Looking back over the course of my career in coaching for the past 15 years, I’ve noticed one thing. The older I got, the older my clients got. And the more successful I got, the more successful my clients became.
I’ve realized that age does have some advantages, and one of them is in learning from the many mistakes along the way. Somewhere it happened to me, that I lost the ego of having to look good to people, and now have the ability to completely set foot in another’s shoes and sense what they are experiencing at the moment. I believe this gift has developed over time, and through all of the experiences I have had, coaching so many people. I’ve had excellent training for years and years, and as a result of using all of that training, I’m now able to sit with a CEO or an executive, with only myself and my intuition. What happens as a result is nothing short of miraculous!
This past week I was able to work with two CEOS of mid sized companies who are leading teams of people. Both have had a tremendous amount of success in their companies but they now want to go from being good to fantastic. They want to transform their companies and have longer reaching impact on the world in which they live, not just on their immediate customers.
With such lofty goals, the only place to start is by starting with the CEO. Where are you in your life? Tell me about who you are? What is your essence? What makes you tick? What has gotten you to this place in your life at this point in time? Who were your early role models? How did you know you were able to have the ability to lead like you have? Where do you feel you need to grow to take your company to the next level?
As I’ve gotten to know these CEOs and understand the commitment for excellence they’ve each shared in their lives, I was able to pull out values that they each had chosen to live their lives by. Although each were different and had different styles, the words just flowed from me to tell them who they were in the world. Committed, champion, directed, focused, sincere, loyal, intelligent, fair, or compassionate, warm, and concerned. They both had employees they’ve nurtured along the way and lead teams and were involved with the community.
Both came to a place in their coaching though where they realized that in order to go to the next level in their businesses, they needed to develop other traits and characteristics that would fit into the new roles they needed to fulfill. As a CEO they need to be a visionary for the company, and they need to inspire those around them. They need to be able to motivate the troops and to speak with authority and conviction.
How were they each going to do that when they were trying to figure out the words themselves… or the mission for their company?
So we started with them writing a personal mission statement for themselves, and for their companies. We wrote a vision for where the company would be heading and a purpose for who the company is in the world.
We worked on looking at how transformation starts. It starts by acknowledging our strengths and weaknesses, and understanding where we have room to grow. In learning to inspire others, we have to start focusing on the needs of others.. and considering what motivates others? Understanding that whether or not the people we’re communicating to are another CEO of a large firm, or the mom who is out with the girls for the day, that we need to have the ability to teach our staff to meet others where they are. And the CEOS understand the need to teach by example.
The topics that we coach on are vast. From customer service to team building to leading meetings and speaking extemporaneously, to media appearances, to upgrading our vocabulary or changing the types of books that we read. Evolving into a CEO who sees their job at helping others transform is a big task. And it takes a person who has courage to look at where they need to grow. It takes a person who is willing to let the ego slide and to face our fears one step at a time.
It has been a pleasure to come to a place where I am able to take this journey of transformation with these impressive individuals. I feel honored that they trust me to lead them on this path of strategic business planning and cash flow, but by doing in a way that touches people positively and not working to milk the employees so the executives can become rich.
These individuals want great companies, who have apostles and evangelistic employees who spread the word about their great company being great! To me, that’s a great place to put my time, and I feel joy and purpose in working with other individuals who see their role in the world as a lot more than all of the material goods they can accumulate.
The best way to transform our companies is to transform ourselves. And the quickest and fastest way to do that is by working with an individual who can speak to us in truth.
Meet them where they are, and take them on a journey that will last a lifetime and that will inspire millions of people. I’m beginning to see my own purpose become more clear, in the eyes of the CEO.