I recently read a great quote:

“If you want to change things in your life, you’ve got to change things in your life.”

I’ve also seen a similar quote that states: “If you want to change things in your business, you’ve got to change things in your business.”

What if these two quotes are related? As a CEO mentor I’m here to tell you that, not only are they related, they are inextricably linked.

I’m a long time entrepreneur and business coach who has recently morphed into CEO mentoring. I’ve coached many businesses around the world, over many years, and whilst I’ve had many successes, I’ve had a few failures along the way. I’ve reached a point with some clients when a CEO will say “we’re just not getting the results from the business coaching that I expected.”  We’ve usually parted on good terms, but I’ve always been left with a recurring feeling that the work was somehow unfinished.

So how does this relate to the two quotations above?

What I’ve realised is that most of the situations where results were not as expected, coincided with those where a CEO wanted to effect change in the business but not in themselves.

As a CEO you usually have certain skills, knowledge and experience. Most CEOs are quite prepared to strengthen these areas and will willingly accept relevant input from a coach.

As a CEO what you also have are beliefs, assumptions and prejudices. How aware of these are you? And how prepared are you to look in the mirror of awareness?

In this regard CEOs are no different from every other individual. From birth we have had cultural influences and throughout life we acquire attitudes and opinions in respect of almost everything that impacts upon us.

We are not always comfortable when these long held positions are challenged.

As a CEO mentor I’m here to tell you that you must challenge your beliefs, you must closely examine your assumptions and you must rid yourself of inappropriate prejudices.

Your family, your colleagues and your business will benefit from you having the personal strength to recognise and then change those things in yourself which are no longer serving you well.

When you show vulnerability and a willingness to shift, you give the business and everyone in it the right to shift. You open up the space for new thinking, new approaches and new ways of behaving.

I’ve mentioned before the video interview with Rick Gibson the Managing Director of HOTventures where he says that one of their key investment criteria is whether or not the CEO is coachable. In other words, is the CEO open to personal change and growth?

I now firmly believe that my business coaching ‘failures’ were, in most cases, due to a lack of focus on the importance of delivering material change in the thinking of the CEOs. Shifting CEO thinking is often the key to improving business performance.

When did you last closely examine your long held beliefs, your attitudes and your level of personal awareness?

My closing question for you is:

“Who is helping you change you?”