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  • Writer's pictureShohreh R Aftahi, PhD

Business coach or not?

Business coach or not?

According to a survey conducted by Stanford University/The Miles Group survey in 2013, which asked 200 CEOs, board directors, and other senior executives questions about how they receive and view leadership advice, two-thirds of CEOs responded that they don’t receive any outside advice on their leadership skills, and yet almost all would be receptive to suggestions from a coach.

Why would coaching be important to CEOs and business leaders? Those in a position of leadership must be aware of the blind spots to be able to lead the organization successfully; sustaining growth. Although blind spots are less obvious when things are going well, however, the potential risk leaders face is to become almost strictly inward focused. But these blind spots and inward focus can have a damaging effect when organizations’ performance is facing decline. An objective and neutral outside advisor assessment provides a guidance that allows the leader to break the inward thinking and consider the outward focus to bring in checks and balances and a focused reality check.

Additionally, since internal senior team and other leaders with the organization all have an interpretation and an agenda, coaching offers the CEO a rare and safe environment to think through various topics within the given framework and platforms to make the very best decisions to move the organization forward. The coach’s primary concern is that the CEO is wildly successful as the leader of the company, which means continued growth and sustainable success for everyone within the organization.

When considering why some CEOs are not actively working with a coach we discover that some still consider the notion of coaching as being educational as opposed to enhancing high performance similar to how an elite athlete uses a coach. All top athletes have a coach to perfect their mastery of the game through the keen observation of the coach on areas they should focus on improving, and all forward thinking CEO’s welcome the opportunity of working with a business coach, and indeed view coaching as a valuable and essential tool for enhancing their already high performance and continue to excel as industry leaders.

A business coach helps an organization to stay focused, considers a broad set of options, narrows down on the options that yield the best results, communicates effectively to motivate the team and inspires and empowers them to evaluate, design, develop, and implement the plans and realize the full potential of themselves and what the organization can offer the stakeholders, shareholders, and employees.

How should a CEO select a business coach? Find a certified business coach who is very smart, well-versed in current business acumen and environment, intuitive about business and interpersonal dynamics, neutral in their assessment, and the ability to customize and tailor training to the individual needs vs. a canned approach.

An effective coach provokes creative and critical thoughts, is void of personal judgement and has the ability to engage in coaching conversations and training and offers the CEO the possibilities to engage and entertain new and creative avenues to ensure optimum personal and professional results.

Please feel free to contact me so that I can offer you a complimentary consultation to discuss opportunities and methodologies of further enhancing your key objectives. I am excited to learn more about your organization

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