Why Every C-Suite Executive Needs a Business Coach

Business coaches aren’t just for up-and-coming executives, leaders, or when business needs a boost. Even with well-seasoned C-suite executives and well-run businesses, executive-level managers of all levels experience high pressure. And there’s always room for growth and improvement. Below, we’ll dive into why every C-suite executive needs a business coach, how they can benefit, and where to get started. 

Not only are high-level executives saddled with the responsibility of setting the tone and direction of their organization, but they must also develop alignment and commitment with their teams to progress successfully. And in times of uncertainty or a disruption in the business, the pressure and responsibilities of a leader become more intense. During any volatile time, a grounded, strong, and inspiring leader and executive are needed more than ever. 

However, the job of a C-suite executive isn’t for the faint of heart. And not all executives end up lasting. A Center for Creative Leadership study found that 30% of Fortune 500 CEOs lasted less than three years in the past two decades. And it’s safe to say that the business environment has gotten tougher over the years while also rapidly changing. But it’s also possible that new or experienced executives may not be getting the training needed to thrive, lead, and improve. 

Whether someone is taking their first position as a C-suite executive, transitioning to a new organization, or even executives that need to develop their skills further, hiring a business coach is a necessity, not a luxury.

Why Business Coaches Are Needed

Sometimes, when it comes to senior-level management, C-suite executives may take on the role of the mentor, not the mentee. Oftentimes, these executives are already viewed as successful because of their experience and position and as someone to learn from. However, business coaching is just as important for top-of-the-organization executives as it is for other levels of management and leadership within the organization.

Being the mentor exclusively or trying to go it alone isn’t the best course of action. Challenges such as burnout, rapid industry changes, business model disruptions, and outdated strategies and processes can all be avoided with regular business coaching for C-suite executives.

Someone may be promoted into a management position and never receive proper training. They may also grow rusty from performing other tasks and need a refresher on properly leading and guiding a new team. The business world is ever-changing, and business coachees help executives keep up. 

Rapid Change

Today’s business environment moves increasingly fast. C-level executives face challenges with today’s unprecedented and rapid changes. If this rapid change isn’t managed well from the executive level, its effects trickle down the line throughout the rest of the organization. Not only that, but many employees are watching how willing executives are to adapt. A well-adjusted executive can help employees maintain pace and feel confident in their organization.

With digital transformations and employee expectations continuing to increase, an outside perspective from a business coach is invaluable. A business coach can help make the most aligned changes for the organization, the employees, and the customers. It would be especially beneficial for C-level executives dealing with these challenges to consult a business coach specializing in digital transformation and hybrid work. That way, they get a fresh, expert perspective that many former C-level executives may not have. 

Isolation and Steep Learning Curves

CEOs and other C-level executives have less readily available resources for support than many lower-level members, making it lonely at the top. Additionally, there often needs to be more training covering how to be a CEO or C-level executive. Moving from middle management to C-level involves a much steeper learning curve with different responsibilities than previous position promotions. 

C-level executives need someone who can readily provide support, insight, and teachable skills targeted to their needs and responsibilities. Especially when C-level executives spend their time supporting and looking out for their teams, it’s just as vital that they have someone supporting them.

Additionally, stepping into and growing within a C-level executive role will require different help than previous roles, even for those that have been star performers working their way up the ladder. Responsibilities shift from skills and proficiency to more strategic thinking, decision certainty, emotional intelligence, and data analysis, to name a few. And many C-level executives don’t receive training on these specific things on their way to the top. Business coaches for C-level executives can help them expand their understanding of their new leadership roles and responsibilities and the future landscape ahead of them. 

C-Suite Executive Business Coaching Benefits

The benefits of C-level executive business coaching are numerous and not only benefit the individual executives but will benefit the teams and organization as a whole. Let’s look at some of the many benefits of business coaching for C-suite executives.

New, Unbiased Perspective

Sometimes, even for people at the top of the organization, there can be blind spots. And when executives are in the eye of the storm, it can be challenging to see everything and how they really are. When someone with a fresh, unbiased perspective comes in and takes a look at all the working pieces, they can see where there is room for improvement. And some of these improvements could have a massive impact on profits, procedures, and people. Which ultimately can take executives to the next level, giving them adaptability with a new business perspective. 

Improved Conflict Resolution

As a C-level executive, one part of the role is to mediate conflict and find solutions when things are not working. While conflict resolution skills are needed at every stage of a leader’s career, at the C-suite level, the conflicts become more extensive and costly, making this skill more critical. When a CEO or other C-level executive avoids conflict, it impacts the rest of the ranks and the organization. A business coach can help C-level executives improve their conflict resolution skills on top of helping the organization create a conflict resolution strategy that can be passed down the ranks.

More Strategic Thinking

One of the skills required of any C-level executive includes more strategic thinking than may be required in previous positions. This shift can often be daunting for newer C-level executives. A business coach can work with CEOs and other C-level executives to help them understand every aspect of their organization. This includes what makes it stand out, how to leverage the talent of each team member, and how to start thinking and making decisions more strategically. A business coach can also help them build an achievable, strategic plan that plays on each executive’s unique strengths and leadership styles. 

Feel Certain In Your C-Suit Executives

C-level executives set the tone of the entire organization. And if getting a coach was the best advice Google CEO Eric Schmidt has ever received, then surely all C-suite executives need and will significantly benefit from a business coach. An executive business coach not only helps C-level executives learn how to successfully shoulder all the responsibilities but also helps them define the type of organization they want to lead. 

A business coach can give executives new skills and insights to improve their organization and leadership abilities. They can feel certain in their decision-making processes and confident working as a C-suit executive. 
Chris Dyer is a company culture expert, international keynote speaker, consultant, and best-selling author. If you’re interested in learning about how Chris can help provide your executives with leadership business coaching and support, reach out to get in contact today.