Italy Inside You: Adventures, Connections & Metamorphoses featuring Emma Wood

“Italy changed my DNA in a sense. After a career spanning several different things, a year ago, I launched my executive coaching business. I’m working with execs, founders, and rising leaders. Through a coaching perspective I wanted some of the same things that I love about Italy, like slowing down and really connecting and getting to the heart of it with people, and I’m finding that to be a really meaningful way to tap into business and leadership.” Emma Wood

This past January, Emma Wood and I connected via Zoom to record this very special, long, video episode in which we speak about everything from gap years, solo travel, food, and wine, to first drew Emma to Italy and how her relationship with the country has grown and evolved over time. She also shares with us how Italy has impacted her, professionally and personally, and still does to this day.

Join us for a chat about Emma’s journey, fortuitous encounters, her pivot into the world of coaching with the founding last year of her company, Caterpillar Collaborative. In her work, Emma is helping people lead better lives and better companies, and trying to create a better world through better workplaces where people are thriving, more in touch with themselves, and self-aware.

Emma Wood’s Biography

I believe we can align success and fulfillment through conscious leadership. For individuals, this means creating careers and lives that are balanced, intentional and full of purpose. For companies, this means investing in supporting individuals to drive exceptional and sustainable results. I work with entrepreneurs, executives and emerging leaders. While our primary focus is typically professional in nature, I take a whole-person approach that recognizes the personal & professional are interwoven. My clients trust me to create a safe, confidential and empowering space that enables them to courageously explore, grow and navigate important transitions.  My ideal clients are self-aware, curious, and committed to doing the work. They aren’t content to just settle or survive – they want to thrive. They’re ready to dream big and take bold steps to achieve their goals. They recognize the value of investing in themselves and their development. They are willing to dig deep and carve out time for what truly matters. They’re not just moving upward, they’re moving forward. I have always been an achiever and an adventurer.  I know what it’s like to succeed in intense, fast-paced environments. I earned two degrees from Stanford (BA and MBA), cut my teeth at one of the top management consulting firms (McKinsey & Company), and reached the C-suite by the time I hit 30. Before transitioning to coaching, I served as the COO and interim CEO for consumer companies. I most recently worked with a wine importer & distributor, a private equity-backed pet company, and a high-growth beverage startup in leadership roles spanning strategy, operations, people, and innovation. I am familiar with the impact, thrills and rewards of achievement.  I also know the taste of failure and the tolls these demanding careers can take. I’ve been through layoffs and failed fundraising rounds. I’ve felt the loneliness that can come at the top. I’ve neglected my health and burned myself out. I’ve walked away from environments and trajectories that no longer aligned with my values or the impact I wanted to have. Through these experiences, I’ve learned how to power through adversity, connect into my inner compass, and stay resilient no matter the circumstances.  As an adventurer, I’ve always been hungry for new experiences, deep connections, and cultivating a sense of wonder. I’ve traveled to more than 40 countries and moved to places where I didn’t yet speak the language or know anyone. I’ve gotten quiet as I focused on my own inner work, learning from a range of teachers and modalities. I know what it feels like to be at a crossroads and to make big changes in order to build the life you want. Ultimately, I became a coach in order to support others on the journey of becoming the leaders and people they want to be. My mission is to aid them in creating lives that are both successful and meaningful, rich with intention and impact.  My experiences as a consultant & operator allow me to bridge perspectives in coaching, to understand the context in which you’re operating. But our work will go deeper than that. Just as the caterpillar must go through its own process of transformation into a butterfly, so must we do our work of becoming. Who are you becoming?


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