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.
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.
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.
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.
It is an understatement to say that one of the key challenges faced by a CEO revolves around decision-making.
From deciding on:
By and large, CEOs achieve results through other people.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I expect you to be driven to be the best CEO you can be.
Someone who aspires to:
I expect you to be honest with me.
Especially in regards to:
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.