5 reasons a CEO guide will help you reach your peak
How can a CEO guide help you be a better leader who gets better results for your business?
We all applaud the entrepreneurial spirit — the idea of a CEO who has the grit and gumption to stick to their vision despite all of the challenges and setbacks along the way. They’re the one taking the entire company, staff and community to new heights, seemingly lifting everyone else with them. It does happen of course, yet there’s often a lot more going on behind the scenes than many realize.
As a former CEO and Vistage Chair (executive coach) since 2005, Mike Malone says that business leaders who reach great heights often have a trusted guide or mentor to confer with along the way.
“They have someone who they can troubleshoot ideas with, explore opportunities and share their burdens,” says Malone. “Many may also be in a CEO peer advisory group or have a board of directors — but at the minimum they have a guide to confide in — someone who’s been there before and knows the lay of the land.”
Here are five reasons to consider teaming up with a CEO guide, coach or mentor yourself:
1. You can draw from years of experience and knowledge
“Many of the first-time CEOs I work with feel like they are imposters,” says Malone. “They don’t have the experience yet, which is why it’s so helpful to lean into those who do.” A good guide has been through it in business. They’ve been in high-stakes negotiations; they’ve had to let go of underperforming managers; they’ve faced different kinds of economic climates. The right guide will give you vital, hard-won insights that can better inform your decisions and your next step forward.
2. You can gain powerful new perspectives
We all have blind spots and obstacles we just can’t see past. A trusted CEO guide can help identify the ones getting in your way — or the possibilities you may be missing. Sometimes a fresh perspective from someone you respect can change everything, leading to new openings you may not have considered.
3. You can avoid costly mistakes
As a business leader you have to try things out on your own and take some risks, but a CEO guide can spare you from making some ill-informed decisions that can cost you time, money and headaches. Being privy to the insights and life lessons of someone who has faced similar challenges is invaluable.
4. You will be kept up-to-date with relevant resources and best practices
“If you and I were to climb a mountain together, as your guide I’d make sure you had the right tools, socks, boots and a water bottle,” says Malone. “I’d tell you if your pack was too heavy or if you were missing an important piece of equipment. It’s the same in business. Not all CEO guides are created equal, but the ones who are worth their keep will make sure you have the most relevant information, research and thought leadership at your disposal. They’ll help you think through strategic decisions based on the economic outlook, job trends and other considerations.”
5. You will be held accountable
Once you identify the peak you want to summit, a good guide will make sure to keep you on course for success. They will help you articulate your vision and the goals for your business — and help you break down your action plan into manageable steps with deadlines and deliverables. They have skin in the game and are committed to your success, too. Often, it’s the extra push you need to stay on track and get it done, step by step, day by day.
Malone says that when choosing a CEO guide, be sure that person has a proper background —not only in business but in coaching. “In the case of Vistage Chairs, for example, we go through an extensive Chair Academy and receive continuous training so we can better help our CEO members succeed,” he says.
‘Do I really need a CEO coach,’ is a question Malone says he has heard before. “I put it this way: If you’re a top competitive athlete in your prime…would you rather go it alone or hire a seasoned coach who has trained others to win?”