6 Ways to Effectively Manage Your Team As the CEO

Hire the Right People for Your Management Team and Develop Their Skill Sets

How do you manage your team as the CEO of your company? First and foremost is talent acquisition. Secondly is talent development. What I mean by this is you want to hire people that you want to keep within the organization. And there will be two classes of people you want to keep. One class usually costs more and they are very, very good at what they do at the function they own. If you can afford to bring in the very best then you are going to bring in people that have the potential to be the very best. And it’s your job, if they report to you, to bring them up to that level, it’s your job to teach them, to mentor them, and coach them into becoming better at what they do.

Now, they may be an expert in a particular field, and you are not an expert in that field. However, you are going to teach them how to be a leader. you are going to teach them how to lead their team. you are going to teach them how to manage people. you are going to teach them how to get the most out of their team. So you are making a decision when you bring in keepers, people you want to keep in the organization that you are going to invest in them. This is one of the most important steps in how to manage a team. 

Create Clearly Defined Goals for Your Management Team To Accomplish

Secondly, you want to create great clarity around what you want them to accomplish. Now, there are many ways of going about doing this. There are goal-setting processes. There is something called the entrepreneurial operating system. My favorite is OKRs or objectives and key results. Choose which one works for you, but you need a way to create great clarity around what is it we are here to do in this timeframe? What are the things we’ve chosen to focus on and how are we going to measure our progress against achieving those? Next, create alignment amongst your team. This is important because once people understand what they are going to be measured on, what they are going to be focused on.

There is invariably conflict. Sales wants something here, marketing wants something here, engineering wants something over here, and they don’t always align. That’s perfectly natural. For you to manage your team, you need to create that alignment. You have to help them understand that yes, they are focused on their individual targets, but they are also focused on helping the company achieve its goals. They have a responsibility to help the other teams align behind the company goals.

Next, be a chameleon as the CEO. What I mean by this is that the CEO needs to adjust and change their style of communicating based on who they are communicating with. Each direct report has a different style, a different way of hearing a different way of absorbing a different way of thinking about the information that they are charged with that they are responsible for. And a great CEO is like a chameleon. They will adjust to ensure that that person truly deeply understands what they are supposed to do by helping them and adjusting to their style. Next, become a world-class delegator.

Delegate Effectively to Your Management Team

It is very, very easy for a CEO to take on too many things. It is very easy for a CEO to step back and say, well, I’m better at doing that. I should do that. It’s very easy to think this may not go as well if I delegate it, and yet a critical success factor to help manage your team is to become a world-class delegator. This has to do with some of the things I’ve spoken about already, to educating your team on how to do things well by creating great clarity on what it is they are to do and coaching them on how to get this done. But then you step back and you let them do it.

One of the most critical factors for great delegation is active listening. So if I’m the CEO and I’m going to delegate something, I’m going to do all these things I just spoke about, but when done giving you responsibility to take something on, I’m going to pause. I’m going to ask that individual to feed back to me their understanding of what it is I’m asking them to do. Now, what is amazing about this is that nearly every time you ask that question and what they feed back to you is not exactly what you said. It’s a little bit different. This gives you an opportunity to fine-tune that thing that is off to clarify exactly what you are looking for. Absolutely critical step in delegating. 

Refuse to Take on Responsibility for Your Management Team’s Challenges and Build Individual Agency

Next in managing your team, you should refuse to take on the responsibility of their challenges. Now there are exceptions where there are certain things that only you can help with that might have to do with more budget or more hiring or more other resources. But when a direct report of yours brings you a problem, don’t accept it. What I’m going to ask you to do is to gently push back and say, well, I’m not going to be solving your problem. I need you to bring me a recommendation.

I want you to go off and think about what that recommendation can be. And then I’ll discuss a recommendation with you. Now what’s amazing is that when people go off and think about things, they come up with pretty good recommendations. And what really happens is eventually they realize that the last three recommendations they brought to you- If they are a good employee- you accepted. You said approved, go for it, make it happen. And eventually, they stop bringing you recommendations because they realize they have the skills to solve problems on their own. And this is what you were really looking for. Next, we will review how to build a great management team and manage them.

Create a Strong Alignment of Goals Across Your Team

Have weekly meetings. I am often surprised at how people do not have weekly meetings with their direct reports in those weekly meetings. Remember those goals we were talking about? Or those key results we were talking about? Review the progress against those goals or key results. Have that person update you on what’s happening with those goals and key results. And if they are behind somewhere, which invariably they will be, they bring you recommendations on what they are going to be doing about that. So you create alignment around what they are trying to accomplish and clarity around what they are trying to accomplish every week.

Reward Your Team for Good Performance

Finally, reward people. No direct report to a CEO has ever said, please stop rewarding me for the good work I’m doing. You are saying too many nice things about what I’m doing. No one has ever said that. People crave acknowledgment. They crave feedback that tells them they are doing a good job when they are doing a good job. Consider spot bonuses, simple things, small things that reward them for good behavior, good accomplishments, and good results. These are some key ideas for you on how to manage your team.

Contact CEO Coach Glenn Gow Today!

I love coaching CEOs and want to help make you an even better CEO. Let’s decide if we are a fit for each other. Schedule a time to talk with me at calendly.com/glenngow. I look forward to speaking with you soon.