The KEY: Dear Ms. CEO – A CEO Coach Letter

Apologies: I messed up. Our last KEY was titled Mr. CEO and I failed to say Ms. CEO. Here it is reproduced with Ms. CEO

Dear Mr./Ms. CEO:

Coaching CEOs is like getting a front seat to a good thriller. As a CEO coach, I facilitate and help realize an exciting vision. What I see from this front seat today is that you are called to gather your courage. You are called to move forward with confidence and conviction, and to help the people around you create the future. This KEY is a personal letter to the CEO from a CEO Coach.

Did you pass the stress test? Great! It’s time for a vision test. A quiet revolution is sweeping through your company and through corporate boardrooms across the nation. Yesterday’s solutions do not work. Disruption is the norm. The power equation has shifted. The prowess of the capital markets has proven highly efficient at self-destructing. Cause and effect have become counter intuitive. “The whole world is a nail because I have a Hummer” (Detroit) rationale is now over!

What do you do, Mr./ Ms. CEO? How do you focus and marshal energy and resources?

To move from being a victim of market conditions to a victor of your opportunities you need to transform. An essential part of this transformation is learning to ask the questions that will take you and your organization to where you need to go next. As your CEO coach, our first work with you would be to reframe the questions:

If you only think “How do we get out of this mess?” you are looking backward. To look forward you must ask:

* “What do we want to be as we come out of this?”
* “How and with whom can we partner and collaborate to create a new future?”
* “What do we want to be known for in the future?”

If you are not focusing on these questions, you are missing the opportunity of your life and failing the vision test.

CEOs that fight the last war miss an opportunity. This is not a financial or economic crisis. This is an existential moment, an epochal realignment. The game has changed. The fight is not to survive what happened; it is to thrive in a world beyond formulas. It’s a world you cannot map – it is a world that changes as you draw the map. The quiet revolution begins with the few executives that pass the vision and the resilience tests.

To lead wisely, to lead well, Mr./ Ms. CEO, you have to create transformational conversations and engagements. You foster open collaborations and innovations; manage uncertainties and risks and fashion opportunities. You create adaptive and agile culture and embrace the impossible. To thrive in the new emerging paradigm, your organization must generate value, help clients and stakeholders meet their needs and transform their work and life.

You are more than the PR and sales CEO. You are more than the coach CEO. You are more than the Decider CEO. Your role as a CEO is to connect the dots inside and outside your organization. You are the Connector- and the Integrator-in-Chief. New dots appear every day in this rapidly shape-shifting world. You are the chief artist. You create a space for new dots to show up on your screen. You assimilate and connect the picture and frame meaning, opportunity and vision. Your mindset, narrative, focus and communication is the place where the complete organizational picture can be integrated. You are the context maker – context that provides meaning and direction for committed execution. You are the Picture Maker-in-Chief, the storyteller of the organizational future.

Sounds daunting? Yes. But you are not alone. You gather the best talent around the table; the innovators, visionaries, storytellers, problem solvers and the committed and disciplined implementers. And you bring up in them the confidence and courage to change, develop, innovate, collaborate and create a future.

Turn the Key. Create the vision and resilience test for you and for your team. Create a future worthy of your best. Thank you.

© Aviv Shahar

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