As CEO, your job is to create great value. More than any other person, your impact as CEO is the single biggest predictor of your company’s success. Perform in the upper 20% of CEOs and you’ll generate a nearly 3X greater return to shareholders than the average performer.
Yet sustaining top performance and value creation is not so easy. Today’s environment is riskier and more challenging than just a decade ago. You operate in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world, where disruptive technology abounds, talent is scarce and shifting, new business models and competition threaten the status quo, and social unrest, a pandemic, and the climate crisis loom. You have a lot of weight on your shoulders. To help you navigate this treacherous terrain, can you benefit by having a CEO coach, whose sole goal is to help you become more successful in work and life?
Every top performer has a coach. World-class athletes, musicians, and entertainers all have coaches. Best-in-the-world performers hire coaches to help them improve their games, become better and stay on top. It’s the same for smart CEOs. Eric Schmidt, former chairman and CEO of Google said, “The best advice I ever got was from John Doerr (chairman of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins) who said to get a coach.” A CEO coach sees you with a different set of lenses, making suggestions and offering insights that help you create great impact.
Your CEO coach’s only agenda is a desire to see you operate at your best and succeed. Your coach is a confidant who plays a role no other stakeholder can play. Board members, direct reports, or well-meaning spouses aren’t coaches as they have their own agendas. Your coach sees your greatness, beliefs, and blind spots. Listening carefully, your coach learns your biggest challenges and opportunities. Your coach asks thoughtful questions, explores options, and offers perspective and wise insights. Your coach helps you learn new skills and strengthen your relationships. Your coach shows you how to grab hearts and minds. Your coach will teach you how to connect with, persuade and inspire others to act. Your coach encourages and inspires you to become your best.
When you get better, everyone around you gets better. You serve as a role model for others to grow and lift their games, too. That’s a powerful way of building a team of high performing, value creating leaders.
What to look for in your CEO coach? Your coach must understand your context, bringing senior level executive experience in your industry sector along with a track record of success working with CEOs on the topics where you seek assistance. Your coach must clearly describe what you can expect working together and provide examples and references of client success stories that resonate. Your coach must always keep your discussions confidential. Finally, your coach must be a good personal fit with you. The chemistry has be right.
Every CEO needs a coach. When you select and engage with an outstanding CEO coach, and commit to do your work, the benefits you’ll receive can be enormous. You’ll gain a brainstorming partner, a confidant, a trainer, a sage, and a motivator, who’ll help you thrive. So, you become better – in work and life – creating great value for yourself and all your stakeholders.