Top 7 Qualities of a Great CEO Coach

What makes up a great CEO Coach? Here are the 7 qualities you should know before deciding on which coach is best for you.

Top 7 Qualities of a Great CEO Coach Graphic

Helping You Raise Money

Whether you are a privately-held company or a public company, you will almost certainly benefit from external capital. Personally, I’ve worked with public company CEOs who greatly benefitted from raising funds. Virtually all private companies can benefit from gaining access to capital. 

Regardless if it’s a LOC, a loan, a warrant, a SAFE, or a priced round of equity, a great CEO Coach will help you get the money you need. 

In my experience as a CEO Coach, I’ve helped CEOs get the bank loan they needed and I’ve helped CEOs raise $150 Million in a single round. Regardless of the amount and regardless of the source, the right CEO Coach will help you construct the story that will bring the money across the finish line.

“His advice helped me raise $3 million. Thank you for all your guidance and coaching … it really made a difference.” – Darren Marble, co-CEO, Crush Capital

Helping You Scale Faster

All CEOs want to scale. All CEOs that I work with want to scale faster. It’s one of the key reasons they hire me. 

Roughly 60% of CEOs lose their jobs because they can’t scale fast enough. For a CEO to scale faster, they need to scale themselves faster. 

What does it mean for a CEO to scale themselves faster?

The CEO brings some key skills to the role. They are often very good at one or two functions. But to scale, that’s not good enough. A CEO that wants to scale themselves has to develop skills far beyond the ones that got them there. 

For example, a CEO may be an expert in product management. However, they need to develop skills in areas where they aren’t yet competent. They need to become competent in sales, engineering, finance, HR, manufacturing, partnerships, fundraising, managing the investors and the board, building great teams, developing culture, leading a growth organization, etc.

As a CEO, you shouldn’t say “I’m going to ignore function X because I don’t like it.”

The right CEO Coach will help you become good enough at each of these areas so you can scale.

Helping You Deal with the Massive Responsibilities of being the CEO

All CEOs become overwhelmed at one point or another. The buck stops with the CEO. In many cases, their job may be at stake. 

They feel the pressure.

A great CEO Coach will work with you to refine your mission, vision, and culture. They will help you determine the most important objectives for success. Then they will help you develop a management process to align the entire organization around only the most important things to accomplish.

Once a CEO focuses on the most important issues, their plate starts to clear. Part of this process is declaring what you and the company are not going to focus on. Once a CEO aligns the company, they can do the same thing for themselves personally. 

It’s amazing what you can accomplish once you get focused.

Helping You Manage Your Most Challenging Direct Reports

CEOs generally have 5 to 7 direct reports. Of those, I can guarantee that one or two of them are difficult to manage.

The greatest challenge of being a CEO is managing other people. This is especially true when those other people are difficult to deal with. 

The classic example is that one direct report is very, very good at its function. They deliver fantastic results consistently. Yet, they can piss people off. Sometimes they don’t play well with others. They can bring down the performance of the team. They can set a bad example for the culture you want to create.

Invariably, the CEO wants to keep this person because of their individual performance. In rare circumstances, this person can be coached into changing. In most cases, the CEO will need to terminate this individual. We hope that they will change, but they usually don’t. 

I help CEOs decide quickly which path to take and I help the execute against the best path immediately.

Helping Refine Your Product Market Fit

The single biggest challenge companies face is achieving product-market fit. Without it, they don’t have a chance to succeed.

But wait. It’s not that simple.

If you have it, you know it because prospects want to rip your solution from your hands. Selling isn’t the issue, scaling is the issue.

But what happens when you haven’t yet achieved this magical product-market fit? What do you do? Do you have the wrong product? Do you have the wrong market? Both?

How do you find a better product-market fit with the limited resources you have? It’s imperative to find it and to find it quickly.

A great CEO Coach will help you make the decisions that will get you there as quickly as possible.

Helping You Work with Your Board of Directors

Most CEOs have a board of directors to whom they report. Most CEOs do a poor job managing that set of relationships. 

Even if the board is made up of minority shareholders, they have tremendous power. Even if you and your founders are the majority shareholders, you can lose in a board fight. Unfortunately, this happens more than you might think. 

For example, imagine you and your founders hold 51% of the company and the investors on the board hold 49%. You are managing the company somewhat satisfactorily, but you aren’t hitting it out of the park. Now, it’s time to raise your next round of capital.

At that moment, your investors can insist that in order for them to continue to support the company, they need a new CEO. That’s the downside. 

But CEOs rarely know how to get the most out of even a fully supportive board. A great CEO Coach will help you get the most out of your board.

Walking You Through Your Crises

Any CEO can and will face crises. Oftentimes it has nothing to do with how good you are as a CEO. Most of the time crises occur when things you can’t control happen. 

The test of the right CEO Coach is how well they can support you in the moment of crisis. 

I received a call from a CEO, and they said “Glenn, my Chief Revenue Officer just resigned and I don’t know what to do.” In this particular case, the person who was resigning had an out-sized impact on the current success of the company. 

The CEO and I came up with a plan. We discussed what to do about customer relationships, team morale, organizational structure, interim sales management and the current pipeline. We needed to do this quickly because of the critical role this person played in the company.

Armed with that plan, the CEO was able to move quickly to address this current crisis confidently. 

A great CEO Coach will be there for you when you need them most.

Let’s See if I’m the Right CEO Coach for You

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.