Good CEO coaching should be tailored specifically around the CEO’s needs. Like every individual, every CEO is different and has a different set of challenges. To understand those challenges, the coach themselves should ideally have specific experience at management level within a corporate environment, and with strong business, industry, and cultural intuition, in order to appreciate the political environment the CEO operates in. It can otherwise be difficult for the coach to appreciate the pressured and political environment the CEO operates in.
Leading themselves, as well as the organisations they run, is often a mysterious, messy, and rarely simple process. With the winds of change blowing through global corporations today, CEO’s and their executive teams face enormous challenges in order to sustain high operating results.
Some of these challenges include globalisation, economic and political change, tougher governance and stringent regulations, as well as the new environment we’re now living in with Covid-19 – all of which make realising Shareholder value increasingly challenging.
Unfortunately, it’s usually only when a business is being challenged, that a red flag is raised around the CEO or the leadership team’s behaviour and how that needs to shift. Ideally for the CEO, clarifying what it is he/she and the organisation stand for upfront, and identifying areas where support is required, should be intrinsic to their career progression, and not simply a knee-jerk reaction to poor performance.
More than 50% of CEO’s seldom receive honest external feedback on their leadership behaviour. Yet research has shown that almost all would be receptive to suggestions from a coach to recognise and work with their leadership blind spots.
Blind spots in leadership behaviour can become harmful to business performance, and when performance and revenues reverse, coaching can become a clear reality check for executives on how they are behaving as leaders.
Executive coaching provides the CEO with a confidential, safe space to explore various leadership topics and unearth these blind spots, including, amongst other elements, defining a clear Company Vision; creating an honest, interactive business Culture; focusing on Strategic Priorities and Deliverables; ensuring peak Performance across teams; and orchestrating Transformational Change across the organisation, where required.
In pressured working environments, it can often become difficult to see the wood from the trees. Patterns and habits develop that can become hard to undo on one’s own, let alone recognise. It is often behavioural change that results in the deepest and most rewarding impact on a CEO’s success and, by proxy, the management around them.
Here are some examples of behavioural skills we focus on:
• Cognitive patterns of awareness and how they manifest, including the ability to analyse, problem solve and reflect, to see alternative patterns and connections
• Interpersonal and relational skills that create and nurture effective relationships and networking capability
• Intrapersonal and Intuitive skills, such as self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and sensitivity to, and perceptiveness of others
• Body somatic awareness – to build personal impact and resilience – paying attention to how we relate, act, and manage perceptions
• Ethics: to be aware of congruence and authenticity in our behaviour; to make clear moral choices and act in good faith
• Spiritual: to rely on one’s inner purpose and let that reflect in our actions, thus also permeating a satisfaction in what one does
For a CEO in a leadership position, learning to lead whilst being sensitive to various aspects of power is key. More than anything, clarifying an overall purpose, sharing the vision with the company, and the CEO’s overall impact on the organisation, play a big role in a CEO’s success.
Most often, the CEO’s authority is developed through previous experience. Executive coaching however, is particularly focused on the impact and presence the CEO creates day-to-day and how they are perceived by others around him / her.
Impact and presence are integrated into many aspects of CEO coaching we provide, including, amongst others:
• Conflict management
• Listening skills
• Strategic planning
• Team building and delegation
• Decision making
• Motivational skills