David Strittmatter

Transforming into a great CEO – my first coaching sessions

Dear friend,

Let’s be honest: I suck. Not in an absolute sense. But compared to the person I’ll be in 5-10 years, I suck as the CEO of my startup ICODOS.

Today, I’m the very right person for this job. But to maintain this position, I’ve to learn a lot. And I’ve to learn from the best.

So, I got 3 coaches for my key responsibilities: Hiring, fundraising, and business development.

I seek their advice not because I’m not good enough but because they will help me be even better. They will facilitate my journey towards being the best version of myself, contributing to ICODOS’ success.

They have already made the learnings so I don’t have to make them. They provide insights, strategies, and best practices to help me to navigate challenges and accelerate growth.

What I promise myself to obtain from the coaching, too:

  • Accountability: A coach holds me accountable to my goals and action items determined in each session, ensuring that I’m staying on track and pushing me to meet or exceed my benchmarks.
  • Emotional support: The pressure at the top can be intense. A coach can act as a sounding board, providing emotional support and strategies for dealing with difficult situations, e.g., conflicts within my founding team.
  • Objective perspective: As a CEO, it can be challenging to receive honest, unfiltered feedback. A coach offers a third-party perspective that’s unbiased, helping me see things that I might miss.

The first sessions were already a great success. The insights gained, action items determined, and decisions made will have a significant positive impact on ICODOS.

For instance (there are many more), …

  • I much better understand the investment process of venture capital funds; thus, I will have more success in finding the right lead investor
  • I received great feedback on our internal prioritization processes; thus, I’m more confident pushing these processes and know how to push them better (context > goals)
  • I conduct another market analysis for high-margin use cases for methanol; thus, I will be able to find additional off-takers.

What I learned during these first sessions on how to be optimally coached:

  • Being open and receptive: A coach may challenge your beliefs or strategies, suggesting alternate ways to achieve your goals. It’s important to be receptive to these new perspectives, even if they initially seem uncomfortable or unfamiliar.
  • Clarifying your goals: Start by thinking broadly about what you want. Then, narrow it down to specific goals. For the follow-up session, I’ll develop specific goals and align them with my coaches.
  • Engaging in the coaching process: Active participation is key to getting the most out of the coaching process. This goes beyond simply showing up to sessions. It includes engaging deeply in the conversations: asking questions, seeking feedback, and – most importantly – applying the learnings.

Have you ever considered engaging a coach?

All the best to you and yours,


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