Good CEOs surround themselves with straight talkers, it can be helpful to bring in a person who is completely outside the organization. We call them coaches.
While a good deal of coaching involves an exploration of the inner self, it is my experience that many CEOs pretty much know themselves. So coaching focuses on what the CEO can do to help his team succeed.
Toward that end, here are three good questions I like to use.
- What are you doing today that will bring about a better future? We live in transactional times that demand transformational thinking. In other words, we act day to day but we must be thinking long-term.
- What are you doing to develop your people? The CEO sits atop the organization. She’s made it, yes, but now comes the hard part. What is she doing to bring out the best in her people? Is she coaching them?
- What makes you happy? Coaching does get personal. Being CEO is a 24/7 responsibility. It becomes a lifestyle where time is never your own. The pace can take a toll.
Coaching engagements, unlike marriages, are things of temporary convenience. Coaches help individuals think and act for the long term but do not expect to be there when the future arrives — for better or for worse.