Category: Articles

CEO Coaching: Don’t Be a Firefighter — Be a Pilot!

Running a company (with the help of many others!) requires thinking about numerous things — often simultaneously, it seems. Your top competitor just launched a great product, your VP of HR has some very disturbing numbers about turnover, and your bank is worried that you’re close to breaking a covenant. And then there’s that upcoming […]

As CEO, Who Is Your Master?

The Primary Job of a CEO: How Do You Best Serve Shareholders? Milton Friedman said a company’s sole obligation was to serve shareholders. A group of CEOs of the largest organizations in America recently took issue with that and said companies must consider all stakeholders. Purpose and profit must both be served. I’m a fan […]

CEO Coaching: Strategic Review

You’re the CEO. You’re supposed to be the strategy expert. How do you feel about that? Nervous? Most CEOs spend 99% of their time (sometimes 100%) on execution. Perhaps they’ve been fooled by consultants who shout, “It’s all about the execution!” Execute what? Most have never been trained on how to create a new strategy. […]

CEO Coaching: Do Something!

“Lack of Action Led to CEO’s Ousting” — headline from the Wall Street Journal CEO John Flint was only in his role for 18 months at large bank HSBC. His ouster was a result of his leadership style and ability to act decisively. Before taking the job, he told colleagues he preferred not to be […]

CEO Coaching: Sick Day

Being an effective CEO is not all about work! I don’t often do “sick” days, but today is one.  I struggled through facilitating a six-hour client meeting yesterday, and the adrenaline kept me going (that and six cups of coffee). But I only had a few nonessential meetings today so was able to move them. […]

Business Strategy: Use Reason, But Serve Passions

“Reason is, and ought to be, the slave of the passions and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.” —Thomas Hume Hume’s use of the word “passions” is currently thought to mean “desires.” As a guy who favors thinking over feeling in decision-making (i.e., if you’re a Myers Briggs […]

CEO Coaching: Must Have Tools

Archimedes said, “Give me a lever and a place to stand and I can move the world.” When I was a CEO or prior to that in other executive positions (i.e. my “place to stand”), I was frequently slowed down by challenges for which I did not have a tool to solve. Creativity, focus and […]

CEO Coaching: Outside the Castle Walls

“A ruler who hides behind paid executioners soon forgets what death is.” — Lord Stark of Winterfell I hope your business isn’t as bloody as Game of Thrones, but Stark makes a good point. Hiding behind the castle walls and having others do the dirty work means you soon forget what your business is about. […]