The CEO of a major nonprofit has faced the ongoing challenge of not having enough hours in the day. He finds himself mired in operational issues, while at the same time believes his COO, a critical member of his leadership team, is at risk of departure. The CEO proposes a new alignment for the broader leadership team that will free him of some direct reports, but will place added burden on his already-tapped COO. 

The CEO Collective advised the CEO that the message surrounding his vision for this new team structure was relatively weak, and to work on how it would be communicated to ensure buy-in. They also advised him to be sure he is getting appropriate leverage through his EA. Something so simple can make a very big impact on day-to-day juggling. They suggested he invest in his COO’s leadership development as a gesture of commitment to him and his value to the company. They identified his inability to let go of operations as a major risk factor for the organization, and advised him to take his plan further.

Suggested one CEO, “Go to half the operations meetings you’re scheduled to go to. People will adjust.”

As a result of the input of his peers, the CEO invested more time in crafting a vision that would resonate with the broader leadership team and relate the changes back to their ability to accomplish their mission. After an honest conversation with his COO, the CEO expressed his desire to help him develop and grow in his role, and openly acknowledged the value of his contributions to the organization. The leadership team took the organizational changes in stride, the COO emerged committed to several more years with the organization, and the CEO was able to achieve valuable leverage in his own role by virtue of the new organizational design.