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The best advice from a top global CEO

Ever wonder what the best advice today's top execs' ever received? And, if it really was as great advice as it was, what was that advice?

We found out what Google's CEO Eric Schmidt's best advice ever was when he came to Google.
It hire a business coach.

A simple piece of advice that was dismissed at first, actually, turned out to be the best advice Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO of Google ever got.

When Fortune Magazine interviewed 22 business leaders asking for the best advice they ever received for their feature story, Schmidt said the best advice he ever got was to hire a coach. This came from John Doerr and was instantly discarded by Schmidt who wondered how a coach will counsel him -an experienced CEO, on how to work better at his craft. After all, he was successful and wasn't doing anything wrong.

Most business owners fall into this trap and fail to reach their full potential owing to this false notion about what a coach really does.

As Schmidt realised later, "the coach doesn't have to play the sport as well as you do. They have to watch you and get you to be your best," he told Fortune magazine.

He further adds how a coach in the business context is not a "repetitious" coach and simply looks at the business problem with a fresh pair of eyes, describes it and then discusses how to approach it.

By dispelling the common misconception and realising what a coach really does, Schmidt brought Bill Campbell in as a coach.

Campbell has since helped Schmidt take the long view in many complex business situations - so much so that Schmidt today views Doerr's advice as the best he ever got.

So what's the best advice you ever got for your business?

Does your business need a fresh, outside perspective?

Added: 1st November 2010


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