by Gretchen Gavett | 8:00 AM August 15, 2013
Two-thirds of CEOs don’t receive any outside advice on their leadership skills, and yet almost all would be receptive to suggestions from a coach. These stats are from a Stanford University/The Miles Group survey released this month, which asked 200 CEOs, board directors, and other senior executives questions about how they receive and view leadership advice. I asked the survey’s co-authors, Stanford Graduate School of Business’ David Larcker and The Miles Group CEO Stephen Miles some questions about what they found and how it applies to CEO coaching specifically. An edited version of our exchange is below.
Why is getting coaching from outside the company important?
Blind spots are less obvious when things are going well. It is very easy for executives to become almost strictly inward looking, especially when they have been very successful. But these blind spots can become devastating when performance moves in the other direction. A good, neutral third party assessment is a clear reality check for executives.
Additionally, every single person inside the company has an agenda of some sort. This makes the coaching environment a rare and safe place to think through various topics against the framework of what is in the CEO’s best interest. The coach is only concerned with the CEO’s wild success as the leader of the company.