Want Credibility? Be Your Own Client. Would You Hire Yourself?

Marissa Levin
Marissa Levin
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One of my favorite aspects of being a CEO advisor & coach is helping other CEOs monetize their ideas and passions with the implementation of structure, strategy, process, and accountability. And according to a recent Stanford study, CEOs are craving qualified coaches to help them achieve their objectives. Currently, two-thirds of CEOs don’t receive any outside advice on their leadership skills, and yet almost all would be receptive to suggestions from a coach.  

When CEOs apply to work with me as clients, I look for many things to determine if we will have a successful engagement:

  1. Their clarity around their mission, vision, and values
  2. Their ability to articulate their current state versus desired state
  3. Their honest self-assessment of their weaknesses or vulnerabilities
  4. Their focus & drive: are they self-focused (“I want to make more money or have more free time”) or externally focused (“I want to provide ____ to the market”)

These are just a few of the observations I make as I analyze the online assessment they complete prior to my decision to engage with them.

One of the other critical aspects I assess is whether they practice what they preach, and apply what they sell. No one would buy a luxury home from a builder living in a shack, or trust a wealth manager that was financially irresponsible. When we evaluate the skills of web designers or graphic artists, we ask to see a portfolio of work, and we visit their sites. 

Our own actions give us credibility, or they discredit us. There is no in-between.

As a CEO advisor, I reach back to my 19 years of business-building experience to help clients build the best companies possible, and reach their own leadership potential. I apply the success stories and the challenges, and everything I’ve experienced over almost two decades of growth and survival.  In mentoring other business owners, they’ll look at my business experience as the first reference on my client reference list.

When serving clients, it’s pivotal to walk the walk. What advice are you planning to give your clients? What should they be doing? What should they not be doing? Are you operating under these guidelines?

Would you hire yourself?

Want to learn more about this topic?

Read the Harvard Business Review blog here

Read the Stanford Graduate School of Business 2013 Executive Coaching Survey here.

Read Entrepreneur Magazine’s interview with Daymond John about the importance of hiring experienced mentors/coaches here.


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