What I Do

Executive Coaching

Great leaders are unforgettable. They’re great because they’re effective at what they do. However, like anything else, leadership skills come from time and experience, but also, constant learning. The right executive coach can help business professionals get the results they need to be more effective leaders. With tools and expert guidance, coaching leads to improved decision making, empowered strategic thinking and more fulfillment- personally and professionally.

Power, Passion and Proven Results

What is it about Jay McDonald that differentiates him as an executive coach? Simple. Power, Passion and Proven Results. Power from over three decades of hands-on expertise as a CEO, serial entrepreneur and business advisor in almost every industry imaginable; Passion in sharing experiences and mentoring business executives on their way to the top looking to maximize potential; and Proven Results that can be seen again and again in both personal success and professional milestones.

Authentic, Reliable and Trusted

Jay McDonald is more than an executive coach. He’s a proven leader who’s been there. Over the years, his challenges and rewards have made him the authentic and reliable voice organizations and leaders need to see value added results. Through trial and error, Jay has learned what works, what doesn’t work and why. He’s authentic and reliable- the trusted source high powered executives and decision makers need to take their skills one step further.

A Vistage CEO Coach With an Edge

In his current role as Vistage Chair and CEO coach, Jay works with some of Atlanta’s most prestigious and successful business owners and executives. He brings high energy, straight talk and a sense of humor, showing executives how to make better decisions, balance work-life and achieve the personal and professional fulfillment needed for success. Real leadership requires “out of the box” solutions. With demonstrated expertise, unparalleled breadth of knowledge and a few laughs, Jay McDonald is ready to share insight, experience and wisdom. Coaching, mentoring and consulting are art forms built on Authenticity, Trust and Creativity. With a little authority, some latitude and support, Jay McDonald looks forward to helping you reach new levels, exceeding even your own expectations.

Strategic Planning and Advisory Services

The modern business environment is volatile, complex and in many ways, ambiguous. For senior executives and decision makers, complexities and uncertainties in the workplace present a challenge to effective decision making and leadership. Without a trusted resource for advice and counsel, more than a few leaders falter, making it nearly impossible to stay competitive or forge ahead of the curve. When it comes to advice, there are only a handful of people who can be trusted to provide the kind of information that will not only add value, but also, reach executives on a level that makes sense to them- in their business. Jay McDonald has unparalleled expertise gained through proven leadership and CEO experience in multiple venues across a wide variety of industries. With a sound foundation in finance, marketing, operations and technology, he’s a strategic visionary- an analytical thinker and problem solver who uses well-reasoned judgment to create practical solutions.

Business Savvy Meets Street Smarts

A serial entrepreneur and innovator, Jay knows what it takes to make the tough decisions. He’s made the journey and has the hands-on knowledge and skills to help those on their way up survive the challenges that that lie ahead. With a combination of business savvy and street smarts that’s rare in any industry, Jay challenges the status quo and has been rewarded with success time and time again. He’s field tested, battle hardened and more than ready for the next opportunity.

The Tools to Move Organizations and Leaders Forward

Whether it’s an organization-wide communications strategy, an executive level decision or uncertainty rolling out a new technology, Jay has the expertise to draw on and the innate skills to help guide decision making. On multiple occasions, he has helped move organizations to the next phase, resulting in optimized value for owners and stakeholders as well as record setting revenue. With commercial banking and investment banking alone, Jay has helped senior executives reach milestones unheard of in the field.


Jay currently serves on the Board of Directors for ECI Group in Atlanta; Compliance Depot, LLC, in Dallas; Buckhead Investment Partners in Atlanta; the Colgate Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia; and the Frabel Art Foundation in Atlanta. He is a licensed real estate professional and a nationally recognized trainer for commercial lenders and credit administrators. In 2002, Jay was pleased to serve as an Olympic torchbearer in Salt Lake City. Jay has an MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business, University of Virginia where he received the prestigious Samuel Forest Hyde Memorial Fellowship and a BS in Industrial Management from Georgia Institute of Technology graduating in the top 10 percent of his class.

Video of Phil Carlock on Jay as a Facilitator Phil Carlock on Jay as a Facilitator – 2:30 Video of Doug Dunn on Jay as a Facilitator Doug Dunn on Jay as a Facilitator – 1:05

Speaker | Author

Powerful speakers engage an audience- they capture the listener because of the way they deliver the message. With high energy, creativity and quick wit, Jay McDonald is a results oriented motivator who can reach an audience on a level that resonates with everyone in the room. Former CEO, Principal, serial entrepreneur and business advisor, whether it’s to discuss best practices, outline a theory or simply engage executives in a little offhanded humor, when Jay is charged with speaking or authoring a piece, everyone tunes in.

A Master Communicator

With over three decades of demonstrated expertise gained in a variety of senior leadership roles, Jay has mastered the art of effective communication. He’s led thousands of people and transformed hundreds of organizations with his expert advice, counsel and proven strategies. He’s a “natural” when it comes to public speaking and a mentor to be admired. Executive leaders and organizations face complex challenges, and Jay’s words are encouraging, innovative and exactly what high powered professionals need to spark enthusiasm and forge ahead.

Learning Not to Take Yourself Too Seriously

Perhaps the most fundamental message beneath Jay’s spoken word is his innate ability to communicate fun and a passion for life. His lessons are instrumental and his advice is coveted, but it’s the underlying belief that life is short and we must never forget to enjoy ourselves that is the true take away message. Recognized as the “Bill Cosby of leadership”, Jay’s unique style and comedic perspective are innovative and refreshing changes from the boring, dull business speak “how to” literature that's currently available for consumption.

Infusing Enthusiasm

To say that Jay has a way with people is an understatement. The truth is, Jay has spent a lifetime nurturing a career and working hard at getting to the bottom of how to most effectively balance work-life. He is thrilled to have the opportunity to “give back” to the very people that encouraged him to succeed and looks forward to engaging professionals on their way up with inspiring presentations and colorful speaking engagements. Jay is a show stopper, knowledgeable and fun, infusing enthusiasm and creating excitement, a rare treat in any industry.

Featured Articles

  • The Leadership Mirror: A Reflection In Self-Evaluation And Growth

    Leaders are often asked to consider a famous metaphor – that of “looking into the mirror,” to evaluate honestly and objectively their strengths and challenges, and to better find their growth paths as professionals. This self-assessment can help executives evaluate their impact on others as well as give them useful direction on their own self-development […] The post The Leadership Mirror: A Reflection In Self-Evaluation And Growth appeared first on Jay McDonald....

  • Proactive Hiring: a Strong Bench = a Strong Team

    If you do find yourself in a position when you need to let an employee go – for whatever reason – it helps if you already have “bench strength.” This refers to a philosophy of hiring where you identify strong candidates before you need them. That way, you can hire proactively, instead of reactively. Building […] The post Proactive Hiring: a Strong Bench = a Strong Team appeared first on Jay McDonald....

  • Jay’s Straight Talk CXVI…Leadership = Lifelong Learning: Dog’s Don’t Chase Parked Cars

    Computer speeds double every 18 months, according to Moore’s Law. Although it’s hard to imagine smaller microchips, researchers indicate new developments will allow more powerful computers at even smaller sizes. In fact, during this 21st century, many futurists say our progress will advance 20,000 years in 100 years, comparatively speaking.Technology developments in artificial intelligence, robotics, […] The post Jay’s Straight Talk CXVI…Leadership = Lifelong Learning: Dog...

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Board Positions & Designations

  • saltlake
  • imgres
  • gtaa
  • saltlake
  • compliance depot