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The Systemic CEO Program

An intensive program for growth-minded CEOs to master vital skills, overcome challenges, and optimise teams. Apply practical learnings to elevate your leadership and business.


A compelling, elevated offering for the CEO who seeks to build a sophisticated CEO-specific skill set

Overcoming challenges

CEO’s work in a highly complex environment and face challenges that are increasingly difficult to navigate. The position requires a skill-set of its own that is fit-for-purpose and meeting the needs of modern business conditions.

Acquiring this skill set is not easy. The developmental path of a CEO is ‘always-on’ as it must adjust to emerging complexities in the business landscape. 

Working across a wide range of CEOs over the past decade, the Lockstep CEO-specific IP has matured and become increasingly more accurate to the needs of the high-performing CEO. Our process is rigorous, frameworks are elegant and easily understood, and applied learning is done in a compelling, interesting way.

Applied learning

The Higher Order CEO Program takes place over 8 weeks and requires 90 minutes of a CEO’s time per week. The program has two parts: teaching CEO-specific skills; the CEO applying these learnings to the business.

After completing the Higher Order CEO Program, CEO’s are able to more confidently navigate the complex business landscape. They have acquired vital CEO-specific skills and successfully applied the learnings to their organisation, resulting in a more efficient management team, improved decision-making, and accelerated business growth. The CEO’s renewed leadership and adaptability have positioned the company to thrive in today’s rapidly evolving market.


The Systemic CEO Program
follows a fine-honed sequence:

What you believe ‘business’ to be determines what is possible to accomplish as a CEO. This module explores your shaping influences and resets any limiting assumptions that might be in place.

System leadership is a powerful but sophisticated form of leadership that requires understanding a set of core frameworks and approaches. This module unpacks elegant methodologies that will inform your new leadership practice.

The life force within a business materially affects what a business can be, and what it can achieve. Life force is a precious commodity that is easily whittled away in today’s tough business condition. By codifying what matters to the CEO, and thus the business, a new, fresh vitality is unlocked with which to build a business.

To lead a business exceptionally, a CEO needs a deep understanding of the terrain they’re working in. This is called ‘system intimacy’ and building such intimacy gives the CEO a deep and nuanced understanding of the internal patterns of the business they lead. This perspective is of high value and creates leadership possibilities that are otherwise impossible to access.

CEOs have a profound influence on a business – far more so than is recognised. It is inevitable that all aspects of a CEO – the good, the bad and the ugly – show up in the business. Understanding these influences enable the CEO to maximise their upside impact, and minimise their blindspots.

The surest and shortest route to exceptional CEO performance is the building of CEO ‘craft’. Craft raises the bar for CEOs, setting new standards of expression, creativity, cunning and total business performance. Craft is usually not reserved for leadership – this module paves a way to unlock new CEO possibilities by way of the passion, care, and near-obsession that accompanies any craft.

Stand-out CEOship requires clear intention and a well considered game-plan in the form of a CEO Strategy: one place where the total contribution is considered, named and plotted. This module fleshed out a CEO Strategy, providing the CEO with a clear plan to bring their fully-expressed CEO skills to life.

Enduringly excellent CEOship requires always-on attention. Such sustained attention can only be achieved through a deliberate practice that allocated the appropriate amount of attention, time and energy to the work of a CEO. Such a practice requires sculpting and shaping over time – constant adjustments toward optimal CEO performance.


What our clients say

Most of my previous experience with leadership coaches has been underwhelming: theoretical models, loose deliverables, trite commentary, and superficial analysis. Rowan is the absolute antithesis of this and the impact is fast, measurable and deep. The work is often hard but pushes people through doors very quickly.
Jonty Fisher
What the hell should a CEO focus their energy on? It's a question I grappled with for years as our company and its demands on me began to grow. Rowan has helped me figure some of this stuff out and point me in the right direction.
Styli Charalambous
I have had the privilege of being informed and inspired by Rowan over the past few years. His prompts, processes, and conversations are always deeply valuable, intellectual, and practical. His IP is unequaled, but his humanity and his deep belief that being a CEO can be joyful, creative, and energising - and not just something to be endured - is very unique and useful.
Kevin Liebenberg
Rowan has a passion to see CEO's thrive and not merely survive. He has an in-depth understanding of the complexity and demand of the role of CEO'ship and then takes it to the next level by understanding you in the role as CEO. As an entrepreneur and CEO, the input and guidance I have received from him have been invaluable and at times a lifeline. I highly recommend the CEO project.
Philippa Geard
My journey with Rowan has been life-changing and continues to be life-changing. Not only for my CEO work but as a person too. Every time I’ve sat around a table with Rowan and my CEO peers, I feel challenged and inspired. Somehow the topics always hit the right spot at a time I need it.
Carey van Vlaanderen

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Ready to
work together?

Our preferred way of meeting you is through a Zoom call which will allow us to understand the nuances of your request. If you’d prefer to use the form, that will work too. We’ll research your business before we respond.


Frequently asked questions

High-value learnings are created immediately by way of this program. Due to the applied-learning nature of the engagement, immediately business value is created.

The 90-minute per week requirement is not onerous and is planned in advance so that time is cordoned off. CEO’s, if anything, have more energy, not less, for their CEO work on account of this program.

Leaders around the CEO benefit directly from the CEO’s better quality game plan.

Typically, we see broad and profound cross-business improvements take place on account of the CEO putting effort into their development. Business performance, and thus value creation, typically covers this investment by multiples.


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