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Why Work with a CEO Business Coach?

Updated: Jun 8, 2023

What is CEO Business Coaching

CEO coaching, at its core, is about helping CEOs and entrepreneurs grow in their role as the business leader and as an individual, ultimately helping everything they influence improve.

Coaching helps CEOs develop their skills and abilities to overcome challenges, and achieve their goals. In essence, CEO coaching supports the individual capabilities by encouraging a balanced trust of their decision making skills augmented with required mentoring to educate and augment knowledge that was not present. Done well, CEO coaching teaches new skills while allowing the confidence to analyze, inspire and bring competent decisions to made with a team. A coach is most helpful in providing a means to ensure your personal viewpoint as CEO is as balanced as possible allowing you to make truly objective assessments and decisions by minimizing distortions magnified by personal fears.

Coaching is key to helping CEOs lead fulfilling lives. While it is easy to quantify the impact on the business or businesses being led by the CEO, it can also bring additional benefits, including personal growth development, increased focus and clarity, enhance problem-solving skills, and a sense of achievement with balance in life. The original spark and aspirations for the business idea can be better realized with the help of someone who is actively engaged in helping the CEO intentionally make the business grow. The intangible benefit of developing purpose, achieving difficult goals while growing in confidence in make a large organization move at the required velocity to impact lives is extremely rewarding. That’s the role a CEO business coach can have.

A CEO Business Coach is Someone who Helps you Develop and Achieve your Professional Goals.

A CEO business coach is someone who helps entrepreneurs and executives develop strategies and achieve their professional goals. With years of founder experience, a CEO coach has a broad perspective on the challenges and opportunities that businesses face. They work with founders to develop leadership skills, refine their vision, and build a winning team while simultaneously working on the behavioral elements that may silently sabotaging the their potential.

Leadership development is a key focus of CEO business coaching, as it is to the success of any business. A CEO business coach helps CEOs and executives develop the skills they need to lead and motivate their teams effectively. They help leaders understand their strengths and weaknesses, and how to leverage strengths and new skills to drive growth and success. This leadership focus may entail deep discussions on the current strengths and weaknesses of the CEO’s style. There may be 360 reviews of the performance of the CEO as gauged by his/her direct reports. There may be assessments taken to produce belief systems and personality traits. Ultimately, a CEO can only produce results as far as the leadership style is matured and ahead of where the current company’s needs are. You can’t build a $100M business if you don’t become a $100M CEO first.

Venture management is another area where a CEO business coach can be invaluable. Founders who have recently got venture capitalist money must be able to manage the pressure of intense scrutiny and expectations, while still being able to execute on their vision. ACEO business coach helps these CEOs navigate the complexities of building a healthy relationship with a board that he/she is proactively building. The venture funding

usually means that the investors have a board or two seat at the company table, but the CEO also has to build in neutral, independent board members into the mix to balance out the thoughts and counsel that can be created by an effective board. Working with a board is not something most founders are keen on doing, and yet it is imperative to create a healthy relationship that can help the business and investment grow.

A CEO business coach is a valuable resource for entrepreneurs and executives who are looking to take their professional development to the next level. Whether you are a founder looking to build a team and scale your business, or an executive looking to sharpen your leadership skills, a CEO business coach can help you achieve your goals and unlock your full potential.

The Role of a CEO business coach

A CEO business coach plays an essential role in aiding individuals in their professional growth, particularly those in leadership positions. The demands of these roles can be overwhelming, and it's common for individuals to feel uncertain about how to navigate their way through the complexities. The coach comes in to offer guidance, practical solutions, and support, which are necessary for their success.

CEOs or entrepreneurs should hire a CEO business coach to help them solve the

complicated business problems they face. Unlike reading books or attending seminars, a coach offers a one-on-one experience, which is entirely tailored to the individual's specific needs. CEOs profoundly benefit from these sessions, particularly those who are transitioning into new roles or unfamiliar situations.

Recently getting venture capitalist money can be a blessing, but it can also be overwhelming. The pressure to put the funds to good use, generate significant returns for investors, and to take the company to the next level can be challenging. In this scenario, a business coach can bring clarity and suggest best practices for recently funded entrepreneurs as they have not only lived through the process of scaling with outside monies, but having worked with other clients in the same scenario, best practices can be shared to accelerate the learning curve of the CEO.

Executive coaching is also an excellent way to bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be. CEO business coaches can work on helping you change bad habits and behaviors, improve communication and conflict resolution skills, and enhance your overall performance.

Successful individuals know that they don't have all the answers, nor do they always know the best way to proceed. Recognizing the need for assistance and seeking out the right coach can make all the difference in their professional development. Whether you're a CEO,

entrepreneur, or executive, the role of a CEO business coach is to challenge, inspire, and guide you through your journey.

When choosing a CEO Business Coach, it is Important to Consider Their Experience and Approach

Choosing a CEO business coach can be a tricky task for any entrepreneur. With so many options out there, it can be difficult to navigate through all the different coaches available and pinpoint the one that will help you grow your business. Nevertheless, I believe there are three key factors to consider when selecting a coach: experience, approach, and results (ROI).

Firstly, experience is a critical factor to consider when choosing a CEO business coach. You should look for someone who has a wealth of experience in the field you are operating in. For example, if you are a tech start-up that has recently got venture capital, , you should look for a coach who has experience in having done the same (hopefully more than once) and has been working with similar companies. A coach who has dealt with the complexities and

challenges of jet-fueled start-ups will be in a better position to give you the right guidance. While business principles don’t change, scaling a business without having to interpret the industry jargon (“KPI’s for the CTO”or “ARR being impacted by a broken onboarding system and poor API’s with legacy systems”) can not only accelerate knowledge transfer both ways, but the core issues can be addressed with more confidence in less time.

Secondly, you should consider the approach of the coach. The coach should be able to help you develop a "CEO mindset." This means helping you see the big picture and taking the time to understand your business goals and strategy. A good coach will be able to encourage your high level objective view of your business and help you identify areas that need improvement without being directly being hands-on all the time. A direct approach that is customized to the personality of the CEO and the needs of the business is key because CEOs need straightforward feedback from their coaches. Some CEOs are quiet, technical leaders who are geniuses with their products. Others come with a finance and strong operational background. Many come with a sales and marketing background, and

are excellent evangelists. Each leader will need a customized approach. While systems and tests and 360 feedback are great tools, the customized approach the coach takes will ensure that you are not being led through a sequential process only. Processes for improvement are key, but your business will need tailoring, and a competent coach will provide a mix of mentoring, coaching, prodding and accountability tailored to the CEO and the executives affected.

Results are a critical factor to consider when selecting a great coach. Results are, ultimately, the results of the CEO and the leadership team. A great CEO business coach will come with a history of helping companies repeatedly achieve measureable results. The ROI is often measured over a prolonged period of time (years) but in some cases, due to urgency or a project with a short deadline, CEO coaches can also help in the near term. The goal is to ultimate ‘teach people how to fish’ which this takes longer to be permanent. You can consider that the CEO and the executive team are being taught how to change their behavior. These behaviors will change the entire company’s results because behavior is a leading indicator. A coach that works to help the CEO’s behavior in sharing the vision, address difficult conversations with empathy, provide accurate feedback that builds confidence, conduct critical thinking on complex issues quickly, empower the team to build great service or products, and many other situations, all help contribute towards improvement of behavior. Look for results where the coaching impact has been sustained

after the engagement has been officially finished, not just when the coaching is still in effect. These results are the ones to look out for in a strong, competent CEO coach.

A CEO Business Coach will Help you set Goals, Create an Action Plan, and Provide Accountability and Support.

CEO business coaching has become increasingly popular as the intensity of business growth has become more complex and through the transparency of social media with leaders sharing their help from experts. If athletes and world class competitors in any field are helped with coaches focused on strength, skills, mindset, flexibility, goal setting, etc., then why can’t people leading a change in technology, apps, bio-tech or AI, have similar levels of coaching support? The level of performance for all businesses are still high, if not world class. A CEO business coach can help set goals, create an action plan, and provide accountability and support to keep you on track. They can be an invaluable resource to business owners who are looking to grow and improve their company. Coaches are also critical when running a business is turbulent, strategic decisions have to be made or a crisis needs to be averted, having an objective third party to bounce off ideas is immensely useful to have in the lonely position as the top leader.

A huge role that the CEO has right after a funding event is in staffing his business with the right senior executives. CEO business coaching can help you build a c-level team by providing guidance on how to recruit, onboard, and retain top talent. A skilled coach can offer insight into the leadership qualities needed in the C-suite. Because of the huge impact of these senior leaders, the care and precision in selecting the right individuals is paramount. Since smaller companies cannot be shielded from toxic leaders, and many original employees may want to have upward mobility, the addition of new senior leaders has to be approached with care. The coach can help navigate the internal impact as well as in the selection of executive leadership.

One of the most significant benefits of working with a CEO business coach is developing your CEO skills. As a business owner, you may have some natural leadership ability, but CEO business coaching can help you hone your skills to become an even more effective leader. With the help of a coach, you can identify areas for improvement, learn new strategies, and acquire new tools to help you lead your company and team. Invariably, most CEO’s are going from a one man tornado who does everything, to growing the company but still being the single point of failure (and hence all the stress), and then up on profitability or investment, now has to scale the business as a CEO who has a team. The CEO role has to be attained now in a bigger organization by unlearning, learning and relearning skills with the help of a coach. The automatic default has to be reprogrammed, and while it takes time, it is the only way to improve the business – by improving and working on yourself first.

Ultimately, working with a CEO business coach can lead to a more fulfilling life as a CEO as you learn to lead your company with greater clarity and confidence. Whether you're just starting out or looking for ways to expand, a CEO business coach can help you achieve your goals and develop the skills you need to thrive as a business owner.

What to Expect from a CEO Business Coach

As a business owner or a high-level executive, you may have considered hiring a CEO business coach to help you take your company to the next level. But what exactly can a CEO business coach do for you, and what should you expect from your sessions?

First and foremost, a CEO business coach is there to help you overcome any obstacles that may be holding you back, whether that is a lack of confidence, unclear goals or a feeling of being lost in how to make the next decision for a project or key employee. A good coach can guide you in developing a clear strategy for achieving success and help you create a plan to implement that strategy. The goal of the coach is to help the leader achieve their goals – sometimes at work, but often involving the totality of life, for much of work is affected by the quality of life at home. A great coach will help you achieve your goals by knowing how you function and provide multiple means and tools to help you achieve your goals.

One way a CEO business coach can help you is through CEO masterclasses. These classes often focus on important leadership skills like decision-making, communication, and delegation, and can provide valuable insights and knowledge that can help you become a more effective leader. These customized classes can tailor the areas that need focus, but instead of having all of the learning be conducted between coach and coachee, it is often more effective to have one or more experts be present to personally share how they were able to be a better CFO, or a better communicator, or a leader over technical people, etc. These master classes, or boot camps, enable the real experts to provide personalized counsel and stories that are pertinent to the coachee. The Q&A provides significant value in such sessions. These masterclasses can be scheduled on a regular basis or called to order as the need arises. These classes are often the highlight of the CEO as they are fun interactions that enable massive growth in the topic being addressed.

Another area where a CEO business coach can be beneficial is in helping you overcome feeling unsure in your new role. When you start a new job, even if it is the same role but now you have investors, a board, and you have to hire a senior executive team to function with the investment, there can be a lot of uncertainty and a steep learning curve. But with the help of a coach, you can identify the areas where you may need additional support and guidance, and work to develop the skills and knowledge required to succeed. A crucial part of the coach’s role is to support the development of the CEO through ideas, recommendations, questions, stories and inquiry so that the internal ability to produce solutions and answers grows. The goal is to empower the operational leader, the CEO, to grow in confidence in a safe and guided environment, while being practical in solving real-time issues. The role of a CEO is dynamic, and based on a various roles required, over time, with the help of a competent CEO coach, the interactions between them produces a permanent ability to not just be comfortable in the leadership role of a fast growth enterprise, but the decision making and people managing skills grow exponentially. The end role is that the CEO is able to lead a bigger company by being a better leader first, and the discomfort of a new role becomes a minor, but necessary, sequence in the journey of personally growing ahead of the company.

Ultimately, the goal of a CEO business coach is to empower the leader to become a better version of them self. While the initial engagement is to produce a great business and have a successful exit for all investors, the journey to achieve the goals requires a self-awareness of strengths and weaknesess, and a coach helps propel both the awareness and the skills in the journey to build a great business. The manner in which the results are produced in the CEO is highly dependent on the willingness of the coachee to be humble and exert the energies required to learn and practice the joint agreements made between CEO and coach. The results are only as good as the effort exerted.. The CEO business coach is not going to be a substitute CEO for the client – that role will always stay with the CEO. With the right CEO coach, the CEO becomes inspired, challenged, motivated to grow through deliberate self-created tension in behaviors that may have to be unlearned and new ones learned. The better version of the CEO only comes through enough practice over time. In the journey to become a better version, the CEO learns that the practice to BE is just as important as the transactional role of decision maker or delegator or inspirer. It takes time and effort, and with the right coach, the prodding and help to do hard things for a permanent, wonderful improvement over time.

How to Find a CEO Business Coach

Starting a business venture can be daunting, and it can often prove overwhelming to navigate the obstacles that come with being an entrepreneur. Whether it's learning to manage a team, or finding ways to scale, having a CEO coach can help. A CEO business coach is an individual who can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, empower your leadership skills and provide insight into how to grow a successful business. In this post, we will explore some of the ways to find a CEO coach that aligns with your goals and aspirations.

One of the best ways to to find a CEO business coach is to get recommendations from CEO’s who have experienced a great coach. Clearly, referrals have so much more impact because the coach has been experienced/vetted, and the coachee would not share their name unless they had a positive experience. The nuances of that coach can be gleaned with a thoughtful conversation with the existing or old CEO client. The referred coach is also going to want to do great work because he/she has experienced, hopefully, that new clients come from happy existing clients, and so they are extra motivated to be excellent in their

craft. Some simple ways to get such recommendations for a strong CEO business coach is to ask your network of your interest and to ask for their help in recommendations. Just as superior athletes have coaches, superior leaders and CEOs now also work with coaches, and the request should be viewed as a positive, ambitious and eager move by the CEO asking for help. And many other CEOs will want to know how your search went, and how your experience was with the coach that you finally selected.

Another way to find a CEO business coach is to look at venture funds who recommend CEO coaches. The focus here would be to get recommendations of CEO coaches who have previously taken good care of portfolio companies of these funds, have helped them grow well with the investment dollars, and probably more likely, to have been prior CEOs who have similarly grown their business with the acceleration funds from such investors. They will understand the issues, the pressure, the challenges of the meteoric increase in business required with the investment dollars. They will also understand the nuances of managing up now that investors will have a more serious role in the board. In addition, the referrals from the VC may indicate that their recommended CEO coach knows the idiosyncracies of the fund and the players involved. The guidance from these coaches are going to be most likely in sync with the returns that the VC expects (growing from $10M to$100M), and can aid in providing strategies that will be lock-step with what the board expects. Now, there is another line of thought that says that having a CEO business coach that is entirely removed from any association with the investors is better for you. There is objectivity. There are no allegiances or chances to have a ‘spy’ in the network reporting back to the board. While most of these conjectures are exactly that, it needs to be said that competent CEO coaches are always going to honor the confidentiality of the relationship, and at worse, ask permission before sharing any needs or issues with the investors in the spirit of trying to help improve relations.

In addition to the areas mentioned above, you can also find a CEO business coach by considering their expertise. Some CEO coaches focus on specific industries, such as finance or technology, while others may specialize in startup growth or leadership development. You can connect via a networking group, an interest group, a networking group of industry CEOs who are looking to gain knowledge and help from monthly discussion, an industry tradeshow network, working with the lawyers or financial professionals who have a large base of clients in your field of industry or focus, and so forth, to ultimately get your recommendations to come from people who understand your business. This group is far more likely to recommend a coach who understands your industry, and their ability to drill down to your business needs will be that much faster and efficient The theme continues to be ‘referred’ which is going to provide a better recommendation than a generic Google-based result. And even if you were to find such a non-referred coach, many would still undergo a level of background checking to increase the likelihood of a quality coach. By identifying your specific needs and goals, you can find a CEO business coach who has the experience and expertise to help you succeed in your field of professional endeavor.

Regardless of where the CEO coach is sourced from, the level of due diligence required after the identification of an individual probably is the most important part of the ‘search’ For example, once a person is identified, there may be topics to discuss and engage with the coach on themes such as:

  • Engagement duration

  • Success metrics

  • Cost of service

  • Recommendations from past clients/funds

  • Access for emergencies

  • Types of services available (including employee referrals or board member recommendations, team training, additional executive coaching for employees..)

  • Remote or in-person meeting frequency

  • Speed of response guarantees

  • Levels of involvement

  • Systems/processes used during engagement

In conclusion, finding a CEO business coach can aid you through your entrepreneurial journey to help you grow and succeed. Finding the right coach to achieve the goals requires some effort that will be well worth it. The numerous channels used to get a client is only the start of the vetting process, since you then have to figure out how the relationship will work. And the old world topic of ‘chemistry’ is real – it is hard to work with some people if there is no chemistry. The goal of improving through the help of experts is critical, and the minor amount of effort required to get the correct coach will ultimately prove inconsequential as the business exits at the hoped-for multiples.

How Much Does a CEO Business Coach Cost?

Are you in charge of a company or start-up and feeling alone and needing help with all the pressure and decision making that you feel on your shoulders? Do you feel like you could benefit from some personalized guidance and support? If so, then you might want to consider hiring a CEO business coach. In a 2022 report, over 77% of leaders in Fortune 500 companies had experience with business coaches that helped them significantly ( Considering that athletes, artists, cooks, designers, academics and almost every angle of profession has coaches and mentors, why not you in your high stress leadership role?

But how much does a CEO business coach cost?

The cost of a CEO business coach can vary greatly depending on a variety of factors. Some coaches may charge by the hour, while others may offer a package deal for a set number of sessions. Prices can also vary depending on the experience and expertise of the coach. I have seen prices from $500/hour to six figure engagements for 12 month contracts. There are coaches who will even work in a measureable business setting with a portion of their compensation tied to a performance clause – akin to ‘pay for performance’ even though many elements of coaching focuses on behavioral changes. Again, depending on the CEO level of coach versus C-suite help or middle-management focus, every business coach can have different ways to be compensated.. It's important to do your research and find a coach who has a proven track record of success in the areas you need help with.

One common misconception is that coaches are only useful for struggling businesses. However, leading venture CEO's and successful entrepreneurs frequently take advantage of the services of a coach to help them continue growing and improving. Growth coaches for CEO's can provide valuable insight and perspective that may be difficult to obtain from inside the company. In many cases, the high intensity role of a CEO, particularly ventured backed, includes the pressure of clients, partners, board members and media pushing down, while the immediate C-suite of direct reports, the entire organization and vendors exert crushing expectations upwards. You are caught in the middle. It can be intense.

A good CEO coach can help you and your team stay focused, motivated, and on track towards achieving the goals you have set out for your business. By identifying areas where you could improve your leadership style, communication effectiveness, relationship development skills and business acumen, your coach can help you become a more effective change agent, leading to a more fulfilling and successful business. Like many good things, it just takes time to have the behavioral changes become consistently manifest as coachee works diligently with coach.

It's important to keep in mind that hiring a CEO business coach is an investment in yourself and your company. While the cost may seem high at first, the benefits of working with a coach is consistently many multiples a return on the investment. The astute CEO coaches not only have performed your role in prior companies and have credentials to help you, but they also have gone through the initial ‘penny-pinching’ mindset of making every dollar count, and it is a difficult mindset to break when it comes to using money on yourself. It is often a very difficult emotional decision because you have spent so many years having done things on the cheap. And now to spend money on yourself that others may not have access to (at least initially)? It seems selfish, a bit arrogant and may be frivolous, right? This is a mindset that has to change as the discussion should go from ‘affordability’ to ‘possibility’ and everything that helps the top leader improve will impact the entire organization.

At the end of the day, what would be the cost to the organization, the customers, the employees (and their families) and the investors if the CEO DIDN’T get any personalized help to improve and succeed in his/her role? Coaching costs can be numerically validated and tracked, but the mindset has to change first in the CEO. This is an investment in your own growth and the success of your business. So, if you're ready to take your business to the next level, don't hesitate to explore your options and find a coach who can help you achieve your goals.

What is Venture CEO Coaching?

Have you noticed how there are, even in one sport like football, coaches who are experts and focused on one area of the whole game (never mind all the other sports)? You’ve got position coaches for multiple roles, including a QB coach, a running back coach, a defensive line coach, an offensive line coach, a running backs coach, a linebacker coach, a secondary coach, tight ends coach, wide receivers coach and special teams coach. In other words, even business, you can have executive coaches, coaches for middle management, coaches for presentations and press relations, a coach for HR or EEO/AA/DEI, a coach for the CEO, and yes, a coach for CEO’s who have been ventured funded in a smaller business that is poised for great acceleration and impact. Simply put, a venture CEO coach is focused on helping CEOs of smaller businesses that have received funding from larger investment companies that are expecting their dollars will be used to accelerate the sales, product development and scale the business to either an exit or successive rounds of investment at higher valuations.

Venture CEO coaches are typically seasoned professionals with years of experience in the world of business (mostly technology) that have worked in a similar venture funded start up as either the founder or senior executive. They have successfully navigated the challenges of running a company in the same high intensity/velocity world of scaling a business with cash infusion. They are experts in their field, and they use their skills and knowledge to help others achieve their goals. Based on their experience, they have additional training that enables them to help ventured funded CEOs not only get the correct kind of help within the same domain expertise, but they know also how to help without ‘spoon-feeding’ the CEO. The goal is to always help develop skills that help the CEO coachee internally develop problem-solving talent. But the fact that the venture coach is experienced in the same IT or fin-tech or B2C app, etc., helps the transfer of business knowledge become that much more easy and comfortable for the coachee. The focus can be on solving the need instead of worrying about catching the coach up to speed when the CEO already has enough issues on the table without having to worry about investing up-front time, another item of prioritization that isn’t needed.

One of the primary roles of a venture CEO business coach is to help the CEO understand how to navigate the delicate new dance with a formal board that is usually instituted upon investment. Prior to the A round of funding, at most, most technology founders have either an informal advisory board, or a relatively large group of angel investors, families and friends who have intentions to help in any way they can. While some may be professional board members, most are asked, or ask to be in this role, to help the founder and CEO with tactical issues and problems of launching the business. By the time the series A funding comes in, the stakes of the game changes from wondering IF the business will make it, to now a problem of how to take the business to a bigger, revenue generating business that requires fast acceleration and scaling of business processes. The transition of help moves from making sure that money is tightly metered in order to prove that the product market fit is real and achieved, to a level of land grab, where the first mover advantage is squarely achieved with fast top line sales, with the right leadership team put in place to move the business to become the dominant 800 pound gorilla in the industry. This context means that the board, not only due to the size of cash infusion made, has to change in order to facilitate the growth with their repeated experience in helping other portfolio companies and businesses achieve similar goals.

Because of this new board, the venture CEO coach becomes essential to helping the CEO navigate the new relationship that is now above him/her. The formal board is going to be essential in the strategy, compensation approvals, the introductions to possible executive hires and business relationships, provide expertise in board members who have finance or engineering or marketing expertise, as well as sharing hard-earned lessons from other businesses they have either run or been able to advise. With their role, it naturally becomes easy for the CEO to feel intimidated (beyond the monies that are owed back in a fairly short time span) by their involvement in the running of the business. While they are not technically involved in the tactical implement, it will certainly not be like the days of old when the CEO could do what he/she needed to do and not have to get much approval or over sight. Now, the role requires that the CEO involve the board collectively and individually at appropriate levels of discussion, witht the right level of transparency, but with the confidence of running the company and not needing the board members in too many aspects of the business. This delicate dance requires some help from the coach initially. It is a crucial role that the venture coach has with the CEO. As time progresses, and results are heading in the right direction, the CEO also becomes more confident in the relationship management, and adopts the right posture and style to maintain a long term, profitable relationship. But the first year can be delicate, and the venture coach has a lot of potential impact in this stage.

Another important role of venture CEO business coaches is to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses with the critical role of hiring the right senior leadership team, and more importantly, enabling them to execute in their function to the best of their ability. Hiring is critical. Selection of talent, experience, cultural fit and industry experience are imperative. There have been many mistakes made in the hiring the selection of the VP of Sales or CRO. That’s another topic for another day. But it is in the ability of the CEO to unleash the talents of the newly hired C-suite that is the critical skill that the venture coach can really help with. It’s one thing to hire correctly, but it is a more demanding task to deploy that talent to maximize their impact towards the vision of the company. This requires understanding how to motivate and help, in many cases, more senior people who have already been experienced in helping prior companies to grow and exit. The coach is there to help the CEO not feel intimidated with the age or experience difference, and to move towards challenging, inspiring and supporting the new senior team to flourish within the culture that the CEO has established, or wants to establish. The venture coach becomes acutely valuable in helping the coachee learn how to manage one-on-one, lead and conduct the staff meeting, and to coalesce the talents when differences arise between senior vice presidents. Until the new skills and behaviors are learned, the coach becomes invaluable to the CEO.

Overall, a venture coach provides the transitional help needed for the scrappy start-up entrepreneur to become an experienced CEO of a fast-growing, venture-funded enterprise. It is a sexy role that many aspire to. The journey from a one-man show that has a small team under their 24/7 influence to hundreds of employees with senior leaders managing the business is not an easy one. There are numerous times when the founder/CEO will feel inadequate to the job. They will second guess their role and potential impact. But the very reason for the funding and business growth is because of that leader. The venture coach focuses on enabling the internal strength of the founder to be augmented with new skills, behavior, time management, communication skills amongst other needs in a safe environment. The CEO will not need to feel lonely. The path has been trodden on before by many others, and with the venture coach’s help, that journey will be less painful and more fun in making that initial vision a reality. Along with the financial success that can come, the journey of becoming a better leader will always be the end-product regardless of the exit valuation amount.


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