CEOs often have the loneliest job in an organisation.
Like anyone going into a new role, they face challenges they have not encountered before – higher profile decisions, a greater degree of accountability, intense scrutiny from board members and much less personal time.
So, as CEO, who can YOU turn to for advice?
CEOs often have the loneliest job in an organisation. Like anyone going into a new role, they face challenges they have not encountered before – higher profile decisions, a greater degree of accountability, intense scrutiny from board members and much less personal time.
So, as CEO, who can YOU turn to for advice? It is nothing new for leaders to have advisors – Alexander the Great depended on Aristotle in Ancient Greece, for example – but the landscape today for chief executives is a tricky place to be. And some high profile, widely publicised CEO failings have brought the trust in their role under scrutiny, increasing the pressure for those in top jobs.
Leaders may be mentored, coached and inspired by very different people in a variety of ways:
- Many CEOs take advice from industry veterans who can mentor them using directly relevant experience to guide them.
- Executive coaches ask the right questions to help CEOs navigate tough business challenges.
- Some CEOs find support in C-suite specific forums.
- And others, such as Richard Branson, attribute the wise words of family members for their best business decisions.
Whether a coach, mentor or personal confidant, at the heart of every successful relationship is TRUST.
Special qualities to look for in your ideal advisor:
- Choose an independent: someone outside your company and its board to avoid conflicts of interest, safeguard your position as leader and ensure impartiality
- Someone who sees the bigger picture and offers a strategic perspective
- Someone who will put you first ahead of their own agenda
- Someone with specialist knowledge and relevant experience
Where do you find your trusted advisor?
The answer to this question is quite simply anywhere. And it maybe you have more than one advisor depending on the specific challenges ahead and special qualities you require.
An ideal advisor has integrity and is someone with whom you build personal trust to reveal your innermost thoughts to so there are no specific rules as to who the best coaches and mentors may be. The individual needs of CEOs will differ depending on their personality and the challenges they face. All those who find life lonely at the top will benefit from confidential, independent support and, as a result, so will their company.
To learn more about the differences between a mentor and a coach.