CEOs: Who do these lead­ers lean on?

Fed­erico Re un­cov­ers why CEOs need a pro­fes­sional Coach to suc­cess­fully ful­fil their de­mand­ing roles.

Business First - - CONTENTS - by Fed­erico Re

There is no doubt that in to­day’s com­pet­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment, rapidly chang­ing mar­kets, and shift­ing trends, that a CEO is un­der enor­mous pres­sure to make the right de­ci­sions, and per­form at their best.

A CEO is the de­ci­sion-maker, the leader, the pioneer, the prob­lem solver, the per­son people turn to for an­swers, as well as the per­son people blame if poor de­ci­sions are made within the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

It is there­fore not sur­pris­ing that we are wit­ness­ing a ‘CEO epi­demic’, where 2 in 5 CEOs quit their jobs within the first 18 months of their ap­point­ment. This is fun­da­men­tally caused by their fail­ure to se­cure long-term strate­gic part­ner­ships with their sub­or­di­nates and peers.

To­day’s ex­ec­u­tive lead­ers not only face scru­tiny from the pub­lic, but also from their stake­hold­ers, their ex­ec­u­tive team, and their em­ploy­ees. It of­ten only takes one poor de­ci­sion for the rep­u­ta­tion of a CEO to over­turn, and for their role to top­ple. Ego, self-con­fi­dence, and hubris are also com­mon neg­a­tive con­trib­u­tors or crip­pling fac­tors that only ac­cel­er­ate their demise.

So, who does the CEO lean on to re­ceive help, guid­ance, and achieve the de­sired re­sults? How does a CEO main­tain his vi­sion, his en­ergy and pas­sion, whilst stay­ing calm and re­as­sured dur­ing tur­bu­lent times? Who can he trust the most when the ‘go­ing gets tough’?

The CEO and his Coach As with most pop­u­lar say­ings, there is much truth be­hind the quote: ‘Lead­ers are born, not made. But great lead­ers are made not born’.

So, who does the CEO lean on to re­ceive help, guid­ance, and achieve the de­sired re­sults?’

The real point here is that a great CEO is made with the help of an ex­pe­ri­enced coach, trainer, men­tor, or the like. The re­la­tion­ship be­tween the CEO and his con­fi­dante is based on mu­tual friend­ship, trust, open­ness, trans­parency, and ob­jec­tiv­ity, as well as main­tain­ing a pro­fes­sional dis­tance be­tween them.

Most great lead­ers of the mod­ern age, like Barack Obama have a Coach; so why shouldn’t the CEO of any or­gan­i­sa­tion have one too?

Why CEOs Fail CEOs ex­pe­ri­ence fail­ure or pre­ma­turely burnout for a num­ber of core rea­sons.

The pri­mary fac­tor is ego and self grat­i­fi­ca­tion. Com­pa­nies need lead­ers who are hon­est, hum­ble, re­li­able, pas­sion­ate, and gen­uinely com­mit­ted to­wards the wel­fare of its stake­hold­ers. Suc­cess­ful lead­ers should be fo­cused at mak­ing their people flour­ish, for­merly ac­knowl­edg­ing their ef­forts and work habits and build­ing a pos­i­tive in­trapreneurial work cul­ture.

The other main rea­son is their lead­er­ship style is out of touch with mod­ern times. Gone are the days where the boss makes all the de­ci­sions, and their sub­or­di­nates fol­low strict di­rec­tives. CEOs need to em­brace the cul­tural evo­lu­tion of to­day’s workplace en­vi­ron­ment and sup­port the chang­ing ethos and mind­set of the mod­ern day worker – the ‘Mil­len­nial’ em­ployee.

‘Mil­len­ni­als’ need lead­ers who re­spect their ideals, en­cour­age in­no­va­tion, em­brace change, new workplace tech­nolo­gies, a flex­i­ble life­style, and even phi­lan­thropy. Mod­ern-day work­ers need to be heard, reg­u­larly ac­knowl­edged for their ef­forts, and re­warded more than ever be­fore.

Lead­er­ship Styles The re­la­tion­ship be­tween a CEO and their Ex­ec­u­tive Coach will be ul­ti­mately based on com­plete trust, trans­parency, hon­esty, au­then­tic­ity, and ob­jec­tiv­ity. Top lead­ers need an ad­vi­sor that will help them ful­fil their ex­tremely de­mand­ing role with more ease and con­fi­dence.

A Coach will as­sist a CEO with var­i­ous lead­er­ship method­olo­gies and styles that will best suit the in­di­vid­ual and the par­tic­u­lar cul­ture of the or­gan­i­sa­tion. These ar­eas may in­clude: 1. Leading from the heart ver­sus lead

ing from the head; 2. In­ter­per­sonal dis­tance ver­sus per

sonal close­ness; 3. Ap­proach­a­bil­ity ver­sus tough mind

ed­ness; 4. Prag­matic and log­i­cal ver­sus pas

sion­ate and vi­sion­ary; 5. Em­pow­er­ing and en­trust­ing ver­sus

di­rec­tive and as­sertive; 6. Pride and self-con­fi­dence ver­sus

hu­mil­ity and un­pre­ten­tious­ness; 7. Per­sonal vis­i­bil­ity and trans­parency

ver­sus pri­vate per­sona; 8. En­trepreneuri­ally spir­ited ver­sus

con­ser­va­tive and risk averse.

The Im­por­tance of a Coach The value of a Coach is un­de­ni­ably crit­i­cal and highly piv­otal for the suc­cess of a CEO of a pro­gres­sive com­pany.

A car­ing but de­tached and bru­tally hon­est Coach, will of­fer open and con­struc­tive feed­back and ob­jec­tive ad­vice that will im­prove or elim­i­nate the CEO’s blind-spot, as well as play a piv­otal role in their per­sonal growth and de­vel­op­ment.

A Coach will en­rich the CEO’s mind­set, by in­still­ing a sur­plus of en­ergy, drive, and courage to suc­cess­fully ful­fil the chal­leng­ing and multi-faceted tasks of his or her role; to see pos­si­bil­i­ties whilst oth­ers see lim­i­ta­tions; to se­cure the in­ter­est and ap­proval of their sub­or­di­nates and other par­ties; and to in­spire oth­ers with vi­sions of what they can con­trib­ute.

Dur­ing tur­bu­lent times, the role of a Coach will be to pro­vide an oa­sis of tran­quil­lity and an en­vi­ron­ment where the CEO can openly ex­press his or her fears, fail­ures, and dreams.

A pro­fes­sional Coach may there­fore be the only trusted per­son a CEO can truly lean on dur­ing pe­ri­ods of un­cer­tainty, vul­ner­a­bil­ity, and isolation.


Fed­erico Re is an En­tre­pre­neur­ial Coach and founder of

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