Ep. 373 – How to Control the Controlling CEO

In today’s episode of the Second in Command podcast, Cameron explores the crucial role of directly addressing the potentially detrimental behavior of CEOs, especially their tendency to be overly controlling. He likens this to the tale of the emperor’s new clothes, emphasizing the importance of honest feedback to help CEOs realize how their actions may be counterproductive. Cameron stresses the necessity of communicating such insights privately and tactfully, to appeal to the CEO’s aspirations and to prevent defensive reactions. This approach aims to make the CEO aware of the impact of their behavior on the company’s success and their personal reputation, encouraging a more open-minded attitude towards change.

In a separate but related insight, Cameron shares the genesis of The COO Alliance, an initiative born out of his experiences as a second-in-command feeling out of place among entrepreneurs at various events. The Alliance serves as a global community for seconds-in-command to exchange knowledge, build networks, and gain confidence, away from the overshadowing presence of CEOs. This environment fosters growth and learning among these vital yet often overlooked corporate figures, enabling them to better manage and complement the entrepreneurial spirit. The episode underscores the delicate balance required in guiding COOs without quenching their inherent innovativeness and drive, highlighting the nuanced role of second-in-commands in steering companies towards success.



In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • How direct and honest feedback is crucial for CEOs to realize the negative impact of their controlling behavior on the company’s success and their personal image. (0:00)
  • Cameron’s motivation for starting The COO Alliance, stemming from his personal experiences of feeling out of place at entrepreneur-focused events. (0:58)
  • The critical role that the second-in-command plays in balancing the CEO’s entrepreneurial spirit with practical business operations. (0:58)
  • The significance of addressing sensitive issues privately and tactfully with CEOs to avoid defensive reactions and encourage receptiveness to change.  (2:44)
  • The strategy of waiting for the right moment to provide feedback to CEOs, based on their readiness to learn and adapt. (4:46)
  • And much more…



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