For many executives, arriving in the C-Suite represents the pinnacle of their career; the reward for years of endeavour and sacrifice. However, success as a CEO is not guaranteed, and the right support structure is essential. Leadership mentoring from one of our CEO Whisperers can be a powerful way for senior business leaders to tip the odds in their favour.
The benefits of business leadership whispering from someone who gets it
- A means of fast-track learning from other senior executives who have previously faced the same challenges.
- It’s a confidential resource where you can share problems and test ideas before engaging your management team.
- It provides the opportunity for business leadership to step back from the day-to-day and develop their own long term vision with someone who has been there and done it themselves.
- The ability to access flexible resource to help take you and your business to the next level.
- The right business leadership advisor can open their senior network to you along with potential opportunities and expertise.
- Ultimately, a CEO Whisperer delivers personal growth to senior executives, which facilitates improved business culture and performance overall.
- Nothing really prepares you for a role in the C-Suite.
While reaching the C-Suite is often seen as a Holy Grail, once there, it’s a very different job role to any other in an organisation. A study of executive profiles by the Harvard Business Review showed that the value in the C-Suite is generally felt to be in leadership skills and a strong grasp of business fundamentals rather than in technical and functional expertise, as they are in other roles including lower-level leadership positions.
We think that the shift should be organic and gradual, but often it’s not - if you have spent your whole career doing and find yourself in the position of leading, it can be challenging. In addition to that, in today’s world technological world, meteoric rises can often mean that talented individuals rise quickly without much chance to learn some of the skills that can only really be honed with time and, perhaps, error.
Passing the baton from one executive to another
While the intricacies of technologies get more advanced from one day to the next, business fundamentals, and ultimately, the art of liaising with other leaders are predominantly recognised to have nuanced, core pillars of understanding and diplomacy. These are the things that your CEO whisperer can bring
It’s a high but indefinable value that their own successes attest to, but the bottom line is that it’s experience led, not opinion led know-how that they bring to the C-Suite and offer you the chance to syphon.
The benefits of a CEO Whisperer are perhaps best summed up in the words of the eternally articulate John F. Kennedy, who said:
“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”
It is a motto that many of the greats continue to live by. Bill Gates is a famously perennial learner. Despite having dropped out of Harvard in the 1970s, he says:
“I’m a weird dropout because I take college courses all the time.”
Meanwhile, Charles Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, and long-serving foil to Warren Buffett noted the value in becoming a mentor, saying:
“The best thing a human being can do is to help another human being know more.”
At gigCMO, our CEO Whisperers have risen through customer-driven organisations, usually as marketing leaders before being asked to positions of executive leadership such as the CEO role or they have been asked to join boards as a non-executive director given their strategic focus on understanding the key drivers of a business - the customer. They have worked closely with CFOs and other C-suite executives throughout their career.
Be the best leader you can be!