Leading leaders is the biggest leadership challenge

I went from leading a team to leading leaders. I’ll never forget how hard that was. Really, really, hard. Here I was, leading great humans that lead their own teams, and have their own styles and their own leadership goals. And their own career goals. It was tough going, and I had to update, upgrade, and upskill my leadership skills. Quickly.  

Now that I work with CEOs and C-Suite teams, I still hear from senior leaders that their biggest leadership challenge is the leadership of other senior leaders. And I can relate. So, what are the skills that are required to lead senior leaders? Read on to find out what my own experience is, and what nearly 600 1:1 coaching sessions has taught me about leading other leaders. 

1. Micro-managing doesn’t work 

One of the most common issues that senior leaders have is that they are micro-managed. Yes, the CEO, sometimes knowing exactly what they are doing, chooses micro-managing as a strategy. And the C-Suite don’t like it, they don’t respond, and they don’t buy in. 

Micro-management is where managers feel the need to control aspects of their team members work & decision-making… to an extreme degree - more than is necessary or healthy for a usual working relationship. Many people have experienced micro-management at some point in their careers (credit: Wiki). 

For leaders who have climbed the ladder of corporate success. Who are sitting in the C-Suite, they feel like they have got a handle on leadership. Who feel like they are building a high performing team, and who feel like they are absolutely capable of leading others and making decisions, micro-management just doesn’t do it for them. As much as it might appear to be working, it doesn’t

CEO, give your leadership team the chance to shine, to decide, and to develop. 

2. The personalities are bigger 

Senior leaders are more confident. They are more committed. They are more courageous. And they are bigger personalities. With big personalities comes big opinions, and big ideas. Which takes a solid CEO who is capable of dealing with big personalities. 

Yes, leading big personalities is a big job. CEOs with a range of big personalities on their senior leadership need, above everything else, to take on the role of facilitator. That means to make sure that everyone on the senior leadership team have a voice, have a value, and have a vested interest in the team as an aligned unit. 

CEOs who can facilitate, have the ability to question, listen, and decide. They have the ability to engage everyone in conversation, and they have the ability to get all opinions prior to make a decision.  

CEO, give your leadership team the ability to contribute, to be heard, and to add value. 

3. The siloing gets worse  

For me, the biggest challenge that I see CEOs having is that their senior leaders forget that they are also part of a team. The C-Suite can get focused on their own patch, their own department, their own business unit. Even when decisions impact other senior leaders, and other departments. That is called building empires or becoming siloed. 

Siloing is a big issue in organisations, because it doesn’t just occur at the most senior levels of the organisation, issues with siloing flow down through the business. And team members at every level pick up on it. They know that the senior leaders aren’t aligned, and it goes nothing for morale, motivation, and making things happen.  

Siloing stifles creativity. Siloing stifles cultures. Siloing stifling commitment. And siloing generally starts at the upper echelons of the organisation. 

CEO, encourage your leadership team to work together, talk together, and decide together. 

Please reach out if you need to talk. 

And could you please do me a favour, and share this with leaders everywhere? This is an important topic for leaders. 

And please click the image below if you’d like to chat about what leadership means to you.

If you would like to learn more about Anton or The Guinea Group, please click hereto book into Anton’s calendar, to:

UPGRADE your Mindset
UPSKILL your Leadership
UPLIFT your Teams

About Anton

Anton has dedicated his working life to helping leaders to upgrade their mindset, upskill their leadership, and uplift their teams! With a focus on helps leaders to better lead under pressure. Anton is an entrepreneur, speaker, consultant, bestselling author and founder of The Guinea Group. Over the past 19 years, Anton has worked with over 175+ global organisations, he has inspired workplace leadership, safety, and cultural change. He’s achieved this by combining his corporate expertise, education (Bachelor of HR and Psychology), and infectious energy levels.
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