- I need a confidential adviser who has been in my shoes — a thought partner.
- As CEO, I need someone to talk to about my direct reports and my toughest challenges.
- I need to get better at thinking strategically.
- I need to communicate more effectively with my staff.
- My board has identified some gaps that it wants me to fill in, and I’d like some support.
- I feel like a fraud.
- I’d like to understand and leverage my strengths.
- I need to be buttoned up before I get to my board meetings.
- I need to build a committed and aligned team.
- I need to gain the skills necessary to move to the C-suite.
These are reasons senior business leaders have engaged me as their executive coach. They wanted someone who was skilled as both a coach and a senior executive. I’ve been a CEO in several companies and have lead teams as large as 7,000, so I’ve experienced many of the challenges leaders face. That background helps me better understand your issues, so I can more effectively help you solve the vexing problems you face and get to the next level of success — however you define that.
The Applied Strategy Model of Executive Coaching
There are different approaches to executive coaching; you should ensure that your objectives align with your coach’s skills and background. I focus specifically on CEOs and other senior leaders who want to enhance their leadership skills, optimize their company’s performance, or engage a thought partner to help them think deeper and wider regarding their business’s challenges and opportunities.
I work primarily face-to-face with my clients, because it’s the most effective form of communication. Your agenda drives the engagement, so we clearly identify your objectives.
They may change a bit, and we can manage urgent issues that come up. But I want to help you achieve your goals.
I won’t tell you what to do; we’ll explore options. However, because I’m a former CEO and adviser to many other CEOs, you get access to a rich background of experiences, in addition to the executive coaching process of inquiry.
Some clients meet me in Boulder, Colorado (not a bad place!), and I meet others in their office or another location of their choosing.
I have longer-term relationships with my clients, and I don’t charge by the hour. So we’ll meet as often and for as long as necessary to achieve results. I’m happy to correspond via phone or email between our meetings to discuss hot issues that may arise.
We’ll discuss your objectives, prioritize what you want to work on (better to move one thing forward a mile than 10 things an inch!), identify options, and plan for potential obstacles. You’ll decide what action to take. I may push and prod, but I don’t tell people what to do! Then I’ll help you be accountable for the change you want to make. We all need a bit of a push to get the tough stuff done!
A Model for Leadership
Some of my coaching clients, whether CEO or second-level executive, want to improve their leadership capabilities. (I define “management” as taming complexity and “leadership” as driving change.) A simple, but brilliant, model of leadership from Warren Bennis says that effective leadership has four elements:
- Management of attention
- Management of meaning
- Management of trust
- Management of self
I use questions when working with executive leaders. Four questions that flesh out the model above are:
- Do you have an effective communication platform, and do people listen?
- Do you have a compelling message that leads folks toward your vision and strategy execution?
- Do individuals know what drives your behavior, and are you predictable?
- Do you have an appropriate amount of self-awareness and self-control?
Becoming a senior leader requires enhanced leadership skills and a strategic focus. Having a proven former CEO to help leverage your personal strengths and further develop inherent talents can be an invaluable new asset for top executive management.
You should expect to achieve higher effectiveness and lead more confidently by engaging an executive coach. Investing in executive coaching helps improve leadership fundamentals: thinking strategically, setting clear objectives, successfully leading teams and producing great financial results.
How Do We Start?
If you’re a CEO or senior leader and this information resonates with you, I encourage you to read some of my blogs to better understand my approach. Just click HERE.
Then we’ll get to know each other to make sure we’re compatible. Let’s talk! Contact me at 303-527-0417 or [email protected] so we can explore your objectives. The only thing we need to identify in our initial chat is whether we should have another one!
Hiring an executive coach is a major decision — most important, because it can be a wonderful tool to help you overcome obstacles, improve skills, change behavior and more fully explore issues.