As a CEO, you’re tasked with making critical decisions about strategy, investments, and people, often with incomplete information. You’re hiring leaders for functions where you may not be fluent, and you’re expected to deliver results with little patience for problems, even though challenges are pervasive. It’s a lonely job with high expectations, but there’s a solution: a strategic executive coach who serves as your confidential business partner.

Just as every great athlete hires multiple coaches to improve their game, bringing experience, insight, and honesty to help them consistently uplevel their performance, the CEO needs a strategic executive coach who can do the same for them. These coaches will have techniques and frameworks that they use to help CEOs and their companies reach new heights consistently. The right strategic executive coach will improve decision-making, improve team dynamics, improve communication, and improve results.

The late great Bill Campbell, known as the “Trillion Dollar Coach,” exemplified the value of such a partnership. Campbell coached some of the most successful leaders and companies in the tech industry, leaving an indelible mark on the business world. His clients included Steve Jobs (Apple), Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, Sergey Brin (Google), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook), and Marissa Mayer (Yahoo), among others.

Campbell’s impact extended beyond just the individual leaders he coached. He was known for his ability to foster strong, cohesive teams and to help companies build cultures of excellence. His approach emphasized the importance of trust, open communication, and a focus on people and relationships. The cumulative market value of the companies Campbell coached is estimated to be well over a trillion dollars, hence his nickname.

The Value of a Strategic Executive Coach

A strategic executive coach delivers frameworks to structure your thinking, challenge assumptions, and facilitate better hiring and leadership. They can improve clarity, communication, and alignment across strategy, go-to-market (sales, marketing, customer success), and product. Additionally, they should be facile with analysis and financial projections—the lingua franca of business.

 

Real World Success Stories

Over a year ago, a founder/CEO contacted me because he had a great idea, a small team, and funding but didn’t have a thought partner for go-to-market. Without the psychic and economic costs of hiring and firing go-to-market people, he needed coaching to learn how to succeed with and evolve from founder-led sales into a repeatable sales motion while generating enough pipeline and customers to propel the company forward. We worked on refining his target customer, prioritizing his time and delegating, positioning, learning in every prospect interaction, negotiation & closing, choosing which customers to keep and fire, and even accountability to pipeline expansion and goals. He’s secured his design partners, initial revenues, pricing strategy, testimonials, and case study – well on his way to the milestones for his next round of funding.

In another instance, the CEO of a rapidly growing SaaS company engaged me to help align their executive team and optimize their go-to-market strategy. Through individual coaching sessions and team workshops, we clarified roles and responsibilities, improved communication and collaboration, and developed a more targeted and effective sales and marketing approach. As a result, the company accelerated its growth and secured significant new funding.

How to Evaluate a Strategic Executive Coach 

    When considering working with a CEO coach or executive team coach, here are a few key factors to consider:

    1. Are they a business thinker you respect? Ask a few questions to understand their thought process and ensure it aligns with your needs and values.
    2. Do they create or apply frameworks that fit your stage and needs? Ask them to work through a problem with you to see their approach in action.
    3. Do they bring leadership and management insights about people and communication to help you better design and leverage your team? Look for coaches with a track record of helping CEOs build and lead high-performing teams.
    4. How do they help clients navigate challenges related to strategy, leadership, and team dynamics? Can they provide examples of how they’ve helped other CEOs or executives improve their performance and drive business results?
    5. How do they approach giving feedback, particularly when it comes to addressing blind spots or areas for improvement? You need a coach who will tell you what you need to hear, not just what you want to hear.
    6. What do they consider to be the key factors in a successful coaching relationship? A strong coaching relationship is built on trust, openness, and mutual respect.
    7. How do they measure the success of their coaching engagements? Look for coaches who have a clear methodology for tracking progress and demonstrating ROI.
    8. What is their availability, and how do they typically structure their coaching engagements (e.g., frequency of sessions, duration of the engagement)? Ensure that their approach aligns with your needs and schedule.

    Take the Next Step

    If you’re a CEO or executive looking to take your leadership and your company to the next level, it’s time to find your strategic business partner and coach. Don’t wait—the right coach can be the difference between success and failure in today’s fast-paced, ever-changing business landscape.

    Why I am a Strategic Executive Coach

    With over 25 years of B2B SaaS sales and marketing leadership experience, I bring knowledge and expertise to my coaching practice. I’ve hired and fired people from Sales VPs to Product Marketers to Growth Marketers to Customer Success Managers to SDRs, made countless sales and marketing budgets, launched companies, designed categories, launched products, sold and upsold products, negotiated seven-figure contracts, rescued customers, and mentored over 1,000 people through my Curveball Approach resulting in over $3B of value created and over $300M of ARR. If B2B go-to-market is on your mind, I’m an experienced thought partner who has likely seen it all at least once.

    If you would like to learn more about my Curveball Approach and determine if it fits your needs best, you can visit GTMFlow.com/curveballs. There, you’ll find resources and insights to help you navigate the challenges of B2B go-to-market and drive success for your organization.

     

    #leadership #executivecoaching #strategicpartnership #CEOcoach #executiveteamcoaching