Do you speak first or last? – Mark MacLeod

September 21, 2020 - Mark MacLeod

Do you speak first or last?

The CEO is the single most important person in a company. Founding CEOs, in particular, have more knowledge, context & passion than anyone else. There is also a very strong correlation between founder/ CEO success and company outcome. This is why I coach CEOs.

With all this importance, knowledge, context & passion, it can be tempting for CEOs to dominate every important conversation and make all the biggest decisions. I call this persona the Hero CEO.

While there are times when the CEO needs to be the hero, these should be few and far between. If the CEO is the only person making all the most important calls, there are two serious consequences coming from this:

The CEO will burn out over time and be unable to scale this dependency on her as the company grows

Senior leaders will become less engaged as they see that the CEO is driving the agenda.

In Japan, the most senior person in a meeting will typically speak last and say the fewest words. It is a sign of seniority and respect. This approach fosters conversation and engagement from others in the meeting. It also enables the leader to see his or team members in action. To see how they think, interact and lead.

If you swoop into a meeting and make an important call, you will lose the potential input and creativity of the other attendees.

Try speaking last in your meetings. And for many, try not speaking at all – by not even showing up. Empower your team members fully and take the time upfront to think through which topics and decisions require your input and which do not.

Questions to consider

What is my typical role in meetings? Do I come in and dominate? Do I lead with my take on the topic?

What more can I do to foster creativity, engagement and input from my senior leadership team?

What topics/ meetings can I leave exclusively to my leadership team and not attend directly?

Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

Your journey is never done

Sign up to my newsletter and join an inspired community of leaders who realize that the journey to achieving their full potential is never done.

    If you’re curious about my coaching and deal work you can learn more here.

    back to blog

    Latest Blog Feed

    Stop “shoulding” yourself!

    How often do you find yourself saying the word “should”? I should have done this. I should have done that. I should do more. The list of “shoulds” is endless. Who says you should? What is the source of that […]

    read more

    Do your leaders know how to work with you?

    As I have written about before, building the best possible senior team is the single most scalable thing a CEO can do to grow the business. The right leaders will give you leverage. The wrong leaders will slow you down. […]

    read more

    No one is indispensable

    One of the very first things I do in a new coaching relationship is get the CEO’s assessment of his or her leadership team. Building the best possible senior team is the single most scalable thing a CEO can do […]

    read more

    Contact

    Email : me@markmacleod.me

    Follow me:

    Image

    Send Me A Message