Articles written by our coaches appear in prestigious titles.
We are also asked to contribute to features on TV.

Articles written by our coaches appear in prestigious titles.
We are also asked to contribute to features on TV.

John Ainley: The loneliness of the CEO, and the dangers for their businesses

Midweek view: Many CEOs ‘don’t know what they don’t know’ and are struggling without the guidance of experienced leaders.

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Briefing companies on stress related suicide

Philip Goldman of The Alexander Partnership is advising companies on stress and its impact on performance.

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Alexander appoints new Chair, CEO and Partners

Increased demand for senior level coaching prompts the UK’s leading coaching firm to grow and appoint new Chair, CEO and Partners.

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Team success depends on trust and strong relationships… in business & in politics

If there is one thing that the meltdown of the UK’s political parties in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum has revealed, it is the apparent absence of trust and strong relationships at the heart of the political establishment. (more…)

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Creating An Olympic Mindset

How business leaders can harness the mental approach used by Olympians to transform their own (and their organisation’s) performance.

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Top ten ways for a CEO to stay connected

Knowing what’s really happening on the ‘shop floor’ is a critical requirement for every leader but modern office life often isolates CEOs from the gossip or chat that provides a vital link to the workforce and the business’s clients.

The CEO merry-go-round working life of office, boardroom, and scheduled meetings can mean CEOs unintentionally cut themselves off from the very communications channels that provide regular temperature checks on anything from employees’ views on pay and conditions to how clients are responding to a new product launch.

Ways to keep in touch
So how does the modern CEO keep in touch? I’ve pooled the collective knowledge of my fellow partners at The Alexander Partnership to suggest ten ways to help prevent the CEO falling into splendid isolation.

  1. Take a LBWA
    Not the catchiest of acronyms admittedly but ‘Leadership By Wandering Around’ can be surprisingly effective. The best leaders are a source of energy and inspiration for their business and they should schedule regular time with frontline staff, customers and suppliers.Critically though, they should also ensure they have unscheduled time – such as turning up unannounced at meetings where they’re not expected and taking regular turns around the office floors to make sure they develop a ‘warts and all’ view of what’s really going on.
  2. Form a Praetorian guard
    Create a small band of trusted individuals who a CEO can trust will tell them the unvarnished truth. If it worked for Roman emperors…
  3. Host a regular Question Time
    Employees should have regular access to the CEO and the chance to ask questions. This can be done online, by phone, or face to face at regular town hall meetings.
  4. Have lunch in the office cafe/canteen
    Again, it’s an impromptu opportunity for the CEO to sit with random employees and hear what they have to say.
  5. Attend social events
    CEOs attending work socials have the opportunity to ‘work the room’ and maximise their chances of picking up useful insight (as long as they leave early to allow people to relax).
  6. Listen to the Millennials
    Choosing a younger member of staff to provide reverse mentoring can help a CEO address critical knowledge gaps when it comes to insight on new technology and new ways of working, as well as picking up on useful company gossip.
  7. Invest in customer and employee insight
    There is no harm in investing some time and money in a more formalised process for harvesting employee and client views. Using net promoter scores to measure customer satisfaction and employee engagement can be particularly valuable.
  8. Listen to the exit interview
    Why an employee leaves an organisation can be hugely insightful. CEOs should have ready access to the results from exit interviews.
  9. Blog it
    The CEO can use the company intranet to share their thoughts and, most importantly, to encourage feedback on particular initiatives.
  10. Use social media
    Sites like Glassdoor, LinkedIn or Facebook can provide valuable insight as to how employees really feel about the organisation they’re working for or have left.

These are some of our suggestions for ways a CEO can stay connected. If you’re a CEO or in senior management, what’s helped you stay in touch with the business you lead?

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For insightful comment on executive coaching, leadership and culture development from our coaches, please call 0845 643 0824 or email media@thealexanderpartnership.com.

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  • ″I would highly recommend him as a coach to others in leadership roles.″ Senior Partner & MD, The Boston Consulting Group
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  • ″He combines a wealth of practical business experience with a deep insight into human behaviour.″ Chairman, Performance Consultants International
  • ″He is very skilled at asking questions so that I examine all possible options.″ CEO, The Post Office
  • ″We were able to work through some tough issues in an extremely challenging business environment.″ CEO, Muller UK
  • ″He has helped inspire and motivate me and my team to a level I would once not have believed possible.″ HR Director, Whitbread Restaurants
  • ″No wonder so many top leaders worldwide seek his counsel.″ Chairman, Peak Inc
  • ″He is a highly effective coach and is able to help me work through critical and sensitive issues.″ Senior Partner & MD, The Boston Consulting Group
  • ″Probably the best event ever, a masterclass.″ Meyler Campbell ‘Fishbowl’ Attendee
  • ″Alexander has been an enormous support to me in developing our leadership capabilities.″ Chief Executive, Railway Children
  • ″He has an unflappable common sense, practical business experience and thoughtful insight.″ Chairman, PZ Cussons PLC
  • ″You have made a huge difference to my landing at GSK this year.″ President Consumer Healthcare Worldwide, GSK
  • ″A great foundation from which we can set goals for achieving our dreams with enthusiasm.″ MD, GoodBrand & Co
  • ″I would highly recommend him as a coach to others in leadership roles.″ Senior Partner & MD, The Boston Consulting Group
  • ″You have played a vital role in helping us on our journey towards becoming a truly world-class organisation.″ President RDQ, Jacobs Douwe Egberts
  • ″Highly supportive coaching, advice and challenge – very focused on my specific needs.″ CEO, South West Trains
  • ″I have rediscovered my confidence and have taken on challenges that I wouldn’t have thought I could deliver on.″ IT DIrector, Muller UK
  • ″I’m excited about the big ideas we identified for each of us.″ MD, GoodBrand & Co
  • ″He combines a wealth of practical business experience with a deep insight into human behaviour.″ Chairman, Performance Consultants International
  • ″He is very skilled at asking questions so that I examine all possible options.″ CEO, The Post Office
  • ″We were able to work through some tough issues in an extremely challenging business environment.″ CEO, Muller UK
  • ″He has helped inspire and motivate me and my team to a level I would once not have believed possible.″ HR Director, Whitbread Restaurants