WINNING C-LEVEL EXECUTIVES DO NOT JUST TRY TO GET THE BEST OUT OF THEIR OWN FUNCTIONAL AREA
THAT IS PRIMARILY THE JOB OF THEIR 2ICs
The key VALUE for C-Level Executives is to integrate their own functional area fully into the rest of the company,
Get the best out of every other functional area.
TODAY, INTEGRATION IS THE GAME, AND,
OPTIMISATION IS THE KEY TO WINNING IT.
Useful case story (Disguised)
Our client’s company was at a crossroad. The CEO had announced his retirement in 12 months and a Selection Committee had been formulated by the board of directors to search for a replacement. The company was favorably inclined to hire and promote internally but did not want to restrict themselves just to the three internal candidates.
The Chief Financial Officer as well as the Chief Marketing Officer had been put on the short list, along with the number two to the CEO, the Chief Operating Officer. The COO assumed that among the internal candidates, he was a front-runner. Unless an external candidate proves himself or herself to be a far superior potential hire, which was unlikely, the COO should get the nod.
The process was run tightly and confidentially. Everybody, including the internal candidates, was surprised to find that the Chief Operating Officer did not end up landing the dream job. One of the other two internal candidates became the next CEO.
It is always difficult to fully understand the situational dynamics in these kind of circumstances. Yet, due to our strong relationships with many of the top internal people, what we were able to discern was that the COO was taking it for granted that his only competitors were from the outside. In the selection process, he was entirely focused on proving his value over the outsiders.
He did not communicate how he had grown in his current role, in order to start thinking a lot more broadly, from focusing only on the firm’s internal operations, to also on external key stakeholders, including suppliers and customers of the business.
Historically, the CEO had been focusing on all the external relationships, while the COO had been focusing on the other end. The board was looking for a candidate who could look beyond the internal operations and efficiencies, and into creating synergies with a business-to-business network that could help propel the company to its next competitive perch. And one of the other two candidates was able to prove his worth in this regard.