How Coaching Can Help Create Champions in the C-Suite

The NBA Championships, the Stanley Cup and the Super Bowl aren’t the only arenas where billions of dollars are invested in coaching. As individuals, we hire fitness coaches, golf coaches, nutritional coaches and life coaches, among others, to tend to our personal goals. If you’re a business executive, according to Entrepreneur magazine, corporate America spends more than $1 billion each year investing in executive coaching for leaders. But why? It’s understandable to hire visionary expertise and guidance to focus on the big picture or fill in knowledge and skills you don’t possess. But what could business owners, presidents and CEOs derive from the advice and counsel of someone who couldn’t possibly know their business as well as they do? The answer is a considerable amount, as those companies who work with a business advisor, mentor or leadership coach are proven to be more productive, delivering greater results, and adapting to organizational shifts with greater resiliency. How Coaching Can Help Create Champions in the C-Suite Having the right business advisor can even boost your market performance, according to the American Management Association. The average Return On Investment (ROI) for companies investing in coaching is over seven times the initial investment, according to a global survey of coaching clients conducted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the Association Resource Center. For 25 percent of the companies that participated in the survey, the results were even greater, experiencing multiples of 10 to 49 times their investment. The more a company is reliant on people, the greater the marginal returns on an executive coaching investment. It stands to reason, as athletes, musicians and artists employ coaches to stay at the top of their professions. Their skills, including how to shoulder leadership, are developed over years, sometimes decades, of practice in their discipline. Business owners, presidents and CEOs often work their way through daily challenges and operational difficulties, scattered across multiple disciplines with too many distractions to focus on just one thing. “Not all CEOs come to the table with the full set of skills they need to build their companies to last for the next decade,” reports Entrepreneur magazine. “The best executive coaching relationships resemble the relationship between a conductor and their train. The conductor (coach) can help keep the train (the executive) on the tracks.” How Coaching Can Help Create Champions in the C-Suite “Business coaches are driven to get people and teams to think through a full spectrum of elements and make choices, so that they’re focusing their energies in strategic and necessary places,” said Glenn Perkins, executive coaching and forums leader for Renaissance Executive Forums Silicon Valley. “Often times top business leaders and their teams find they are too close to the day-to-day operations to see the bigger landscape, and the horizon they’re aiming for. Business coaches are critical guideposts to help many busy executives keep their long term aims in mind as they work to get there.”   Some of the most-recognized CEOs recommend finding a business mentor, including Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO, who says the best advice he ever got was to get a coach. Microsoft chieftain Bill Gates agrees that everyone should have a coach. Regardless of what you think of Tom Brady and the whole New England Patriots team, they and you would likely agree that the right coach makes a difference. Many question the value of a business mentor for those who have already reached the top. What could a business coach teach them that they don’t already know? “There’s a fundamental misunderstanding of what a business coach does,” added Perkins. “Coaches don’t duplicate the skillset of the CEO or company owner. We observe and interact, looking for new ways that the team can interact and find their own inspiration to choose the best solutions and strategies. It’s not about copying what others have done and trying for a similar success. There’s value in looking at situations with a different set of eyes, discussing other interpretations and analyzing problems with a trusted advisor who has a bit of distance.” How Coaching Can Help Create Champions in the C-Suite There are countless resources available to list the tips and advantages of working with an executive coach. Some of these resources preach about the process or longevity of a particular executive coaching program, but times are changing and many top level executives are looking for more personal, customized options. It’s not as easy as picking a coach off a menu, or at least it shouldn’t be. “With a multitude of resources available online and elsewhere, finding a business coach is rather easy. However, finding the right coach for you and your business is another matter” Trust is huge in a coaching relationship, and it doesn’t form instantly. CEOs are encouraged and cautioned to find an experienced coach with diversified skills, detail oriented and ethical, with a passion for each particular business or company they champion. Perkins points out: “Many top leaders I work with have sacrificed continuously for the sake of their companies and they’re rightfully proud of what they’ve built. Their companies are an extension of themselves, and their choice of a coach is a distinctly personal one. There’s nothing more satisfying than helping a CEO owner positively impact the lives of their employees and their families, adding horsepower and effort to what they’ve been doing for years. I truly love my job!” How Coaching Can Help Create Champions in the C-Suite Perkins continues to build programs for San Jose and Silicon Valley business owners, presidents and CEOs, bringing small groups of top executives from non-competing companies together to form peer advisory groups through which each member can gain fresh ideas and new insights. Business owners, presidents and CEOs join the groups to gain advice, support and insight from members who have faced the similar business and personal challenges. They also employ one-on-one executive coaching opportunities to focus on individual goals and objectives by exploring new ways to address challenges. “Accountability is a large part of the coaching relationship,” concludes Perkins. “Dealing with uncomfortable truths are often part of progress, and getting through those discussions professionally can lead to stronger, better decisions all the way around. It’s quite a journey, and you have to trust the person you’re taking that journey with.” It goes without saying that confidentiality is a must, as sensitive personal and company information is often revealed as part of the coaching process. Just like a top sports team, where the coach serves individuals on the team as well as the whole, business coaches serve both the CEO and the whole enterprise that he or she leads. After all, it’s the team and the coaching staff that is responsible for getting to the championships. And they, together, are heralded for the win. Renaissance Executive Forums draws Silicon Valley’s diverse business leadership community together, allowing business leaders to readily learn from each other and sharpen their CEO skill sets. As an active business advisor and multi-faceted business executive with deep-rooted experience across numerous industries, Glenn Perkins is the leader of Renaissance Executive Forums Silicon Valley, and a conscientious resource for the business leaders and owners in the area. He is continuously spear-heading the formation of new executive peer groups, innovative workshops and business education opportunities as the local, national and international markets continue to evolve. If you are interested in participating or learning more about becoming a forum member, please contact Glenn at or call 408-213-9513. For more information visit  


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