Due to their positions at the top of organizational hierarchies, CEOs exert enormous impacts on managers and employees through their leadership. Consequently, CEO-level coaching has an outsized influence on the performance of an organization. Smart CEOs understand they need coaching, perhaps more than anyone else in their companies. Top-level coaching indirectly benefits business coaching efforts.  

“Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence, and inspiration. ” – Robin S. Sharma. 

CEOs are leaders who have made it to the top rungs of their respective organizations. These leaders have nowhere higher to climb, yet they continue to need leadership coaching, perhaps more than their peers working their way through the lower organizational ranks.

True leadership is not about a title or rank. It’s about influencing people and inspiring them to assume psychological ownership of a company’s goals, values, and vision.


CEOs need coaching more than anyone in their organization. 

Why CEOs Need Executive Coaching

At the top of organizations, CEOs are in the best positions to inspire, empower, champion change, and lead. Thus, they need intelligent leadership skills more than anyone in their organizations.

Leadership mistakes have outsized impacts when CEOs make them.

“I absolutely believe that people, unless coached, never reach their maximum potential.” – Bob Nardelli. 

Smart CEOs realize there’s always room for scaling, growth, and improving their leadership. They can always do things better. There are always blind spots to discover and eliminate, and leadership gaps to close.

Every leader, regardless of rank or performance, is a work in progress. Leadership coaching can shape even the best leaders into better versions of themselves.

Skilled executive coaching professionals adopt holistic approaches to coaching. They act as travel companions to leaders, supporting them in their professional and personal journeys.

How Do CEOs Benefit from Coaching?

Skilled leadership coaches assess leaders’ strengths and weaknesses and design concrete plans to address leadership gaps. They act as sounding boards for clients and provide outside perspectives helping leaders understand themselves and their biases and inclinations.

Empowering CEOs

Leadership is about empowering employees by granting them the autonomy they need to develop psychological ownership of organizational goals and values. Empowered employees who see organizational goals as their own can motivate themselves while receiving motivation from leaders.

CEOs need empowerment too.

Coaching promotes self-reflection, allowing leaders to understand what motivates and challenges them. An executive coach also helps CEOs set short- and long-term goals, track their performances, and celebrate their achievements.

Leaders can lose sight of their blind spots when things go well and they succeed in everything they do. When things turn south, however, forgetting about these blind spots becomes a significant handicap.

Boosting Emotional Intelligence

A Stanford University coaching survey suggests CEOs don’t pursue motivational skills, persuasion, empathy, or self-awareness enough through leadership and business coaching programs. Perhaps they don’t feel comfortable focusing on these seemingly “soft” leadership skills.

Skilled leadership coaching specialists know, however, that the inner core is the source of all outer-core leadership competencies we perceive as “hard” skills. They aim to drive leaders in, successfully effecting change. The outer core then reflects these changes outward.

By focusing on self-awareness, coaching can make leaders aware of their biases, motivators, and stressors. By developing emotional intelligence, coaching can make leaders more empathetic and capable of creating organizational cultures of psychological safety.

Helping with Conflict Resolution

Conflict resolution is one of the issues leaders hope to solve or improve through coaching.

Conflict resolution is an essential element of CEO-level leadership. Most of the problems CEOs must solve entail some degree of conflict between various parties.

conflict resolution

Conflict resolution is a much-needed CEO skill.

Avoiding conflict is not an option for a CEO. To drive optimal outcomes, high-level leaders must get to the roots of conflicts, actively shape the thinking of their teams, and channel conflicts onto constructive paths.

Self-aware CEOs understand why they need coaching. They know they need it more than anyone else in their organizations. Per the Stanford survey, 79% of CEOs who received coaching requested it themselves.

Seeking coaching is not a sign of weakness on the part of CEOs. On the contrary, it’s a bold move stemming from self-awareness and a keen interest in improving as a leader.


conflict resolution

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