CEO Tests For the Consultant – How to Pass Them

Do you know that CEO’s will test you? Do you know what those tests are? Did you even know these tests exist? They always come.

The tests will come, they always do and you have to be ready for them and anticipate them and pass them.
The tests come in many forms, but always get at the heart of the question in the CEO’s mind…”can this person help me with my challenges and can I trust them to keep my best interests in mind?”

To pass these tests and answer the questions about you in the CEO’s mind, you will need to get into the heart, mind and soul of the CEO, in the space and place, where you are the trusted advisor, with peer level respect. You need to show them, the better part of themselves, in you!

If you don’t pass the tests, you won’t get consensus or agreement. If you are not aware of these tests and when it is happening, you can — unconsciously — fail them and be wondering why you didn’t get the engagement. Often, the CEO won’t even tell you the truth because they don’t want to embarrass you. Often they will give another reason for either not moving forward or another reason for why they selected another consultant.

Ultimately, they have to believe you and believe in you, that you are the obvious expert to solve their problems.

Another more subtle result of a consultant failing the test of a CEO is to get “dropped” down to speak to an Operational Manager, instead of continuing the relationship with the CEO. This is a signal, a sign, you are not making the right connections with the CEO and have in effect been determined by the CEO to not be the right person to be his or her trusted advisor in helping them through their issues and problems.

All the tests normally boil down to a few key things. The CEO will test you to find out if they can trust you to help them deliver upon results and keep THEIR best interests in mind. Passing these tests and getting into that space and place with them is crucial to being chosen to work together in the future.

John Butler is a noted author, public speaker, business advisor and consultant to consultants’, with over 25 years of experience.