and integrating a range of experiential learning opportunities to support leader development strategy.  Before we could match people to learning opportunities, we had a more fundamental challenge: the organization wasn’t making a habit of talking to its employees about career development. My team closed this gap.  We implemented an enterprise-wide initiative that gave every employee the opportunity to have an annual career development conversation with a manager. As a result, the agency now can better differentiate its talent, achieve better job fit, drive higher employee engagement, and make intelligent investments in development.  Employees feel like their career aspirations matter to the organization.  They pursue many different kinds of learning opportunities, and are more engaged as a result.

What is it like for someone to work with you as a coach?

My clients tell me that I help them with clarity.  I help zero in on what’s really important to them. I help them rediscover aspects of themselves that they haven’t acknowledged in awhile.  Sometimes these are the buried gems that need a little polish to shine, so they can reflect more light into the client’s life. Other times we uncover edgy, gnarly bits that are demanding attention and need to be accepted before the client can say, “Hey, I’ve let you run things around here for long enough.  Time for you to get in the back seat. There’s a new sheriff in town.” 

My clients value my organizational experience and expertise. They say that I am warm and positive. They say it’s good to be able to share their thoughts, concerns, and aspirations with somebody who is objective.  With aspirations, musings, or worries on the table, I help my clients figure out what they want to do about them.  We explore possibilities (the essence of coaching), and then we move to action and experimentation.  We reflect on the results of those actions in a mindful way, asking whether they support our goals, or whether another path should be explored.  When we encounter unexpected bumps or detours, we navigate them together, because “life happens.”

Can you tell us about your background?

Behind every career move I’ve ever made, what motivated me was a desire for either learning or meaning.  Early in my career, I moved from the private to the public sector because I wanted to be of service, to support an organizational mission focused on the common good.  I served as an intelligence officer with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for 25 years. There I discovered endless learning opportunities. I learned the profession of intelligence, I learned languages, I learned about the world by living in it and working with people with vast and diverse experiences and knowledge.  Learning is my source of growth and energy.  Whenever we learn something, we are changed by it.

At CIA, I migrated my career into the field of learning and development.  I was curious about why most organizations weren’t able to change in the ways they proclaimed they wanted to.  I studied leadership, coaching, and organization development, exploring this question at the individual, group, and systems levels.  Along the way, I became a mother, twice.  I see the world differently. I am concerned today about our human footprint on the earth, our source of life.  I am concerned about the rights of everyone to pursue good and meaningful work and have equal access to education, health care, and opportunity.  I aspire to focus my work in the direction of issues I care deeply about, connecting with like-minded people who believe it’s possible to merge work, joy, contribution, and growth.