My Advice To CEOs

CEOs are people, too. They need help and advise just like everyone else. Why you might ask? In the article entitled “Why CEOs Need A Triangle Of Trusted Advisors” the author suggests that the value in peer advisory comes from interacting with peers who aren’t navigating their individual agendas but rather sharing their diverse viewpoints and advice for the benefit of other members and the entire group. Vistage groups discuss each member’s issue in a structured process led by expert facilitators who also provide individual coaching to each member.

Move Beyond Your Ceiling

Executive coaches provide that one-on-one guidance to help you resolve conflict and manage effectively through tough situations. Often, CEOs neglect this valuable resource. In a 2013 study of 200 CEOs, board directors, and senior executives of North American public and private companies by Stanford University and The Miles Group, almost 100% of CEOs stated that they are receptive to making changes based on feedback. Yet, nearly 66% of CEOs do not receive coaching or leadership advice from outside consultants or coaches.

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Alicia Marie, founder of People Biz, a coaching and training organization, said that the number one reason people decide to engage a coach is that they hit a personal development ceiling. A moment occurs when they are stuck, when they realize they must change in order to be successful. “That can happen because your entire team of 12 just walked out on you, or you just sold $1 million in product and can’t fund it,” Marie said. “It can be due to major success or major issues.” Either way, the person acknowledges that they will have to grow to deal with the circumstance.

Alicia Marie notes that the biggest challenge is always people. “I’ve seen people with all sorts of resources fail because they weren’t paying attention to the people. Anyone can be successful by him- or herself. But can you get another person to his or her optimum level? That takes skill. Until leaders and managers can do that, they’re at a disadvantage. Companies that do that will have a huge advantage. That’s where coaching comes in.”

Fortify the Business

While utilizing a peer advisory group and coach will expand and reinforce the CEO’s platform, the organization often needs an expert to fortify its foundation. Enter the organizational operating system, a program to develop the processes and structure necessary to scale up. Craig Cummings, co-founder of Ridescout, the mobile app for real-time ground transportation, utilized the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) to help his team inject operational structure, accountability, a smart dashboard, and other processes when they were rapidly building the company.

Build Your Trusted Triangle

Every CEO faces an individual set of struggles on the path to organizational and personal growth. Consider the following circumstances to align your business and yourself with a triangle of trusted advisors:

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>> You feel isolated from other leaders who’ve walked in your shoes and would like to leverage their wisdom to help you take the elevator instead of the stairs. (Explore a peer advisory group such as EO, Vistage, TAB, et al.)

>>You see the value in someone who pushes you to achieve your best and problem-solve thorny issues. (Search for a coach by asking your extended network for referrals.)

Your organization lacks a coherent vision and core values, needs smarter metrics, can’t resolve tough issues, and lacks productive meetings and accountability. (Consider an operating system such as EOS, Ownership Thinking or Six Disciplines.

This type of expertise is valued by executives when making decisions. Executive leaders look to make informed decisions based on more than just “internal knowledge”; they seek information from trusted external resources. Fact based research, viability assessment, target market segmentation, and competitive analysis all provide a detailed view of potential opportunities, risks and rewards specifically developed for your organization.

As a trusted business advisor, NexLevel leverages years of experience in business strategy, corporate performance, strategic selling, and marketing to deliver customized solutions that help our clients take advantage of their unique business opportunities.

About The Author

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Michael Hammond

Michael Hammond is chief strategy officer at PROGRESS in Lending Association and is the founder and president of NexLevel Advisors. They provide solutions in business development, strategic selling, marketing, public relations and social media. He has close to two decades of leadership, management, marketing, sales and technical product experience. Michael held prior executive positions such as CEO, CMO, VP of Business Strategy, Director of Sales and Marketing and Director of Marketing for a number of leading companies. He is also only one of about 60 individuals to earn the Certified Mortgage Technologist (CMT) designation. Michael can be contacted via e-mail at mhammond@nexleveladvisors.com.