A CEO or business owner who is committed to strong performance in all areas of their company will recognize early on that neither they nor anyone else is an expert in all things. You don’t hire one doctor to handle everything that might go wrong with your health; you don’t put your sales executive in charge of accounting (Please!). And you don’t hire one consultant or generalist for all areas of your business. The best way to get stronger in a specialized area, without reinventing the wheel and making a lot of mistakes along the way, is usually to find a mentor in that area and learn from them.
That’s what coaching is all about. In an ideal world the CEO might have a mentor for strategic thinking, one for public relations (or public communication), one for financial strategy or exit planning, and still another for their personal financial goals. Over time, the CEO might work with a particular coach for awhile, and then stop – while the lessons learned are refined through practice. Or they might work together for some period each year or for a special project, e.g. a speaking coach before your annual meeting or a financing road show for the company trying to raise money.
In some instances a coaching relationship could last for years. I once coached a newly appointed CEO of a privately owned publishing company (he was their former sales & marketing executive) for several years before he felt comfortable going it alone – that is, after firing his CFO and hiring a better one as a result of our work together.
A financial management coach (my particular specialty) might help the CEO:
- better understand their company’s financial reports, or ask for new ones that are more helpful,
- communicate more effectively with their bank’s loan officers or the company’s investors, and earn financial credibility in the process,
- create meaningful incentive compensation plans for company executives that will drive improved performance for everyone, or
- simply how to look for opportunities to improve the bottom line through analysis, discussion, and feedback.
We help CEOs set relevant goals and then stay focused on achieving them. We help CEOs who are not financial experts better manage the financial aspects of their business, sometimes without anyone else knowing we’re doing it.
Does that sound like football? Well, Vince Lombardi would probably say “If you’re scoring more points, then Sure!!”
We are Your CFO for Rent.