A mentor is someone who has knowledge and experience you can benefit from. A mentor is there to be someone who wants to help you. They are someone who advises you on your most likely path to success in all different paths of life.
A new CEO has many, many learning curves to climb. Not only that, but those learning curves are steep. A new CEO needs people to not only help them learn how to climb those curves but do so more quickly, and connecting with an experienced and trusted mentor will do exactly that.
CEO Mentoring vs CEO Coaching
You may have mentors, which means you are getting advice from multiple angles. That’s how you gain leverage in your career path. And they also have their CEO Coach.
The reason you want to have both a mentor and a CEO Coach is that the mentor doesn’t have the capabilities to drill into every critical issue a CEO faces. The mentor can be very helpful for certain moments, but the mentor can’t always be there, nor can they understand what you are experiencing.
The mentor can be helpful from their unique perspective, but not the perspective of many CEOs. Only someone who has been both a CEO and has coached many CEOs can provide the perspective that is most valuable to a CEO.
In coaching relationships with CEO clients, a CEO Coach will delve deeply into the most consequential issues and challenges facing the CEO. The coach gets to know the CEO and their business extremely well. The top-performing CEOs share their biggest apprehensions with a CEO coach, which enables the coach to help the CEO with their biggest challenges.
When you open up and share your most significant issues, you can make immense progress. With your coach you will get to the core of the issues by creating permanent change in yourself.
How Can a CEO Coach Help with Behavioral Fixes?
Not all of a CEO Coach’s concerns are quick fixes. Many of these issues are about creating behavior change in you and in your teams. Behavior change takes time. A great CEO coach will invest the time with you to create the changes that will make the most difference.
For example, many CEOs like to interact with their direct reports in the same way. Most CEOs operate in a way that works for them. What a CEO Coach will teach you is that for you to get the most out of your teams, you need to operate in a way that works for the direct report.
This is called being the chameleon.
Each of your direct reports processes information differently. Some may prefer auditory, some may prefer visual. Some may only need to hear something once. Some may need things repeated before they fully understand it. Some may need to write things down. Some may need to repeat it back before it sinks in.
Learning how to become a chameleon takes a lot of time. Your coach will need to work with you closely over a period of time. Why? Because you are changing your behavior … and that takes time. You and your coach invest this time together because it makes a huge difference in the performance of your team.
A CEO Coach will invest the time with you to help you through the behavior changes required for your success. When I was a CEO, I had a CEO Coach for 17 years. Why? Because we identified many areas of behavior change I wanted to go through. I was on a continual learning cycle that was like compound interest. I kept getting better and better!
How Each Perspective is Beneficial for a New CEO
Mentors are valuable to CEOs, but they can’t invest the time to make significant change happen. CEOs can benefit from mentors, but mentors play a different role. They can see things from a 30,000-foot level and advise from there. Mentors can provide a perspective that helps in your decision-making. They can be part of your information gathering when facing an important decision.
A CEO Coach is there to help you take all the information available to you about a decision and make the right decision. You may have input from customers, your team, the board, and your mentor. Your CEO coach is here to help you make the right decision after you have processed all the valuable input you received.
The most successful CEOs have had mentors in the past and some of them still have mentors. Great CEOs connect with their mentors periodically to gather information. Then they turn to their CEO Coach to pull together all the information so your coach can advise you on what path to take.
Glenn Gow, CEO Coach & Advocator for CEO Mentors
Whether you have a mentor or not, get a coach. It was a life-changing experience for me and it can be for you too.
Let’s talk. Let’s do a working session together so you can get a feel for how this works. Worst case, you’ll get real work done within our hour together. Best case, you’ll want to do this kind of work every week. Schedule a chat with me at calendly.com/glenngow.