Today CEO v. Tomorrow CEO

In coaching processes, the coach – either implicitly or explicitly – works with the idea of ‘old way v. new way’.

It’s a way of aggregating the total behaviours of what is not working, and transitioning them to a newly aggregated set of behaviours that is fit for purpose.

For example, choosing to be more high-performance orientated by being more disciplined, keeping purposefulness in mind, and communicating more effectively. As opposed to the opposite – the ‘old’ way.

The same applies to CEOs, but it’s more layered. The CEO role isn’t just about actions, it’s about an entire worldview:

  • Who you are
  • What you believe in
  • Your views on business performance
  • Your attitude to self-development

These are all big questions and ones that won’t be answered overnight. They take time to craft, shape, refine and become used to, eventually turning them into a coherent and tight CEO package.

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My experience working with CEOs is that this sort of thinking is not top-of-mind due to the operational pressures of driving successful results. Which is fine – it’s understandable and it’s not a dynamic that is ever going to change. There will always be busyness.

However, holding the question of old way v. new way should not be something that is equated to being a task and thus shouldn’t take up operational bandwidth. If it’s seen or experienced this way, it’s a sub-optimal way to go about it.

Rather, the contemplation of your ‘new’ way of being a CEO should be something you warm to, are compelled by, and are attracted to. If it’s not, there is probably work to be done about how you’ve set up your CEO role. Is it one that allows for thriving, or are you condemning yourself to the drudgery that can easily accompany the CEO role?


If you do nothing more, on the back of this missive, than contemplate whether a new way could exist for you, that’s sufficient. It will likely catalyse something that will bear fruit in its own way, according to its own timeline.

But, get it started, at least.

If you’d like support to work through the possibility of a new way of CEOship, feel free to reach out to me.

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My weekly missive, CEO Sundays, is published at 5pm every Sunday evening. The writings cover CEO topics exclusively: how-to’s; thought starters; leadership insights; reflection opportunities; research.

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