It’s interesting that most of us go through twelve to fifteen years of formal education, and then we don’t seek much education after that. We value education, and then many of us stop as if we’re done learning.
In the role of the CEO, you should always be learning. The CEO has many, many learning curves. Furthermore, those learning curves are steep!
Roughly 60% of all CEOs fail in their jobs. The reason they fail is that they can’t scale their companies. The reason they can’t scale their companies is that they can’t scale themselves.
In order to scale yourself as a CEO, you need to put aside some of the things that got you to the CEO role and greatly expand your repertoire of skills. Most CEOs start their roles as an expert in one or two functions. However, to successfully scale a company, a CEO has to be at least competent at all functions and excellent at several functions.
How do you get there? By working with someone who can teach you how to become a more effective CEO. By working with someone who can give you new skills to scale yourself so you can scale your business. By working with a CEO Coach.
We Should Always be Striving to Improve Ourselves
One of the things that I learned as a CEO was that even with a Harvard MBA, what I didn’t know was much more than what I did know. I thought I was the best trained in the world to be a CEO, but I had no idea how much I didn’t know.
That was humbling because I thought I knew a whole lot. The problem was that I thought that meant I didn’t need to keep learning. Boy, was I wrong.
But where to learn? How to learn? How could I learn quickly? How did I know what to study? In the real world, you are faced with a constant barrage of challenges. You can’t read enough books to keep up.
A CEO will deal with innumerable problems during their tenure. You will face most of these for the very first time. In business, the stakes are very high. You need to know a lot to increase your odds of success.
Experience is Not Only Preferred; It’s Necessary to Your Success
You need someone who can increase those odds because they’ve been there before. You need someone who has made mistakes and can steer you away from those mistakes. Sometimes a great way to learn is to make a mistake. What’s even better is to learn how to avoid that mistake from someone who has already felt the pain of that mistake.
You want a CEO Coach who has lived through these problems before. You want someone who has seen the movie before. It makes all the difference. It’s why I had a coach for 17 years. When I was a CEO, I kept encountering new issues. My coach helped me grow each time, so I became better and better.
Pick the best athlete in any sport. That person has at least one coach. Why? They don’t have a coach because they’re not good at what they do. They may currently be the best athlete in the world, but they still have at least one coach. The best athletes have coaches because they want to get even better. It’s the desire to constantly improve that is part of the equation that got them to the top and a critical part of the equation that will keep them at the top.
You Are Not Alone
Here’s a secret. Every Fortune 500 CEO has a CEO Coach — you just don’t know about it. People at the top of their game realize that life is a continual learning journey. They also realize that they are in an extremely competitive environment and that if they’re not continually becoming better, then they will eventually be surpassed by someone else.
This relentless drive to improve is a hallmark of the best performers in all walks of life. It’s no different for CEOs. They know self-improvement drives company success, and they are driven to achieve personal and professional success.
The Japanese word “kaizen” means continual improvement. As a CEO, of course, you want your company to be continually improving. To make that happen, you have to embrace kaizen yourself, personally. When you become a continual improvement individual, you will see kaizen express itself in the company.
Contact Glenn Gow, CEO & CEO Coach
In my work with CEOs, sometimes we focus on operational issues. Sometimes we focus on how the CEO leads and manages to optimize performance. Sometimes we focus on personal issues. Regardless of where we focus, my CEOs want to become even better. They are driven to succeed, and one of the most important tools they have is a coach who is dedicated to them becoming better.
Be like the best athletes in the world. Be one of the best CEOs in the world. Get a coach.
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.