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Top CEOs are Obsessed with Coaching

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CEO Coaching

Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images

Published August 22, 2022

CEO Coaching

Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images

Picture of Barry Pruitt

Barry Pruitt
a Rhythm Consultant

I recently read Dr. Steve Sjuggerud’s investment newsletter where he stated:

“It made me feel a bit like Tom Brady in CEO Coachingthe playoffs today...My arm strength and running speed might not be what they used to be. But I have strengths that are far more important: Experience. Cool under pressure. And maybe most important... perspective.”

That clearly describes what over 25 years of working coaching CEOs and mid-market companies has given me — perspective. I’ve seen one truth proven over and over: Predictable outcomes can only follow clear decisions made with all available data to achieve chosen results. This simple act gives founders and CEOs the best possible outcome and allows leaders and teams to grow stronger (and mightier) than their actual team size.

The rock-solid foundation for these chosen results is pre-determined clarity on business goals (specifically Annual Initiatives and Quarterly Priorities). The catalyst for determining those chosen results is often a business coach or CEO coach, and that’s one reason top CEOs are obsessed with coaching.

A constant focus on your business goals creates team mastery and a true superpower. In explanation, this approach sounds simple, yet in application, it requires great discipline to be effective. This is a point of inflection for CEO coaching and the Rhythm methodology, ensuring that your clearly defined Annual Initiatives and Quarterly Priorities work for your good when you need it most.

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Last year, whether the impact was positive or negative, was a year of stress, uncertainty, adjustments, and turmoil. I saw clear differentiation between long-term coaching clients who had been using Rhythm methodology for years and those who were new to the Rhythm approach and still struggling to align.

What's another distinct difference? Executive teams that had clarity on their large goals found those goals working for them, and teams that lacked clarity on large goals found they were not working for them. Many paused working on specific goals at the beginning of the pandemic, yet those with the habit of goal-setting clarity easily created alignment and clarity around new short-term objectives, while those without the habit of goal-setting clarity struggled to adjust quickly during Covid.

Leaders who leveraged this habit enjoyed greater success than those who put their goals aside. Which is best for you and your team? Having goals that work for you, or working hard and staying busy? Keep reading if you’re thinking that the “right answer” is having your goals work for you.    

coaching ceos

When you and your team face unexpected (or overwhelming) issues like COVID-19, your Annual or Quarterly Priorities will offer a simple, organized way to break daily and weekly effort into smaller activities or milestones that are more easily solved. Makes sense, right?

Coaching CEOs

Over the decades, I’ve seen that what makes sense is not always easy to implement. The connection between an idea or approach that you agree with and the discipline of day-to-day, week-to-week focus and execution is the intersection of coaching and leadership.

Top CEOs are obsessed with coaching, not just for self, but also for team members. Whatever skills and habits you (or any executive team member) has today should grow your business to more than double in the next 3-5 years. Therefore, your questions today should be: “How many executives at my $25M company are ready to perform at peak performance at a $50M company? How many of my executives are ready to lead us as a $100M company? $200M and beyond)?” I’ll give you the answer from hundreds of executive observations and patterns...few.

The percentage of startup companies that make it past $1M is low, so congratulations on making the first hurdle (even if it was a long time ago). You may have the same founding leadership team that helped you achieve $5M or $10M in revenue — but along the way, something has changed. As you grow, you reach new levels of complexity, and you and your executives must continue to grow to be able to handle them. Those who don't may recognize themselves in these common scenarios:

  • Needing a more advanced talent and HR strategy
  • Bookkeeping isn't cutting it - you need a financial analysis
  • Inventory is getting out of control
  • Nobody owns the strategic planning process
  • and the list goes on and on

A CEO or business coach walks with you on your journey and helps you feel a bit like Tom Brady in the playoffs. You’ll gain the advantage of your coach's strengths (i.e. experience, being cool under pressure, and maybe most importantly, the perspective of multiple patterns). As a coach, I’ve observed many CEOs and leadership patterns. When you’re facing new challenges for the first time, you don’t see it, because it’s not a pattern yet. Top CEOs are obsessed with coaching since the coach has seen these patterns before and can minimize company and executive risk while accelerating success the very first time.


CEO Survival Guide

Here are more blogs on CEO coaching:

New Middle Market CEO: 11 Tips to Get Started as a New CEO

Coaching ROI: The ROI of Business Coaching: Executive Coaching Statistics 

5 Coaching Insights You'll Gain from the Best Executive Coaches

How CEOs Grow Accountable Leaders & Teams [Video]

Strategic CEO Coaching for Busy Executives: 6 Excuses to Avoid

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