An Interview with Gary Lockwood

Seasoned Coach, Mentor & Founder of CEO Coaching

Gary Lockwood

Gary Lockwood is the creator of CEO Coaching, Vistage, among others. He specializes in helping Chief Executives, entrepreneurs and business professionals achieve breakthroughs in their business. He prefers to work with positive- thinking, forward-looking, success-oriented people who run small-to-mid-size companies.

In this interview, Gary shares his entrepreneurial journey and how he helped many CEOs achieve growth in their own respective companies. Despite his busy life, he sees to it that he is a good role model to his sons, grandchildren, and of course, clients. Find out what more he can teach you in the following paragraphs. Don’t forget to connect with him on Twitter!


How did you get started as an entrepreneur? When did you first get bit by the entrepreneurial bug?

I first got interested in being an entrepreneur in the early 1980s while I was in the banking software business. I attended lots of seminars and workshops and noticed that the person on stage seemed to be having lots of fun and making lots of money. So, I quit my job, bought a franchise, and started a seminar company, teaching businessespeople how to manage their priorities more effectively.


What does Vistage do that makes it better than the rest? In other words, what is your competitive advantage and how did you find it?

Vistage is only one of the services I offer. My primary service is CEO Coaching. In other words, helping people who run companies to discover ways to grow their business, make more money and have more fun. My advantage is that I’ve worked with over 200 CEOs for over 30 years and have an average engagement of more than seven years. Mreils are at


What does a typical day look like for you? Is there something you make a point to do each day?

A typical day includes one-on-one appointments with 2-3 CEOs. In these one-on-one appointments, we are exploring ways to get better results from the business, long-term and short. I make it a point every day to have a great breakfast so I have energy to give to my clients.


What is the biggest business mistake that taught you a powerful lesson? Would you mind sharing how it made you the person you are today?

One of the biggest mistakes (there have been many) was hanging on to toxic clients too long because I thought I needed the money. I have learned that I am happier and more productive when I’m working with people whom I like and who resonate with me.


When times get tough, what would you say motivates you to keep going? To not hit the snooze button and to keep fighting for your goals.

To a great extant, it’s my desire to be as good a role model as I can be for my sons and my grandchildren (and my clients).


What trait would you consider made you the best person and professional you are today?


What are the top 3 success tips that you would give anyone starting a business in California?

Pay most attention to Cash, People and Processes.


Are you using any apps that help you stay on track from day-to day?

Quite a few. Dropbox, Google Apps, Things, 1Password, Tripit, Notability.


What are your goals for the next 5 years?

Mostly to strengthen the balance between work, leisure and family.


What advice would you give to our readers who want to start a business in California today? Where should they start?

Find a mentor or coach and a peer group of other entrepreneurs to help you see what you can’t see and who can challenge your thinking.


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About Ryan James

Half hardworking hermit, half avid adventurer, Ryan founded Startup Savant to simplify entrepreneurship and pay it forward by donating a portion of all revenue to support children's education via