How A Board Of Directors Can Help Maximize CEO Perfomance
Updated: Jul 27, 2018
If you are a member of a corporate or organizational board, the personal success of the CEO should be a top priority.
I Though This Was About Shareholder Value, Not Babysitting.
Let me go ahead and address what you might be thinking. Yes, maximizing shareholder value is a big thing. That's not the point here. The point is that CEO's need the support of their board for both personal and professional development. If your top-producing profit machine is your CEO, then would it not make sense to make sure that the CEO machine is functioning, both personally and professionally, in top form?
OK, What Do You Propose?
CEO's can be hired, fired, and retired. But let me add another option in case all this rhyming is making you...tired. CEO's can be inspired! When was the last time that leader of the company or org for which you are tasked with direction... when was the last time that leader was inspired by actionable, tangible, and accessible help from someone he or she respects?
1. A C-Level Learner Sets The Tone
Caring for the CEO can mean investing in professional or personal training for the CEO. And, if the top dog is not too cool for school, then others are more likely to study, too. In other words, when the CEO is a learner - is someone who has the courage to receive help - then the culture of the company is impacted.
I still look back on some of my most influential mentors (who are way braver than I in the way that they received outside coaching). From marriage counseling to corporate training, these mentors of mine were in a routine of getting trained.
2. Quality CEO Consulting Can Help Maximize CEO Capacity
No CEO is "that good." Seriously. No consultant is that good, either, but when you have someone tasked with maximizing the CEO, then something greater than the sum of the two parties seems to occur.
I've recently had the privilege of consulting for an Eastern European CEO who is really good at his job. But, he admittedly needed some help with his team and processes.
You know what? As a consultant, I'm honestly not as good as he is at doing his job. But I have been able to work out some dents in his own armor and in his company in order to help maximize him as a leader.
A good CEO consultant should maximize the leader. You might see stakeholder and shareholder value follow suit.
3. Micromanagement May Be Back In Style!
These days "micromanagement" is a bad word, but consider that "bankruptcy" is worse. If you don't want to call it micromanagement, then maybe you can call it rolling up your shirt sleeves and getting your hands dirty. That sounds better!
Often a CEO is faced with leading a company that is exhibiting a costly dissonance between how the workers go about their daily tasks and what the company actually wants to do. If those two aren't aligned, then the organization is fundamentally confused. It is difficult to isolate this type of dissonance, and the CEO of the company may need some outside help.
I watched a fictitious show where a Navy SEAL was depicted saying something like, "Amateurs talk about tactics." It was as if his character was too cool for school. I may not be very cool, but I don't agree with him.
Tactics are "how" you actually implement your strategy. Strategy is your big "what." In other words, strategy is simply "What do we want to do?" Tactics are how you go about doing your Strategy. This issue of tactics-to-strategy alignment is so important that a good board should help the CEO watch for a disjointed implementation of actual work. This help can come from the board, and/or from outside expertise.
Got It. What's Your Angle?
LGSG does what we've discussed above. A LGSG consultant can work to maximize your CEO. From tactics-to-strategy alignment to leadership coaching to team training, LGSG offers a process for improvement of your CEO and of C-Level leadership.
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or need some help taking the next step.
Kind regards from the other side of the pond,
VP/Director, EMEA Representative,
Lewis-Gray Solutions Group, LC