Nearly Two-Thirds of CEOs Do Not Receive Outside Leadership Advice – But Nearly All Want It.
It’s lonely at the top appears to be truer than ever, according to a new study. More than 200 CEOs, board directors, and senior executives of North American public and private companies were polled in the 2013 Executive Coaching Survey that Stanford University and The Miles Group conducted this spring. The research studied what kind of leadership advice CEOs and their top executives are – and aren’t – receiving, and the skills that are being targeted for improvement.
Key findings from the survey include:
Shortage of advice at the top – Nearly 66% of CEOs do not receive coaching or leadership advice from outside consultants or coaches, while 100% of them stated that they are receptive to making changes based on feedback. Nearly 80% of directors said that their CEO is receptive to coaching.
CEOs are the ones looking to be coached – When asked “Whose decision was it for you to receive coaching?” 78% of CEOs said it was their own idea. Twenty-one percent said that coaching was the board chairman’s idea. This as a seen as a positive trend: Becoming CEO doesn’t mean that you suddenly have all the answers, and these top executives realize that there is room for growth for everyone. We are moving away from coaching being perceived as ‘remedial to where it should be: something that improves performance, similar to how elite athletes use a coach.
How to handle conflict ranks as highest area of concern for CEOs – When asked which is the biggest area for their own personal development, nearly 43% of CEOs rated “conflict management skills” the highest.
Boards eager for CEOs to improve talent development – The top two areas board directors say their CEOs need to work on are mentoring skills/developing internal talent and sharing leadership/delegation skills. Boards are placing a keener focus on succession planning and development, and are challenging their CEOs to keep this at the top of the agenda.
Top areas that CEOs use coaching to improve: sharing leadership/delegation, conflict management, team building, and mentoring. Bottom of the list: motivational skills, compassion/empathy, and persuasion skills.
This article is based on the report of the survey published in July 2013. The survey was carried out by Stanford University and the Miles Group in America.
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