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Your Executives Wear TWO Hats


I was speaking with a client the other day and they told me that one of their executives is incredibly good at their job, but they are undermining some of their decisions and doing so by rallying their team to their position. He went on to say that this executive is very interested in the success of their department and that this is their main motivation.

Guess what? That executive is not god at their job.

Everyone of your executives has two jobs. Each one is equally important.

Firstly, they are hired to perform the function on the team that you need performed – VP Sales, VP Finance, CIO…
Secondly, they are hired to be a member of the executive team, accountable for the overall results of the team. Here they do not play a functional role. Here they represent the interests of the team, participate on the team, and communicate consensus position and guidance to their e,ploys, and the organization. Their functional role plays second to this.

The executive that rallied her team to her position (and not the position of the executive team) saw herself as having only one job – running her department. She was not owning her second, equally important job – ownership of the company plan and directives. She felt she could walk out of the boardroom and disagree (openly!).

That is not leadership. That is failure to do half of your job. And it is not sustainable.

When we hire executives to work for us, hiring to the functional component (the job we are filling) is the easier part. We look for skill and experience. We look for their ability to lead and motivate their team and deliver the functional results.

But we must look beyond that experience and skill. We must understand the executive leadership skill, experience, style and diversity that our executive team needs to become stronger – and we must find the candidate that will best fill that role as well.

Every executive wears two hats.

Every executive has two jobs.

Hire to that.

Ellipsis AdvisorYour Executives Wear TWO Hats