Why Can’t C-Suite Leaders Execute Effectively?

by Mike O'Neill

The most successful businesses embrace change as a part of natural growth. However, even with the best leadership, change can be challenging if employees aren’t on board. Whether the roll-out is flawed or the employees are simply unmotivated, major initiatives fall flat without essential support.

If the C-suite execs at your company are looking for solutions for making round two of a critical initiative more successful, you will have to find a way to get everyone on board. Learn more about why leaders struggle to get employees to follow and pick up a few tips to better engage on the C-suite level. 

Strategize To Stay Focused 

The first step is at the executive level. The policies and procedures either come from or through the board room before rolling out to the general employee base. The first and most formidable obstacle C-suite leaders face is a lack of buy-in at the executive level. Before moving forward, be sure that everyone at the table agrees and is willing to strategize implementing changes

The second step is to identify the necessary changes and then create a step-by-step plan to ensure implementation. Develop the strategy at the executive level before rolling it out, so everyone is on board before employees receive any notice of changes. A successful program requires a unified front, not just a table full of brilliant minds wondering why we can’t execute effectively. 

Listen While Leading 

Once the strategy is in place, meet with the next leadership level. Roll out the plan and the precise steps of implementation. The clearer your plan, the easier it will be for employees to follow without confusion and frustration. 

Before sending the next management level to communicate the directives to their employees, troubleshoot potential issues. Management knows their teams well; they will already have an idea of who will push back against change, who will go along with it, and who will actively embrace an opportunity to show off their flexibility and skills. They will also know who to lean on to help muster buy-in and maintain morale. 

Respond With Resources 

As management meets with their teams, assure them you’re committed to having a follow-up meeting within the week to support them.

Once you have all the potential issues with the new policies and procedures, find the resources to match them. At the week’s end, have them identify the problems in the roll-out. You will have to ask questions and get critical answers to help you streamline your success.

Providing employees with necessary resources over memos or hollow emails is best to double-down your commitment to their success. Simply acknowledging that change is challenging is sometimes enough to get employee buy-in, but access to relevant resources is a game-changer for boosting productivity

Move Past Micromanaging 

C-suite positions have actionable roles in implementation too. Allowing every person to complete their respective role ensures a tighter, well-oiled machine, rather than one worn-out belt keeping the whole operation running. 

Part of a weak execution is a gap between the goal and the strategy. As your management teams complete their roles and employees theirs, C-suite teams can evaluate feedback and pivot, if necessary, on vital steps. 

Give People More Power 

Use management teams as the professional liaisons they are. Not only does this practice create a stronger sense of leadership at different levels, but it allows execs to step back and see the more extensive operation. 

Troubleshooting at this level is more appropriate because you better evaluate overarching efficacy. Further, as management teams communicate each role, including that of the C-suite, it allows for your general oversight to be a part of your responsibility rather than just a looming presence. 

When employees see that there are definitive benefits in change, they are more likely to buy-in. Rather than just issuing directives and stepping away from the process, C-suite leaders must also have a stake in the initiative for it to be successful. Expert strategizing to identify the appropriate steps and resource allocation is essential in providing employees with the support they need to follow new policies and procedures as they are implemented. 

Subscribe for Support 

Effective execution and follow-through isn’t the only thing that keeps successful business leaders up at night. Stress for C-suite executives shows up in the form of people, process, or planning problems. 

To combat sleepless nights stressing over ineffective leadership, subscribe to the Bench Builder’s blog for insights on the tools and strategies that get results. When you subscribe, you’ll get notified whenever we publish new content so that you can take regular steps to improve your leadership.

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