Many company leaders are seeking a business mentor, CEO coach or strategy advisor to assist them.  Is there a difference between these roles?  

I think so. 

mentor has already achieved something you want to emulate or replicate yourself.  You seek a mentor for wisdom and experience. Someone who is not, or has not been there, will not be effective as a mentor.

coach helps you organize your thoughts and to develop and execute your plan. You seek a coach for clarity and accountability. Someone who doesn’t listen, in favor of giving advice or offering solutions, will be limited as a coach.

An advisor has a functional or technical expertise, such as manufacturing, retail or distribution.   You seek an advisor when you need expertise to solve a specific problem.  Someone who does not possess specific expertise about your problem won't be helpful as an advisor.

A person hired for one role, say as a coach, may also be qualified to assist you as a mentor or advisor within their area of expertise.  And this is useful because they already know how you think and what you expect.  On the contrary, it is also important to be aware when the person is being asked to serve beyond their qualifications, such as asking a technical expert to coach in general business.  

coach

“Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong – these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.”
-Winston Churchill


I’ve found the leaders who have chosen to work with me are first seeking a consigliere, a counselor.  Someone loyal and trustworthy. Someone confidential and discreet.   Someone who listens and seeks to understand.  Someone who speaks objective truth without judgment.  And if I qualify I can offer further assistance as:

  • I am an effective mentor for a leader whose business is stuck or those struggling with the transition from individual to team leadership.
  • I am an effective coach who understands how lonely it can be at the top and who wants to examine their own thoughts and follow through by working on their business, not just in it.
  • I am an effective advisor for new product creation, expanding professional services, and improving client engagement.
Keith Okano CEO Coach and Mentor

Perhaps it would help to talk.

Darrell Haun - Solarcraft, Inc.

Darrell Haun

Solarcraft, Inc.: CEO

One thing I wish I had figured out a long time ago was the value of having a coach. Like him or no, Tom Brady, one of the best quarterbacks in football history, has a coach. I currently utilize about four coaches and one of the best I’ve seen is Keith Okano.
Keith and I have been working together for about six months. He has a way of asking great questions that get my mind thinking in the right direction which then leads to me asking him great questions. He is not afraid to tell me when he disagrees with what I’m doing – which is what I need.
I am proud to recommend Keith as a business coach. Let him inspire you the way he has me.

lisa

Lisa Anhaiser

LBL Event Rentals: Owner

Some people look at coaching as a luxury but I truly believe it is a necessity for the Owners of businesses of any size. As owners, it is easy to get in your own head and lose focus of goals. Keith has helped get my financials dashboard in order, understand the worth of my business and my value in the business equation. I am taking the steps to become an owner instead of being an operator.
As a small business, I rely on my mentor as a sounding board. Insight from an outside party helps give, ideas as well as problems, perspective, create solutions and define goals. The value of a good Mentor/Coach goes beyond the initial monetary cost and translates directly to the bottom line.

Dan Williams

Mosaic Consulting: Owner

“I began consulting with Keith when I was at a critical phase in my leadership role. I spent so much of my time working on client projects that I was not giving my position as company President the attention it needed. When I reached out to Keith I was struck by his desire to understand and absorb everything about my company that he could. With that clarity, he provided insight and ideas that I would have missed on my own. As a result, I made some tough (but good) choices for the business, and have taken important steps to be a strategic leader with a vision for better management and growth. He's a great resource when external wisdom is needed. You'd be smart to work with him.”

chris-denny-june-17-bust-circle

Chris Denny

Lead Optimize, LLC: Owner

“Keith drives confidence and action. His combination of experience-based advice and mastery of developing financial and strategic models to drive business decisions and action are specifically what helped me most. Keith helped boost my confidence in making the right decisions to take my business to the next stage of growth. Any small or medium business owner or leader should give him a call. I'm so glad I met him.”

jaymiller

Jay Miller

Sugar Land Skeeters Baseball Club: President

"It is a true pleasure to highly recommend Keith Okano! Keith is a true professional in the way he goes about his business. I have sat in on a few meetings on Leadership which he has directed. I took many notes and his people skills are outstanding. He is one of those guys when you meet him you feel like you have known him forever. Once again it is an honor to recommend Keith in whatever venture he is involved in." 

debbie elder

Debbie Elder

Shady Oak Primary School: Owner and Director

"Keith Okano is a true business person's coach. If you are interested in taking your business to the next level, it is time to invest in yourself and hire Keith! His strategies and methodologies are uniquely designed for you and tailored to meet your specific growth plan. As the facilitator of Silver Fox CEO Roundtable discussions Keith allows the meetings to flow and gently keeps us on track and incredibly productive. Do yourself a favor and contact Keith now to see how he can serve your needs."