Why You Need a Top CEO Coach or Peer Group

CEO coachAs Chief Executive Officer, you are expected to know everything, to handle all situations with aplomb and assurance, to lead your company with the confidence that you can do it all, and probably run someone else’s company with the same success. This would include virtual offices, as Marissa Mayer had to handle in the early days of her leadership of Yahoo. To others, it seems like you have the superhuman power to do it all on your own, and you might think that you have to somehow do it all by yourself. However, even CEOs can use a little support and guidance, and that’s where a top CEO coach or a peer group can come in.

You don’t have to do it all on your own, and as a CEO you shouldn’t. If you did, then you’re running something more similar to a regime than a company. A CEO coach or peer group helps you to become your best self, and when you’re the best possible self, you can have the best possible company. Here are four reasons why you need a Top CEO coach and peer group to provide the support and guidance necessary to take you and your business to the next level.

A Good Coach/Peer Group Emphasizes You

As a CEO, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of running the business, of making the important decisions and working to solve every crisis that comes up. This makes it difficult to worry about other aspects that affect your job performance, such as your health, your relationships, and your mentality. Sure, you can be professional at work and not let that fight with your spouse get to you, or excuse your poor diet and sleep schedule on the fact that you need to get work done and that you employees need you. That doesn’t mean a sour marriage won’t leak into the business, or that all that fast food won’t affect how your endurance and how your mind works. A good coach or a caring peer group can emphasize those aspects and their importance in running a company well.

Your Coach/Peer Group Doesn’t Work For You

Great! One less person you have to manage and to boss around, but that’s not the best thing about enlisting the help of someone outside your company. The best part about having the outside help of a CEO coach or peer group is that they can offer a fresh perspective on business decisions. Need advice on handling a troublesome employee? You can trust what your coach or peer group has to say, since they don’t know the person and don’t have a conflict of interest. Unsure about a current marketing campaign or on your overall business strategy? Your coach or peer group would not only have the expertise to answer your questions, but they also don’t have to worry about how the decision would impact them. For example,  a marketing manager may want more time on an unsuccessful campaign to prove that it worked because it was his/her idea, when your coach or peer group would not have such a vested interest in the campaign or the decision.

Your Coach/Peer Group Could Help Tackle New Challenges

The point of having a coach or a peer group is because you don’t know all the answers, so it’s helpful to have someone, or a group of people, to help you find those answers. Virtual offices and workers can fall into this category, as it is a phenomenon that’s only become popular in recent years. It’s not a problem that all 20-year veterans in leading companies can answer and handle correctly. However, any other CEO or executive can bring to the table that fresh perspective, knowledge and experiences that you don’t have. That knowledge, expertise, and confidence is vital when you need help taking on new challenges, in finding new solutions to old problems, or even in getting feedback in what you’re doing right and wrong. This feedback can not only help you and your company reach its goals, but can also make clear what you are/aren’t doing, or what you need/don’t need to be doing in order to run your company well and to be the best CEO possible.

Networking Opportunities

This applies more to the peer group than the coach, but both can offer additional networking opportunities. Peer groups often host events of their own, swap events that they’ve heard of, and share events that individual members are hosting themselves. Don’t forget that networking is much more than amassing contacts and hopefully getting a lead or two. It’s also about facilitating relationships that could even up vouching for you and your service down the road.

Overall, CEOs aren’t infallible. They are still regular human beings like their customer and employees, good people who from time to time need a little extra support and guidance. A CEO coach or peer group can do just that, and can probably provide much more than a friend or family member who doesn’t know what it’s like to run a company, or to work in your industry.

5 Public Speaking & Presentation Skills for Chief Executive Officers

presentations virtual officeAs Chief Executive Officer, you are expected to be able to deliver a good speech and to present well in a public setting. This is also true with virtual offices, where meetings and presentations will have to be delivered over the Internet. Fortunately, public speaking is something that can be practiced and improved upon, so you can be confident that you won’t mess things up for the whole organization. Even though a presentation or webinar via teleconference isn’t quite the same as doing one in person, many of the same skills and techniques apply. Here are five public speaking and presentation skills that CEOs should have:

Keeping Gestures Practical (and to a Minimum)

When giving a speech or presentation, it is natural to gesticulate or to use our hands to illustrate our concepts. That’s not a bad thing, but gestures need to be controlled and need to emphasize the point you are making. To do this, it’s best to practice the gestures as you practice your speech. Practicing your gestures means that you know when to gesture, and what gesture to make to emphasize your point, but also means that you know what to do with your hands when you aren’t gesturing. This also ensures the middle ground of gesturing at the right moments without them detracting from what you are saying. It should also be noted that the opposite shouldn’t be done either. Keeping your hands to your side the whole time, or putting them into your pockets (which is worse), only makes you look stiff and unprofessional as a speaker.

No Nervous Ticks!

Everyone gets nervous when they are speaking in public or giving a presentation, but it’s a skill to eliminate those ticks and to not let them get in the way of what you are presenting. Nervous ticks can mean a variety of things, from vocal pauses to tapping the podium, from clicking a pen to shuffling your body or touching your face/hair. It’s okay to be nervous, but you don’t want to be obvious about your nervousness with the audience. When practicing your speech, be mindful of these ticks and make an effort to stop doing them.

Thinking on Your Feet

As a CEO and a respected person in your field or industry, you’ll probably have to answer questions throughout or after your presentation. Although you can take some time to prepare for obvious questions, you do need to be able to think on your feet to answer the unusual or the tough questions. You don’t want to look unintelligent or unprepared when answering a question. Being able to think on your feet will also help you in the rare case that you forget a line or a point in your presentation. Instead of wasting time looking foolish and fishing for words, you can keep right on going without anyone in the audience noticing you made a mistake.

Own the Material

If you’re giving a long speech or presentation, then asking yourself to memorize the entire thing word-for-word is a lot to ask. However, you don’t want to spend the entire time reading off slides, note cards, or pieces of paper. Find the middle ground by owning the material. Know what you are doing to talk about during the speech i.e. the arguments you’re making, the examples, relevant statistics, points of emphasis etc. By owning the material, you’ll appear prepared and polished without losing the audience. By owning the material, you’ll also be able to look extemporaneous and be in the moment to deliver a great speech or presentation.

If you’re going to memorize anything word-for-word, it should be the introduction and the conclusion. Those two parts of the speech are crucial in building audience connection, so it’s the two times during the speech that you want to look audience members in the eye and deliver the message to them personally.

Be Yourself

You want to connect with your audience, and the best way to do that is to be yourself. This is even more critical in a virtual setting, where the audience may only be able to hear you and not see you. There’s no one way you have to appear or to communicate when you give a speech or presentation as a CEO. If you like to entertain people, then include a joke or two. If you’re not a showy person, then you don’t have crack jokes and be over-the-top during your speech. The point of the speech or a presentation is to communicate the ideas that need to be communicated in that event, whether it’s a toast or a sales pitch or a thank you speech. Think about that idea and think about communicating the idea the best you can, rather than who you think you need to be on stage or who you think your audience expects you to be.

Communication Strategies for the Beverly Hills Virtual Office

Beverly Hills virtual officeWhen you have a virtual office or a series of virtual offices, one of toughest aspects to managing all of that is the communication. Sure, you have more options for staying in touch and its easier to stay in touch because you can do it from anywhere. However, this doesn’t mean that these communication strategies are more productive or the best way to do things with your company or your employees. Determining the best communication strategies for you will depend on the type of company you have, who you work with, and even where your virtual office is located. Here, we’re going to go over the best communication strategies for the Beverly Hills virtual office:

Understanding the Tools You Have

Yes, most business professionals know about email, text messaging, Skype, social media, online chat etc. They know that they exist and that they work. However, part of understanding what tools you have is knowing what’s out there as well as what’s best for which type of communication. For example, if several people are coordinating on a project, then email might not be the best form of communication. With email, revisions and latest versions can get mixed up, creating unnecessary hassle. For this, it might be better to use a project management tool like Basecamp or Zoho. These handle the messaging of email while having features to make tracking the progress of the project and keeping everyone on the same page much easier.

Another example is with meetings and conference calls. There are a variety of tools there, such as Google+ hangouts, GotoMeeting, and Skype. Google+ might be great if you need a low-cost version, or if your call is going to involve a lot of people, or if it’s vital that everyone sees everyone’s face. GotoMeeting is better suited for smaller parties, and maybe for more formal calls.

Don’t Forget Outgoing Communication

Beverly Hills virtual officesCommunication strategies aren’t just about keeping everything together within the company. It’s also about how you communicate with clients and market your company. It’s crucial that in your communication strategies that you are transparent about being a virtual office (which is particularly important for lawyers). Running several virtual offices in several different cities may make it easier to expand and to give remote employees a place to work, but that setup is very different from saying that you are a national company with offices all across the country. This shouldn’t be done especially if you don’t serve a national client base.

Keep Tabs without Overdoing It

When running a virtual company or having a virtual team, it’s crucial that you hire employees that you can trust and that you can manage these people without breathing down their necks all the time. Yet, if you don’t hold them accountable enough, then work isn’t going to get done on time and/or as well as possible. This is where tools like email, social media, and online chatting can come in. There are urgent enough communication methods that you should elicit responses, but it isn’t the same as daily phone calls or text messaging, which can get annoying. Also using project management tools, like the ones previously mentioned, might help in seeing what everyone is doing without having to ask questions directly everyday or every other day.

Communications strategies for virtual offices aren’t too different from the way they need to be now in the current business world, but they aren’t exactly the same. Sure, everyone is on the go and isn’t necessarily working from the office all the time, but with virtual offices there isn’t an office to go to and to hold people accountable through a direct conversation. It’s also about using the right technology in the right way.

Related Links:

Build a Virtual Company with Several Virtual Offices

How Virtual Offices Impact the Business World

Time Management Tips for Virtual Office Workers