Latest CEO Insights - Why Uber's CEO Needs a Coach, How To Make a Tough Career Decision & More!
Why Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Needs a Coach
By James Mills, Mentorship Coach & Associate Partner, Lighthouse International
Recently we featured the story of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and his need for help following some recent incidents at the multi-billion dollar startup. Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky offered his view on the current situation and made the recommendation for Travis Kalanick to have the humility to seek out mentorship and coaching. An article in Quartz gives some examples of other silicon valley executives who have benefitted from similar advice:
"Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, for example, significantly matured as a leader once he hired an executive coach and Sheryl Sandberg joined the company from Google as COO. Zuckerberg has also cited the grounding influence of his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, in the same way Sandberg spoke of her late husband Dave Goldberg."
The chairman of Alphabet (Google's parent company), Eric Schmidt, described himself as a headstrong leader who thought he knew best, but this view of himself changed after working with the late Bill Campbell, Silicon Valley’s legendary executive coach. Eric Schmidt expressed the important role that a coach plays in a leader's life:
"[we leaders are] so confident of ourselves that we can’t imagine someone helping us to be better! If so, this is a fallacy. As a business leader, you need a coach."
Other Silicon Valley legends who have sought help from executive coaches include Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Mentors, coaches and other trusted advisors are a key component of any leader's support network because they bring objectivity and help leaders to stay grounded. Here's the article on Quartz.
Build-A-Bear Workshop CEO Sharon Price John Reveals How To Make Tough Career Decisions
The CEO of Build-A-Bear Workshop, Sharon Price John, has offered some words of wisdom when it comes to making tough career decisions. She was considering leaving a job to pursue a new career opportunity but she found that the advice from others was conflicting and contradictory. It was from this situation that she learnt how to make effective decisions and her lesson was shared in an article by Fortune:
"When I’m facing a difficult circumstance or decision, I try to give myself some quiet time to listen to my conscience before I make the final call. In the end, as much as everyone around you cares, you have to own your decisions, especially the tough ones, so it’s important that you are at peace with them."
Through this Sharon Price John highlights the important role that conscience plays when making decisions. The more we take time and space to really examine how we feel about our current situation and the opportunities we have in front of us, the more we will be able to make decisions in line with our values.
Hobbs CEO Meg Lustman Offers Advice For Anyone Looking To Take a Career Break
The CEO of Hobbs, the female clothing company, Meg Lustman, has offered her advice to anyone ambitious looking to take time out of their career... especially those looking to use this time to raise children.
"A career break might stall your career but it won’t harm it. Most of us are going to be working until we’re 100; my view is that if there are 10 or 15 years where I’m not progressing at the same speed as my male counterparts, I can live with that.
I can’t pretend it has been straightforward... You make compromises and you’re constantly juggling. I’ve invested in a lot of support, from my cleaner to my PA. And our nanny is still with us. I call her my wife. She helps me be the person I want to be."
What Ms Lustman is highlighting here is that it is possible to succeed in both your life and career when you decide what it is you want to achieve in both. She also hits home the importance of having the right people around us, especially if we want to succeed. No one gets far trying to do everything themselves!