Why Future-oriented CEOs are Seeking Coaching and Why You Should, too.
Over the past couple of years, CEOs have been facing challenges that are complex and difficult to navigate. Whether it’s supply chain shortages, lack of reliable or trained staff, or a crippling fear of an upcoming recession, these problems are making huge waves in seemingly solid industries. More and more CEOs have been turning to executive coaches for assistance.
Why are executives seeking coaching?
It’s lonely at the top. The higher you climb on the career ladder, the fewer trusted relationships you hold. When there is a problem, who do CEOs talk to? With whom can they share their ideas or concerns in confidence? Who can really understand the responsibilities and concerns weighing them down?
Executives are now having to navigate obstacles that were just not there pre-COVID, and they need help. As we approach the end of the pandemic, the need to communicate their fears without concern or worry over confidentiality breaches weighs heavily on their shoulders. After all, it’s the CEO who wears the criticism if things go wrong.
It’s difficult to find colleagues to speak to because in many cases they are competitors for the role or don’t have the breadth of experience to understand and advise.
At a time when CEOs and executives need to be inspiring confidence among their people, there is rarely anyone within the business to whom they can reveal their true concerns.
How is coaching helping CEOs cope and grow?
A quality executive coach with a multi-dimensional approach can have a transformative impact both on a personal level for the CEO and the organisation. I have seen this in my coaching sessions. It never fails to inspire me when I see a small change in mindset reap huge rewards.
Operational excellence is the aim of CEOs, but many just feel weighed down by the uncertainty of what comes next. For CEOs unsure where to focus their energy or wanting to propel growth, seeking the ear of a coach can help them define what’s important and plan the way forward.
CEOs don’t have the luxury of time when it comes to critical decision making for the organisation. The pressure is enough to make anyone second-guess their choices. Working with a coach who can challenge assumptions and point out blind spots can help CEOs confidently resolve problems and come to a decision more quickly.
Coaching holds up a professional mirror so executives can see themselves clearly without the inbuilt biases of feedback from friends, colleagues, and organisational professionals. They see their strengths, and weaknesses. They discover the assumptions driving their thinking and learn more about the effect their personal behaviours. They learn to find solutions to their own barriers so they can move ahead without reservation. Executive coaching can help CEOs identify blind spots and enable them to focus primarily on those big picture ideas they’d love to implement.
Importantly, coaching keeps CEOs and executives accountable for what they do and when they do it. Coaching moves people from ‘talk’ to action. That’s how it delivers results. That’s why executives who want to make a difference and lead their people into a successful future choose coaching to help them do so.
There is a school of thought that seeking advice from a coach can make you look weak, but the opposite is true. It is a sign of strength when a CEO can do the work that is necessary to become an even better leader. The understanding is in the phrase ‘you never stop learning regardless of where you are on the ladder’. Future-oriented executives know they’ll be even better leaders tomorrow than they are today if they put in the work.
Executive coaching is powerful. Instead of being seen as a last resort for struggling CEOs, it is now recognised as a strategic personal and professional development tool that benefits the executive and ultimately the whole organisation. CEOs who choose to be coached can fast-track and build sustainable careers more quickly to ensure they are doing the work that matters.
Are you big enough to seek the help of an executive coach to enhance your performance as a CEO?
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Caroline Kennedy, author of Lead Beyond 2030: The Nine Skills You Need to Intensify Your Leadership Impact, is an accomplished former CEO, Award-Winning Executive Coach and global thought leader on business and leadership. She is a highly sought-after mentor and coach to top global executives. A respected keynote speaker and author, Caroline’s methods are neuroscience-based to achieve rapid development and growth.