Even the best — people at the top of their game — use coaches. Golf professionals are a terrific example. Virtually all the top players in the world use coaches to improve elements of their game, nip bad habits in the bud, and offer expert and impartial assessments of their skills. CEO coaching helps leaders clearly define their goals, assess their strengths and weaknesses, change behaviors, strengthen leadership characteristics, and improve performance.
So coaching for CEOs (people typically thought of at the top of their game) makes sense… for your CEO and for your organization. Here’s why:
1. It Really is Lonely at the Top
Cliche? Yes. True? Also yes. The reality is that your CEO has no one to talk to. Can they safely open up to HR? Other members of the senior team? No, those people work for them. CEO’s (and all of us really) also have a difficult time “seeing” themselves accurately. A CEO coach serves as an expert, confidential, and objective thought partner.
2. The CEO Sets the Pace
No organization can outpace its leader. The CEO sets the pace — but that pace depends upon their leadership capabilities. Because no organization can outpace its leader, a CEO can can slow down their organization’s development, growth, and profitability. The CEO has to go first, and that includes leadership development, allowing the CEO to set your organization’s pace at the highest level possible.
3. The CEO Sets the Tone
The CEO also sets the overall tone of the organization. That tone carries through your organization and drives your organizational culture — a collection of operating values and ways of thinking that guides your organization’s beliefs and behaviors. Culture impacts how effectively your teams perform, how decisions are made, and what types of people exert influence in your organization. CEO coaching will help intentionally shape the corporate culture at your organization. In addition, when people see that even the CEO is working to strengthen their skills through coaching, it sets the tone for valuing continual improvement and development throughout the organization — great traits to have in your employees!
4. The CEO Impacts Everyone
The CEO touches every employee, directly and indirectly. Every aspect of your organization is impacted by the CEO, so the scope of their influence cannot be underestimated. Any change at the top produces a dramatic ripple effect throughout your company — similar to the way a 1mm launch adjustment error in a Mars probe will result in the probe missing the planet entirely. CEO coaching will produce a significant and positive ripple effect all across your entire organization.
5. People Naturally Imitate the CEO
Direct reports mimic the CEO. The CEO is their model of success and organizational behavior. Does the CEO communicate clearly? Do they have strong emotional intelligence? Do they handle difficult conversations well? Do they promote an honest and open work environment? Executive coaches often say that direct reports copy the behaviors of CEOs and amplify them 10x over. For example, if your CEO provides feedback in a very harsh way, yells at employees, blames others, or abruptly changes strategic direction, many employees will mimic those behaviors. Your organization will thrive if people naturally imitate strong, positive leadership.
6. CEO Coaching Delivers a Big Bang for the Buck
If your CEO sets the pace at your company, sets the tone, impacts everyone, and is widely imitated, what could offer you a bigger return on investment than executive coaching for your CEO? Instead of spending money on coaching for a large number of people further down your organization, start with your CEO — the one person with the greatest impact across the board.
Explore Your Leadership Training Options
There are many other CEO coaching benefits as well! To learn more about how CEO coaching will help you improve your CEO’s (and your organization’s) leadership skills and performance, contact Arden Coaching at [email protected] or 646.684.3777.