Do Your Senior Leaders Know How to Work With You? | Mark MacLeod

November 18, 2020 - Mark MacLeod

Do Your Senior Leaders Know How to Work with You?

As I have written about before, building the best possible senior leaders and leadership 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.

As you expand your senior team, ideally you are bringing on different DNA. Your team will likely have people from a mix of startup and scale up, big company, small company. People with different backgrounds, personalities, strengths & weaknesses.

Ideally, your senior leaders will have values that align with yours and the company overall (in fact, I would argue that ill-fitting or unarticulated values are the root cause of all conflict in a company – but that is a post for another time). But, naturally, no one team member will be a perfect fit in terms of values and leadership style.

Leading leaders to adopt your style

As CEO, what do you do? Do you adjust yourself to your new senior leaders? Or do they adjust to you?

If you adjust to them, you will have many different ways of engaging. If you have a senior team of six leaders, you will have six flavors of how you lead and manage. This feels sub-optimal, to say the least.

The CEO is the most important role in the company. When you look at the biggest startup outcomes, almost universally, they are led start to finish by founder-CEOs. Thus, there is an almost 100% correlation between your performance and the company outcome.

With that in mind, the thing to do at all times is optimize for your highest performance. When it comes to leading leaders then, this suggests that team members should adapt to your style, not the other way around.

The Luc Levesque approach

Luc Levesque is a founder and executive with a long track record of accomplishment. He has taken this principle to its logical conclusion by creating a blueprint for how people can work with him.



On one page it is clear to anyone in the company (not just the senior leaders) how Luc thinks, what he values, and thus how to best work with him.

You can read more about his approach here.

Developing leaders that know how to work with you

Questions to consider

Does my leadership team know the best way to work with me?

Does the team know what I value most?

Am I changing my leadership style depending on who I am working with?

Is the way that I currently engage with my team the one that will lead to my best performance and most impact as CEO?

If not, what changes do I need to make?

Photo by Karla Hernandez on Unsplash

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