Scale Your Business 
for Growth

with a fully aligned organization and 
a clear strategy for innovation
without sacrificing your health,
becoming mired in interpersonal challenges,
or feeling drained by people management.
CEOs I have coached hail from
I COACH

CEOs of Venture-Backed* Startups to

Lead with Clarity

Especially when...

  • Your plan or strategy for achieving your business goals are unclear to yourself or others.
  • It is unclear how to solve the problem with which you are faced.
  • It is unclear what is the right or wise decision to make in your given situation.
Align their Organization

Especially when...

  • There seems to be a lack of ownership, accountability, or innovation among team members.
  • There is tension or outright conflict among team members or between you and the board.
  • There is resistance, dissent, or a lack of buy-in from team members or the board.
Reclaim their Time & Energy

Especially when...

  • You’re so busy dealing with the urgent issues that you have little to no time for what is most important in the long-term.
  • There seems to be no end to the fires you have to put out everyday.
  • You work around the clock and attend back-to-back meetings only to feel like you haven’t done enough at the end of the day.
* As in your focus lies in growing your business exponentially. In the process you will have to redesign much of what you have designed thus far including your strategy as well as the way you execute, lead, and communicate.
TESTIMONIALS
We got to $30m in ARR then lost our way. Our employees started to lose motivation and so did my Co-Founder and I. [This is when Slim] not only helped my Co-Founder and I clarify a new strategy, but also helped us inspire and align our team as well as uncover and relieve the hidden tension that plagued our morale. Working with Slim has been a breakthrough after breakthrough!
Founder-CEO in Health Tech, USA
After hitting $10m in ARR, I noticed myself burning out. I gave my team greater autonomy to compensate, but the effort backfired. The team merely became entitled without any improvement in performance. [This is when Slim] helped me right the ship. He facilitated numerous difficult conversations and guided me to redesign our management system, develop a culture of high-performance based on shared values, and set up an Office of the CEO so I no longer had to worry about burning out!
Founder-CEO in B2C SaaS, Korea
Your situation

As a CEO of a venture-backed startup, there is both pressure and aspiration to grow your business exponentially.

To follow-through on the pressure and aspiration, not only do you have to compete with other companies to win the market, you also have to juggle fundraising, product development, and team building, not to mention figure out how to grow yourself as a leader at the same speed at which your company is growing.

In essence, there is too much to do. Not only that, but there is nobody keeping you accountable the way you keep everyone else accountable. Such lack of accountability means you may easily procrastinate on important things over urgent things.

Your feelings

The position of CEO can feel lonely. You may also feel a great level of uncertainty and ambiguity at times, which make decision-making challenging. The expectation you feel from those around you can feel great as well.

Ideally you will have a thought partner for all issues that are complex and ambiguous enough to warrant one. But for various reasons, there are issues that you feel like you cannot discuss with anyone, leaving you feeling isolated.

Your desires

Given your situation, it is natural to want a thought partner with whom you can think through decision-making, team leadership and management, as well as developing a great culture that performs.

For such a thought partner, you want some who knows the cutting-edge tools and best-practices from having worked with others just like you. Someone you feel safe enough to talk about your stress and fears. Someone who will challenge you, keep you accountable, give you feedback, and share encouragement when you need it the most.

To Get Started

1

Submit Inquiry

I’ll follow-up to book a call, where we will discuss your situation in detail.
Submit Inquiry
2

Customize Engagement

We will work together to devise a custom engagement that you agree will provide you with the most value.
3

Start Engagement

All engagements are based on a fixed cost contract to avoid surprises.

Hello!

My name is Slim

Actually, my full name Seung Chan Lim, but most call me Slim.

Born in 1977, I lived in 3 different countries before moving to the US in 1995 for college, where I have resided since.

I have spent the past 25 years guiding the growth & innovation process at organizations of various scales ranging from ultra-large organizations like the Department of Defense to large organizations like General Electric and Eaton to several hundred small startups.

Over the past 12 years, I have focused my practice exclusively on guiding Founder-CEOs of Tech Startups.

I am also the author of the book Realizing Empathy, which is a culmination of my 4-year long ethnographic research into the subjective experience of leaders engaged in the process of growth and innovation. I wrote the book in 2012 and it established the foundation of my Founder-CEO coaching practice.

3 Basic Hurdles to CEO Performance

Decision-Making

It is an understatement to say that one of the key challenges faced by a CEO revolves around decision-making.

From deciding on:

  • What to focus your time and energy on any given day to
  • Making key hiring and firing decisions, all the way to
  • Deciding on a direction and strategy for your company,
Some decisions can only be made by you, the CEO. Such responsibility to make wise decisions can weigh on you heavily.

Interpersonal & Systemic

By and large, CEOs achieve results through other people.

From:

  • Persuading investors to invest or top talents to join your startup, all the way to
  • Developing the systems, processes, and culture necessary to guide your employees to perform at their best,
It is through other people that CEOs achieve results. The challenges a CEO faces in this domain can feel immense.

Self-Management

A prerequisite to making wise decisions and influencing and managing others effectively is to have “room in your mind.” Without room in your mind, you’re likely to make rash decisions or to communicate and behave in ways that are ineffective in relation to others.

Just as athletes manage their body with great consideration because that’s the instrument with which they perform, CEOs must manage their mind with great consideration because that’s the instrument with which they perform.

The foundations of my coaching philosophy is captured in my book “Realizing Empathy.”
This is a talk I gave about the book at an international conference in Tel Aviv, Israel

The Role of Realizing Empathy in CEO Performance

We realize empathy, when we suddenly empathize with someone (including ourselves) or something, through an unexpected realization. Hence, realizing empathy as opposed to merely having empathy.

Such realizations often make us go “Ah ha!” “Oh...” or “Ha ha ha!” concerning something we either did not or had incorrectly assumed to have understood or appreciated enough.

Understanding Self

Better self-management comes from a more clear and accurate understanding and appreciation of one’s self.

More clear and accurate understanding of one’s self comes from realizing empathy with one’s self.

Understanding Others

Better interpersonal influence comes from a more clear and accurate understanding and appreciation of others.

More clear and accurate understanding of others comes from realizing empathy in relation to others.

Understanding Systems

Better decision making comes from a more clear and accurate understanding of the system in which we are all interacting as parts.

More clear and accurate understanding of systems comes from realizing empathy in relation to the relationships and interactions of its parts, which includes ourselves and others.

 

[One day,] our largest potential customer told me that instead of becoming a customer they’ll develop a competing product. [With] less than 3 months of runway left, I felt that my company would soon go under and we would become a public failure. [In a single session,] Slim helped me realize empathy with myself to the point, where we came up with a strategy that transformed [my] feeling of defeat into a feeling of gratitude and hope. This strategy became the foundation for my team and I to eventually find  product-market fit and secure a round of funding to expand our vision internationally!
Founder-CEO in EdTech, Norway
The night before a very important presentation, our team was not aligned and were arguing in circles, unable to agree on a clear and unified direction. [Slim] helped our team [realize empathy with each other] to resolve our disagreements and come up with a clear and unified direction for the presentation in less than 2 hours! After our coaching session, we were able to dive right into execution. It was such a transformative experience, especially to experience it in such a short amount of time!
Founder-CEO in Climate Tech, UK
The Journey of Realizing Empathy Podcast
Decision Making
Interpersonal & Systemic
Self-Management
Priya Amin / Former Founder-CEO of Flexable
I don’t know how to be more compassionate with myself.

What You can Expect from Me

To be Results-Focused

Every 3 months, we’ll set your goals and priorities for yourself as CEO.

We will then measure your progress and hold you accountable to your goals and priorities not only so that you will remember to follow through, but also to nudge you to become aware when you do not.

To Stand Behind My Coaching

I guarantee that each time we meet for a coaching session, you will leave the session with the clarity and confidence you need to make commitments and follow-through before we meet again.

If you do not feel that way by the end of our coaching session, which is rare, I will offer as much of my time as you need to get to that point. With me, you’re never on the clock.

To Challenge You

When appropriate, I will introduce you to tools and best-practices proven to be effective by successful startup CEOs. They will cover a wide array of topics ranging from business strategy to operations.

The tools and best-practices are not merely meant to save you time, but also to challenge you to break through any artificial limitations getting in the way of your growth and performance.

The night before my pitch to raise our Series B, Slim stayed up with me all night for almost 7 hours until I felt absolutely clear and confident with both the content and the delivery of my pitch. To this day, I feel emotional thinking about that night. I have never heard of a coach who would go to such great lengths.
Founder-CEO in Wellness Tech, Korea
Slim was by my side when I had to let go of 90 people. I pride myself in being a CEO who can see things from the employees' perspective. Yet, Slim helped me see something I was not seeing in each and every session.
Slim went the extra mile to meet with me twice a week throughout this entire process to guide and support me in every way he could. I cannot imagine how it may have went without him.
Founder-CEO in FinTech, Korea

What I will Expect from You

Drive

I expect you to be driven to be the best CEO you can be.

Someone who aspires to:

  1. Make wise decisions amidst uncertainty and ambiguity.
  2. Lead your ever-growing team to perform at their best.
  3. Better manage your mind and emotions.

 

Honesty

I expect you to be honest with me.

Especially in regards to:

  1. The judgments you carry.
  2. The emotions you feel.
  3. The values you hold.
Compassion

I expect you to feel compassion, first in relation to yourself and then others.

To be clear, compassion is an emotion we feel when we’re concerned for someone’s suffering and desire to enhance their welfare. That someone includes yourself.

Feeling compassion does not mean being a pushover or sacrificing yourself for others.

Interview from 2017 at SAP TechEd Barcelona
Interview from 2017 at SAP TechEd Las Vegas
Case Studies
Questions?
support@realizingempathy.com
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