"You Cannot Do It Alone." Help For CEO / C-Level Leaders
Updated: Jul 26, 2018
You already know that you need to grow your organization. But have you begun to realize that you need to grow with your organization?
"...in order to keep it from running over you, you may find yourself with a need for an increase in your own leadership capacity."
In other words, have the demands of shepherding your company actually succeeded in exposing some of your own deficiencies? Its a hard thing to admit it when you are leading the charge, but something in you - when you are honest with yourself - recognizes that you have need for leadership growth.
Hey! Congratulations! So do I!
This realization sometimes comes out in our thoughts like, "I need help with...,"and we can usually fill in the blank pretty easily.
When Out of Control Is Ok (But Not Sustainable)
Maybe you have grown a business to the growth stage, to the scale-up point, to the this-thing-is-snowballing-in-a-good-way moment. Congratulations! But careening snowballs are not gentle, and in order to keep it from running over you, you may find yourself with a need for an increase in your own leadership capacity.
I like the Biblical account of when Moses was already effectively leading the Israelites, but he became overwhelmed by the shear volume of leadership capacity required of him. People were standing around waiting for him to lead, and the "leadership pipeline" was getting clogged.
Then, along came Moses' father-in-law...this sounds like bad news...but it wasn't. Check it out:
“'What you are doing is not wise,' Moses’ father-in-law replied. 'You will surely wear yourself out, both you and these people with you. The task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone. Now, listen to me, and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you.'" - Exodus 18, New American Standard Bible*
Then, this sage-figure in Moses' life became like his Leadership Consultant and advised him on how to appoint trustworthy men to lead at different levels within the Israelite community. I know his father-in-law didn't have a white-board at the time to draw an organizational chart, but he was able to explain it pretty simplistically!
You know what? Moses got help.
It Becomes Too Much For One Person To Carry Alone
Yes, you are the person at the top... the buck stops with you... someone has to lead... you've got to take the bull by the horns. You know Maxwell's quote that "everything rises and falls on leadership," and you have led this thing to this point. I get it. High five.
But, when you find yourself saying, "I need help with...," what you are actually doing is demonstrating good leadership; and as one who knows your own limitations, be willing to marshal the help needed to get your organization and you to the next level.
Even if that help comes from your father-in-law.
So, What Does LGSG Do?
Lewis-Gray Solutions Group provides this type of CEO coaching/consulting through our C-Level Advisory Services. C-Level Advising at our company involves 4 steps: Watch, Listen, Simplify, and, then, Kick. Let me explain.
"I don't want some consultant coming in here and telling me what to do!"
The LGSG Advisor starts by staring at your company. Yep. Staring. And it can be awkward, but LGSG tries to bring chocolates. Staring at the accounting books. Staring at the board meeting while it happens. Staring at the parking lot while people take a lunch break. Staring at the computer screen while listening in on your conference call with the new client.
Maybe you have said something like, "I don't want some consultant coming in here and telling me what to do!" If so, then you'll love this part of our service, because the Advisor just asks questions and watches! And, you can pay us for it! But, we think you'll be glad you did.
In the Listening stage, the C-Level Advisor honestly listens to you. Jokes aside, this opportunity to listen to you as the CEO, the department head, or whatever your title is...this opportunity to listen to you is an honor.
This stage is really the core of the LGSG C-Level Advisory Service, because it affords the advisor the privilege of hearing you, of removing your isolation on interpersonal and business issues, and of supporting you. Business can be technical and strategic, but it is personal.
From this listening, the C-Level Advisor seeks to identify your areas of strength and weakness, and to formulate a plan to help you get to the next step.
This may sound cheesy, but it's true: You matter.
Ah, the sound of it!
It sounds good, because it is an art form, and it's not an easy one at that. The next task of the C-Level Advisor is to construct (in collaboration with you) a simplified set of organizational, strategic, tactical, and logistical way-points that need to be reached for your organization to thrive.
A significant aspect of this simplification process is helping you to put into words the axioms, the areas of focus that need to be repeated in your organization in order for leadership to be effective. This simplification is designed to make your life easier, because it is designed to make your leadership more accurate.
Simplification results in value through focus, value through organizational communication, and value through tactics-to-strategy alignment.
"The Kick" is the fun part, because it involves both a kick in the pants and a kick start! At this point, the C-Level Advisor can activate in a number of roles in order to kick things forward:
A Corporate Trainer for organizational focus to kick start the staff. This training can cover a wide range, and can include our Parallel Rails Training Intensive. But, it is important that staff be given the training that they need at the moment. Not a cookie-cutter format.
A CEO (that's you) Coach (that's me) to provide a needed kick in the pants to help you take the next step. Let's be honest, who else in your organization is actually going to "push" you out of your current leadership rut? It is always the LGSG C-Level Advisor's job to honor you, both privately and publicly, but it is also the Advisor's role to challenge you (remember Moses' father-in-law). We hope you'll thank us... later.
A Project Catalyst for a specific and important organizational project for which, based on your request, "outside" project leadership is warranted. Our C-Level Advisors are always training others, even when they are leading projects. So, someone in your staff should be able to take on the next project.
"I need help with..."
Over the past year or so, I have had the privilege of consulting for CEO of a growing digital marketing company in Eastern Europe. After getting to know me a bit last year, this CEO spoke up and said something like, "I need help with..." He let me know two areas in which his company was struggling. He was accurate in his assessment of those "growth areas," and it has been rewarding to watch the transformation, both of the CEO and of his company.
Lewis-Gray Solutions Group has a history of helping leaders who are stuck, who are overworked, or who need a total overhaul. If you are facing your own leadership capacity limitations, consider, "Why would I go about this alone?"
Feel free to confidentially reach out. I can see if there's a way to help you to offer fresh value as a leader at the C-Level!
Kind regards from the other side of the pond,
VP/Director, EMEA Representative,
LEWIS-GRAY SOLUTIONS GROUP, LC
* New American Standard Bible. La Habra, CA: Foundation Publications, for the Lockman Foundation, 1971.