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CEO as a Coach
March 2024
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As seasoned operators, we understand  the challenges leaders are facing in the dynamic landscape of modern organizations. Effective leadership is not just business acumen and the poorly named “soft skills”; it is an art and a science. Our goal is to bring you proven concepts, actionable strategies and thought-provoking ideas to help you grow and build a better organization, board or family.

CEO as a Coach

As a multiple-time team captain in high school, a peer-chosen captain in college, and a longtime youth sports coach (maybe the toughest task of all in dealing with parents!), I developed a keen perspective on the attributes of effective coaches. Naturally, that bleeds into my work developing leaders and managers in organizations. I became increasingly aware of the art and science of performance as an athlete and coach and it holds up in leadership at the professional level. The art constitutes much of the “how” of coaching excellence whereas the science explains much of the “why.”

Gone are the days when a CEO's responsibilities were confined to making high-level decisions and charting the course for the company's future. While strategic vision and decision-making remain crucial, modern leadership demands a more holistic approach—one that nurtures the talents and capabilities of their team members. CEO’s and C-Suite leaders and executives need to play the role of a coach, one who empowers their teams to unlock their potential and reach higher levels of performance that they might not even see in themselves.

Enter the CEO as coach.

Step onto the Field: 7 Ways to be a Coach

Today, the most effective leaders understand that people drive performance. We are beyond command and control; carrots and sticks. The performance of your organization will be singularly tied to who you surround yourself with and what you do to retain and develop your people. The way you approach performance makes all the difference, your numbers will thank you.


  1. Take care of your BEST people. Ensure your top talent has the time, money, recognition, resources, and a clear plan and metrics to execute and produce the best results. This is non-negotiable. We cannot scale the CEO but we can scale their mindset through great people.

  2. Listen aggressively, ask great questions, and withhold judgment. Ensure your players feel genuinely heard. Work to draw out what is inside your players by empowering them to learn and solve challenges on their own.

  3. Cultivate learners, not knowers. Those with a growth mindset have the ability to see challenges and changes as an opportunity to adapt, learn, and grow. Feed your people with opportunities to learn and grow and prioritize a culture that is committed to learning and developing.

  4. Talk to your people as YOU see them. Coaching is about unlocking the potential you see in your team. You have the ability as a coach to see beyond what they are today, help your players see it too. Understand their vision of success, priorities, and goals and to help them leverage their unique strengths and reframe their point of view as needed. “If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  5. Remember accountability is a CARE word. The word accountability has been hijacked, we need to take it back. By holding your players accountable, you are showing that you care.

  6. Build trust and your connections. Build trust through logic, authenticity, and empathy. Be mindful of the energy you bring when you enter the room, it makes all the difference.

  7. Focus on empowerment and autonomy. Being a coach is about empowering others to take ownership, make decisions, and lead. Step aside, let your players step up. This is one of the hardest disciplines to improve but yields remarkable results to you, as the CEO, but also to those you are coaching and the organization itself in terms of meeting objectives.

Check out this clip on obsessing about retaining and developing your BEST people!

With practice, ANYONE can become a better coach.

We have helped thousands of leaders build better organizations. If you are interested in learning more about the Steer High Performance Dynamics™ or how Steer, LLC can create value for you, please send me a message.

So ask yourself, how are YOU showing up as a coach?

To Permanent Beta,


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