POINT OF ENTRY: CEO COACHING
Cox brings full knowledge of how organizations work at the top. His introduction to coaching CEOs normally occurs in one of three ways:
- CEO chooses coaching of his/her own volition.
- Lead Director/Non-Executive Chairman considers coaching for the CEO
- CEO introduced to coaching by Chief Human Resources Officer.
1. CEO chooses coaching of his/her own volition. The CEO might ask:
Question #1 "How many major decisions do I make alone—without seeking counsel?"
Likely answer "None."
Question #2 "Where do I seek help—is it from sources skewed toward avoiding difficult or uncomfortable decisions?"
Possible answer "Sometimes."
Question #3 "How do I assess/create an extraordinary management team and/or deal with a dysfunctional but talented individual?"
and . . .
Question #4 "How do we build world-class distinction?"
Possible answer "Perhaps I should retain an outside coach to help facilitate these processes."
* Such questions are pertinent to any CEO, whether his/her organization is small or large, public or private, service or manufacturing-based, for-profit or not-for-profit.
2. Lead Director/Non-Executive Chairman considers coaching for the CEO
Quandary #1 "There's something going on in the organization that may not be quite right and I'm concerned, if so, what the consequences might be. I can't put my finger on it and articulate it persuasively."
Possible solution: Retain a coach to work with CEO and team to uncover actual or potential problems and address them if and where they exist.
Quandary #2 "Our top management team is dysfunctional. We could fire our CEO and hope someone new will straighten it out. But there are problems with that:
- Big severance package for our CEO.
- Mount an expensive search and lose time.
- New CEO will cost us a third more.
- He might not succeed.
- He'll terminate at least 2 or 3 top people before we even know if he's good.
- More costly severance packages.
- More expensive searches for their replacements.
- They'll each cost us a third more.
- If he's not good, we have to start over.
- Figure this all costs perhaps 15-20 times current CEO's package."
Possible solution: Retain a coach to help CEO and top team become more effective and/or work with board to conceive a transition plan.
3. CEO introduced to coaching by Chief Human Resources Officer
She might ponder . . .
Thought #1 "George is new in this job. Our past CEO surprised all of us and retired early. He says George is ready and the time's ideal. I agree George is the guy, but I'm not sure he's as ready as we would like and think he could use some support only an outsider can give."
Thought #2 "George seems to be sending out double messages and the top team is back on its heels. He needs to declare himself forcefully. This seems like the right time to pull the team together with a fresh start and green field. A coach might provide guidance and team building that could be very valuable right now."
Possible solution: Discuss this possibility and the benefits George and the organization might derive if we put him together with the right coach. I think he'll like the idea.