CEO Coaching vs. CEO Programs

Group Coaching Vs. Individual Coaching: Which is Best? thumbnail

Are you trying to decide between one-on-one CEO coaching and a group CEO coaching program? Both are effective. Below are the critical factors to consider.

One-on-one coaching and group programs are effective methods for helping CEOs improve their performance. One-on-one CEO coaching is focused only on you and your improvement. While group coaching will help you, the group is focused on the good of the group, not on you.

Some CEOs prefer the personalized attention they receive in one-on-one coaching. This type of coaching has you working closely with a coach to address what is most important to only you.

Other CEOs prefer group programs because they allow them to learn from and network with like-minded individuals. Group programs can also be more affordable than one-on-one coaching.

Ultimately, deciding which coaching type depends on what will work best for you and your company. Both one-on-one coaching and group programs can be practical tools for helping you improve your performance as a CEO.

Coaching for CEOs

CEO coaching can provide many benefits to both the executive and the organization. It can help the executive develop new skills and perspectives, improve performance, and make better decisions. Coaching can also help organizations by providing a sounding board for ideas, facilitating communication between different departments, and improving morale.

Some of the specific benefits that CEO coaching can provide include the following:

Improved performance

A good coach will challenge you to think differently – beyond the way you normally think — and push you to perform at your best. Thinking differently will lead to greatly improved results for both you and your company.

New skills and perspectives 

A coach can help you learn new skills and gain new perspectives on your job and industry. This will make you a more effective leader and help your company succeed faster than you would without these new skills and perspectives.

Better decision-making

A coach can help you clarify your goals and priorities and think through the implications of your decisions. You will make better decisions and achieve your goals faster.

Improved communication

A coach can help you improve your communication skills within your organization and with external stakeholders. You will quickly become better at building consensus and getting things done as a team.

Enhanced morale

A coach can provide support and encouragement, boosting your morale during tough times. This can lead to improved performance within the company and in your personal life.

If you are considering CEO coaching, choose a coach that is a good fit for you — personally. A great CEO coach is someone you feel comfortable with, that you trust and has the experience to help you improve quickly.

Programs for CEOs

Group programs can teach CEOs new skills and help them build on their strengths. Group programs enable CEOs to interact with other high-level executives, which is a great way to network. 

One-on-one coaching can benefit CEOs who want to work on specific areas of development or prefer a more customized approach. However, group programs offer several advantages that may make them a better option for CEOs overall.

Some of the key benefits of group programs for CEOs include the following:

1. New skills and knowledge

Group programs can help CEOs learn new skills and gain knowledge from each other. In particular, group programs can introduce CEOs to new concepts and ideas they may not be exposed to in their daily lives.

2. Strengthen existing strengths

In addition to introducing new skills and knowledge, group programs can help CEOs build on their strengths. This is because group programs allow CEOs to practice and refine their skills in a safe and supportive environment.

3. Networking and peer learning

Group programs offer an opportunity for CEOs to interact with other high-level executives. This can be beneficial in terms of networking and learning from peers.

4. Cost-effectiveness:

Group programs may be viewed as more cost-effective than one-on-one coaching but they usually take up a lot more time.

If you are considering group coaching or executive development, consider the key benefits outlined above.

Why Are Both Effective?

Group CEO coaching can provide a sounding board for exploring new ideas and help build a shared understanding and commitment to change. 

One-on-one coaching can focus more on specific goals and issues and provide more personalized attention. Both approaches can be effective in helping CEOs improve their performance.

One-on-one coaching is more intimate and personal, while group coaching has the advantage of providing multiple perspectives. Both one-on-one and group coaching have strengths and weaknesses, but both can be practical tools for helping CEOs improve their performance. It depends on the individual CEO’s needs and preferences regarding which coaching would be more beneficial.

Some CEOs prefer one-on-one coaching because it allows for more personal attention and customized goal-setting. Other CEOs prefer group coaching because it provides a built-in support system and is better for networking. 

The best type of coaching for a CEO is based on how much they want to focus on themselves, versus how much they want to be part of a group.  Personally, I used both and found 1-1 coaching much more impactful.

Which Should I Choose?

The challenge with group programs is that you cannot go very deep into the core issues that will move the needle for you and your company. You learn, but you learn more slowly

One-on-one coaching focuses on changing the way you frame the world. It changes the actual way you think. I made massive strides from having a CEO coach because I improved not only as a CEO, but as a holistic person as well.

Participate in a group program or work with a one-on-one coach? The answer depends on the speed at which you want to transform yourself. CEO coaches focus on speed. Group programs focus on helping everyone get value out of the group.

Contact an Experienced CEO Coach

My name is Glenn Gow, CEO Coach. I love coaching CEOs and want to help make you an even better CEO. Let’s decide if we are a fit for each other. Schedule a time to talk with me at I look forward to speaking with you soon.


Take Their Word For It

What Glenn’s Clients are Saying…


Janice Raises Over $100M for Her Company

Janice Raises Over $100M for Her Company

As one of the founders, Janice had created the perfect solution in an exploding market. As her CEO Coach, we worked very hard to create a scalable business model that significantly accelerated revenue growth. This model included geographic expansion, the addition of new product offerings, and stickiness to create repeat business.

This triple revenue-acceleration model not only worked but it attracted the interest of growth investors.

But a growth model wasn't enough. We needed to help Janice become a better CEO. Specifically, we worked on how to manage her board, so their faith in her as the CEO grew as time went on.

For some CEOs, the board can be intimidating. At first, it was for Janice as well. We worked on how to manage the board and get the most out of the board. Ultimately, we turned the board into a strong set of advisors and advocates for Janice as the CEO.

The support and confidence of the existing board was a critical factor in enabling her to raise well over $100M in the next round, increasing the valuation by more than $600M.

Darren Raises His First $3 Million

Darren Raises His First $3 Million

My CEO client (Darren) was starting a company in a new category. He was focused on raising capital for his business and wanted help crafting his story. Darren is a brilliant CEO, yet he realized he could produce a better story with help from someone who has created successful fundraising stories many times.

When we started working together, his story was overly complex, difficult for investors to understand, and not as strong as it could have been. Together we built a story about the tremendous value the company was creating. We used historical precedent to bolster the vision and mission. We gave investors confidence in the founders. We proved that the company could scale.

Investors are pattern-matchers. They look for the patterns that tell them this opportunity is like other opportunities they’ve seen, giving them a strong belief in the potential ROI. Together, Darren and I constructed a winning story that helped key investors see the patterns of success.

According to Darren, “Glenn gave me the perspective and confidence I needed to succeed.” Darren raised $3 million for his startup company in his first round. Darren has continued to successfully raise money in later rounds as well.

Meilin Creates A Scaling Organization

Meilin Creates A Scaling Organization

Meilin was always asking, "How can I help my company grow faster?" She was successful by most measures but had higher growth ambitions.

As her CEO Coach, I helped focus her efforts and energies on an often-overlooked area for many CEOs. This area enables scaling and enables the CEO to manage their team more effectively -- values.

Most CEOs have corporate values but don't use them as the ultimate way to install a belief system - a way for every employee to focus on the most critical issues for the company.

Meilin and I worked on making the values core to the thinking and speaking of the management team. Once the management team adopted these values and started speaking about them in their regular communications, we knew that we were on our way to ensuring that every employee “lived” the values.

While values are not the only thing a company needs to grow fast, they are critical to its success. Meilin's company is now growing over 100%.

Sean Gets It All Done

Sean Gets It All Done

As CEO, Sean had no work-life balance, and he was struggling with the overwhelming responsibilities of being a CEO. One of the biggest challenges of any CEO is to get everything done. The list of critical items seems to grow every day.

As his CEO coach (and as a former CEO), I recognized the stress he was under. That level of stress is no fun. To help Sean become a better CEO, I focused him on delegation, talent development, and balance.

First, we focused on developing Sean's delegation skills. Delegation is the "8th wonder of the world." When you make it work, your workload diminishes, and the company performs at a higher level. As Sean became better at delegating, he also began to see strengths and weaknesses in his leadership team from a different perspective.

The next step was to refresh his leadership team. We created a plan to either develop the ones that could step it up and perform better or find new leadership team members for those that couldn't help the company grow.

Finally, we worked on creating a way of living for Sean that provided him some balance. I tell my CEOs to "put their oxygen mask on first." If a CEO wants to perform at the highest level, they need to take care of themselves first.

Now that Sean has a much better leadership team, he has become a master delegator. By delegating many of the activities he had taken on before, he now has much more time to take care of himself.

Sean's company has now entered a new growth phase. More importantly, he is enjoying his work a lot more and his life a lot more.

Viraj Fires His “Best” Employee

Viraj Fires His “Best” Employee

As a CEO, Viraj was focused on employee retention. He recognized the value of keeping high-performing employees and the high cost of turnover.

One of Viraj's direct reports was one of his "best" employees. This person consistently out-performed against their targets. Within their function, they were a rock star.

However, this same person was toxic to the rest of the organization. They constantly argued with others, and they made most others feel bad about themselves. Viraj found he was spending a great deal of time managing around the toxicity created by this employee.

Viraj valued this person's contributions within their function, and he also really hated the idea of employee turnover. As a result, Viraj put up with this person and continued to work around the toxicity issue.

As Viraj's CEO Coach, I helped him understand that team alignment and team cohesion are critical factors to help the company grow. We agreed that preventing employee turnover is a good goal, but not at the expense of creating a well-functioning team.

Viraj wanted to become a better CEO, and he knew what he had to do. While it was difficult, he decided to fire the person he once thought was his "best" employee.

The first thing he heard from the rest of his direct reports was, "What took you so long?"

Olivia Finds Product-Market Fit

Olivia Finds Product-Market Fit

Olivia, my CEO client, is a product genius. She is highly creative, an excellent problem-solver, and knows how to get products out the door on time.

Olivia raised a great deal of money based on her product ideas and some early successes. The challenge was that her company wasn't growing fast enough. The pressure from the investors was building, and she was worried.

Raising a lot of money early is a blessing and a curse. The curse is that Olivia delivered her product too quickly. She delivered it, making too many assumptions about the market she was serving. When the product was released, it was a good fit but not a great fit.

Olivia was concerned about the time and dollars it would take to conduct research and test product-market fit in multiple market segments. We created a partnering strategy that enabled us to test multiple new market segments in a short time.

Olivia has found multiple market segments that are a fit for the product. Now that she has achieved product-market fit, the strategy is to "go big" on the go-to-market. And her company is taking off.

Wilson Turns the Board Around

Wilson Turns the Board Around

Wilson was a first-time CEO. The company was doing well, but not quite as well as the board had hoped. Wilson found himself uncomfortable as a minority shareholder working with a board that could fire him if he didn't perform.

Wilson wanted to know how to manage a Board of Directors. The first step was to acknowledge that a board has different measures of success than the CEO. That means there will naturally be tension. The second step was to dig in to deeply understand what the key drivers are for each board member.

Based on this information, Wilson can now address his needs, the company's needs, and the board's needs. That was the first breakthrough.

Once he knew how to address the needs of the board, we turned to address his needs. As Wilson's CEO Coach, I helped him realize that the board is an incredible asset to leverage.

Wilson began to build relationships with the board members individually to understand better how they could be of service to him and the company.

When Wilson works with the board, he is fully aware of their needs and addresses them appropriately. More importantly, he now tells the board what he is doing and relies on their insight and experience for feedback on how to help the company perform at a higher level.

Wilson is no longer concerned about the board and now gets more out of them than ever before.

Darius Solved His Crisis

Darius Solved His Crisis

I got the call at 10 PM on a Thursday. Darius, a CEO client, reached out to me just as I was about to end the day. "Glenn, my Chief Revenue Officer, just resigned, and I'm not sure what to do."

Darius was running a rapidly-growing business that was highly dependent on a well-run sales organization. He had delegated sales responsibility to his Chief Revenue Officer so Darius could focus on engineering and product.

The good news is that Darius didn't relinquish oversight or reporting of sales, just sales execution. It's also true that Darius wasn't in a panic, and we had worked on a plan for the departure of each of his direct reports.

At the moment, though, Darius and I needed to review that plan to ensure it was our best option. We checked whether or not the interim head of sales could genuinely step into the role. We discussed which accounts Darius should immediately nurture relationships with. We agreed that the recruiter we would need was still the right recruiter.

We quickly put together a communication plan on how to bring this news to the leadership team and the rest of the company. We worked on the exact next steps to interact with the interim head of sales, the director of sales operations, and HR.

Darius felt he didn't know what to do, but in actuality, he did. We had prepared for this, and he just needed to talk it through in the heat of the moment so he could execute against the plan immediately.

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