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Advisor, Coach, Or Consultant?

23 October 2007 No Comment

Sometimes when people hear about us they ask if what we do is executive coaching since there is no category in their brain for “CEO Advisor”. Even though the terms are used interchangeably there are distinctions between what each role entails.

As CEO Advisors we work with the person on the company, whereas a coach works on the person. A consultant has specific expertise used to solve well defined problems.

What makes us special is that all of our CEO Advisory Partners have that ‘been there, done that’ real world experience. For someone who wants to grow their company that kind of experience can be valuable if tailored to their own situation. The combination of that background plus a well-developed methodology and a certain kind of working relationship becomes an experience accelerator.

A few points that highlight the differences of each:

The CEO Advisor

  1. Has relevant personal experience for what you want to do – take your company to the next level – having already done it more than once
  2. Sets agenda collaboratively with you and that helps guide you along that path, working together over time as your situation evolves
  3. Has a process robust enough to begin wherever you have the most need and making sure to address those issues you might not know are coming
  4. Contributes ideas and introductions to other experts, integrating strategic thinking and tactical implementation
  5. Helps you address any and all aspects of your situation, both business (operations) and personal (ownership)

A Coach

  1. Doesn’t necessarily know your field
  2. Focuses primarily on personal issues – soft skills, behaviours affecting work, accountability, decision making, etc.
  3. Refrains from giving any answers, believing the right questions will elicit them from you
  4. Addresses only individual activities and interactions

A Consultant

  1. Has specialized expertise used with project-based activity
  2. Brought in to find and implement a solution to a well-defined problem
  3. Needs to be directed towards scope and desired end state
  4. Works on business issues only

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