why coaching?


The most direct answer is that having a good coach can provide the balanced perspective a CEO needs to identify, assess, and then attain your goals.

It is the most reliable way to “be and do your best” because it brings another set of eyes, another kindred spirit, another source of expertise, another bit of inspiration and in Walt’s case, a lot of experience to your endeavor.

double your resources

CEOs often feel tremendous pressure to be the hero, to make sound decisions consistently that will take their business from one success to another.

What many CEOs don’t readily recognize is that: you don’t have to do it alone; you don’t have to know everything there is to know; and you don’t have to talk to yourself up or down.

You can more than double your intellectual and emotional resources by working with a coach.

The CEOs mandate is to successfully assemble and lead an enterprise.

This not-so-simple job encounters an untold number of permutations in people, geography, technology, financial models that have to work, stages of development, teaching, exhorting, and visioning.

It is an exhilarating, demanding, and reliably, unpredictable job.

Everyone else in an enterprise has tangible and defined responsibilities: finance has to account for money and sales and marketing must sell and market.

The CEO on the other hand must make sure that all of the parts fit to make a whole community that grows, prospers, is healthy and returns money to the investors.

making it up as you go

It is almost as if CEOs have to make up their jobs as they go along.

Great CEOs know how to stand outside of the business looking forward into the unknown, and at the same time looking inside of the business, while structuring, leading, influencing and stimulating it.

Great CEOs can anticipate future needs, assess how to meet those needs, and then seed the skills and capabilities to fill those needs into the organization.

So yes, the CEO “makes it up” as he/she goes along - not in an off-hand or trivial sense but in a very sophisticated and disciplined sense.

It’s learning on your feet. Without this type of leadership the enterprise will grow moribund and fail. With it, everyone prospers and the cycle continues.

the voice of experience

Having a coach provides the CEO with training, development, and perspective.

By working with someone who understands this cycle, preferably with someone who has succeeded at this cycle, the CEO gains a much higher probability of learning and developing at a pace so as to be able to stay out in front and lead the enterprise successfully.

real lives, real people

This “why coaching” issue shouldn’t be viewed in some theoretical case study context.

It is relevant to the lives of real people creating a complex commercial community, doing real work, who will directly benefit from the knowledge and experience of someone who has succeeded in the CEO role.

It’s a fact that most CEOs don’t succeed in the role. Many have a short run and fall out of the job: one way or another they fail.

Having a good coach greatly improves the CEO’s chances of succeeding and greatly increases the speed of learning and developing skills to lead the company.


Most of us are familiar with the gold standard for teaching and learning. It is one teacher with knowledge and skills working with one student who has a desire to learn and need for the knowledge - a time-tested model for learning and growing.

If there is one characteristic that describes the most successful CEOs, it is their ability to learn on the move, to develop and build on their skills while moving through, and sometimes manipulating, a dynamic chaotic world.

The coach as teacher and guide gives the CEO a huge advantage. The coach gives the CEO the stimulus, experience and perspective to lead and learn on the move.

The image of an Oxford Don teaching one student may appear outdated and stodgy, but they had it right. Studies in many fields have documented that performance is best enhanced, potential and goals achieved with the aid of a good coach.

If you want to be the best athlete or be the best painter; the most effective way is to learn with an excellent teacher who can focus on your needs, and give you all the help you need, now.

Take a look...

...at a few coaching situations.