Lucas Martínez is the co-founder and co-CEO of talent.coma job search platform present in 78 countries.
For many companies with one CEO, it can be a little lonely at the top. It can also be difficult to let go of responsibilities that you previously didn’t have time for and that you must now entrust to your new senior leadership team.
Regardless of your leadership team setup — one CEO, multiple CEOs, a full C-suite — a big part of a company’s success comes down to mindset.
Three heads are better than one.
During growth, it is important from day one to clearly define the respective roles of the leadership team. Giving each person their responsibilities and making sure you don’t stray into each other’s territory can help keep conflict at bay even when problems arise.
Leadership must quickly learn the best ways to handle confrontation. At the top, it is necessary to put aside the ego and remember that the only thing that really matters is the well-being of the company. It’s important to know when to let things go and when to talk about feelings to release the steam from all heated situations. Overcoming any challenge requires a cool head and remember that every leader has the best intentions for the company. What remains is trust. And trust is important.
When everyone is on the same page and a decision is unanimous, those are great moments. Usually, however, there are different opinions and ideas. In these cases three heads are better than one because an odd number of deciders will always result in a tiebreaker, so the majority decides. However, it is important to listen to those who have a very strong passion for a particular project or road to explore. If no one else has a strong opinion or objection to it, part of growing and maintaining that adaptable mindset would involve letting them try their idea.
Agreeing in this way can often take time, and some may become frustrated by the inefficiency. But when it comes to making big, impactful decisions, what you lose in speed, you make up for by knowing you’re doing the right thing. Plus, if leaders go down the wrong path, having that uneven team at the top will make someone notice and tell them to change course.
Of course, it’s always important to regularly take stock of your decision-making processes to make sure they’re still working and serving the business well. If the arrangement you’ve developed ever starts to lose more value than it creates, it’s all the more important that you can adapt to new methods.
Build a change-friendly environment.
Business owners are no stranger to change – it’s integral to the entrepreneurial mindset and empowers leaders to maintain that vital frame of mind as their business grows.
If your mindset is agile enough to adapt your business model to the needs of your customers – many times over if necessary – it will serve you well in the long run. The ability to adapt when customer needs change or when markets are moving is essential, but it isn’t always easy. It can be frustrating for your people, who may have worked on a particular product or service, to suddenly be asked to change their trajectory or focus. So make sure all your people understand that change is in the DNA of the company.
An important step in building a culture of adaptability is to create an environment where people feel comfortable with that entrepreneurial mindset. If your people feel that it’s their business too, and that they can have that level of comfort to experiment or make mistakes without recourse to negative recourse, that quickly turning aspect of adaptability will permeate the company.
As entrepreneurs, we keep running until we find what works best. However, when you build a business – your baby – you have to let go to some extent. Attracting seniors, empowering them and giving them confidence, and letting them take ownership of what they do are essential steps in growth.
Entrepreneurs build to break. That bulldozer approach of putting your head down and pushing forward until you break through the wall will only continue to work during periods of growth if you make sure your business is run with a lot of confidence, no ego and a high tolerance for uncomfortable change.