If you’re in a Senior Leadership Team, your CEO should welcome your contribution to the business at large.
But you may find that contribution isn’t always welcome. Here are the two key reasons I’ve seen this happen.
1) The CEO is a closed book and thinks they have all the answers. Growth opportunity is the CEO’s.
2) You’re not on top of your own portfolio, and haven’t earned the right to talk about the rest of the business. Growth opportunity is yours.
What would you want from members of your Senior Leadership Team?
Two key aspects:
1) \*True\* ownership of their area of direct responsibility;
2) An ability to join the dots outside of that area, see how it fits into the overall business, and develop their capability to operate across the company.
The approach I take with our Build on Purpose methodology directly addresses both. But what is less talked about is some of the human aspects between these two.
Specifically, that the same suggestion made by 2 different members of the SLT may land very differently with the CEO.
Sometimes it is a perception issue relating to diversity – aka someone being taken less seriously because they’re female, or black, or some other irrelevant reason. That’s pernicious and has to be tackled.
But other times it’s because one person raising it has earned credibility with the CEO because they’ve delivered and demonstrated ownership of their own function, while the other isn’t demonstrating that level of ownership.
If you don’t own your own responsibilities, then at best you won’t be taken seriously when you raise concerns about other areas of the business, and at worst, it will be taken as an exercise either in finger-pointing or in deflecting from your own performance.
So if you’re in an SLT, you \*should\* always be looking to see how to bring value across the whole organisation, and input to overall business strategy and execution. But make sure you’re on top of your own portfolio to make that contribution effective.
How we can support you
- Join us on a workshop on how to scale your company; create time to focus on the bigger picture; and keep values and purpose core to your company. For max 5 CEOs of companies with revenues between £1.5m and £15m.
- Subscribe to our weekly Build on Purpose newsletter. Every Saturday morning, we'll send you a short focussed read on a specific topic of how to lead a company that values both profit and purpose.
- Talk to us to explore how we can help you scale your company in the direction you want to take it.