You’re the CEO so why do you need a coach? CEOs simply have more to gain from coaching than any other person on the org chart. Given the nature of the position along with the numerous studies that have been authored which provide ample data affirming the extraordinary results that can be achieved by utilizing a CEO coach, I’m always amazed at the number of CEOs who don’t yet have a coach on retainer. In the text that follows I’ll examine the reasons why I believe all (yes I said all) CEOs should have a coach or advisor.




As bright, talented, experienced, motivated and savvy as most CEOs are, they are only one person…Moreover CEOs are the individual in the company most likely to be operating in a vacuum. The only thing CEOs can count on is that their performance is constantly being evaluated by virtually everyone in the value chain. Combine that with the fact the performance standards and expectations are constantly being raised and it is no wonder that CEOs often feel overwhelmed. All satire and office humor aside, there is no more difficult job than that of the CEO. This is largely because the proverbial buck stops with the CEO as he or she is expected to have all the answers and make all the tough decisions.


Executives who rise to the Csuite do so largely based upon their ability to consistently make sound decisions. However while it may take years of solid decision making to reach the boardroom it often times only takes one bad decision to fall from the ivory tower. The reality is that in today’s competitive business world an executive is only as good as his/her last decision, or their ability to stay ahead of contemporaries and competitors.


As the CEO the reality is that you have no true peers within the business, so where do you turn for advice and counsel? If you’re like many CEOs you turn to your subordinates…This is not where you should seek unbiased information as it is unlikely that your subordinates will tell you the hard truths or provide you with open candid criticism of your actions. They are certainly not in a position to hold you accountable or most times even provide you with intellectually challenging input.


Most successful CEOs make heavy investments in building their skill sets, knowledge base and subject matter expertise early in their careers only to make minimal investments in their professional development when they reach the Csuite. It is however at the Csuite level that an executive must be on top of his/her game as they have the broadest sphere of influence, the largest ability to impact a business and they also now have the most at risk…It is at this place that the CEO should make the heaviest investment in refining their game because it is at the chief executive level that increased performance will pay the biggest dividends. Wouldn’t it 

be nice to seek counsel from an objective third party who has walked in your shoes and is not caught up in office politics therefore having no axe to grind or turf to protect…someone who has an extensive network outside your business and is a true intellectual and experiential peer of yours? The right CEO coach can afford all these benefits and more…


I also maintain an active personal advisory practice where I provide counsel to a select group of CEOs, entrepreneurs and politicians. For most of these professionals the decision to retain my services was driven by one of two distinct motivations. Some of my clients had a defensive motive in that they wanted to protect what they had worked so hard to achieve while others had an offensive motive in that they were looking to take their companies or careers to the next level…Regardless of which camp they fell into these were already very successful people who recognized that its lonely at the top and that they could not afford to keep operating in a vacuum. I actually have a few clients where I am just one member of a coaching team that is on call to deliver real time advice and assistance when the need arises.


In some cases I coach or mentor, but most of my clients simply view me as their closest personal advisor. As their advisor my role is to serve them in the manner that will be of greatest value whether it be behind the scenes or in plain view. Over the years I have played the role of ambassador, emissary, influencer, facilitator, expediter, personal brand manager, lobbyist, buffer/shield, crisis manager, negotiator, publicist, strategist, tactician, collaborative thinker and a variety of other roles as needed. I am on call 24/7/365 and have been known to fly around the globe at a moment’s notice if an event merits such action or attention on my part. Bottom line…I make things happen and I get things done at the behest of my clients for the purpose of enhancing or protecting their personal and professional brand or enabling the accomplishment of anything ranging from a single task to a lifelong goal. These are the traits you want to look for in a coach and if you desire the best results I urge you not to settle for anything less than the best advisor available.


In closing, I’ll issue an open challenge to any CEO reading this article: I can come up with a virtually endless amount of legitimate reasons and benefits for why you should have a coach and I’ll bet you can’t come up with a single valid reason (excuses are not reasons and don’t count) why you shouldn’t…Best wishes for continued success

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