Once Upon a Time in Corporate America…
Once there lived a CEO and COO. They were both very smart and they were both very nice. But…they had a very big problem that was making them both very sad. They were driving each other crazy. This is their story.
Spoiler Alert: This story – unlike many stories in corporate America – has a happy ending. We hope you will enjoy it!
Chapter 1: A CEO at the end of Her Rope
Once upon a time, one of my CEO clients – a lovely and accomplished person – was sharing her frustration with her COO. She was at the end of her CEO rope. She had a lot to say about how the COO was “too slow” in delivering deliverables; how he analyzed things “to death” and how, when she asked him a point-blank question, rather than give her a point-blank answer, he often “hemmed and hawed”. She believed that his style of leadership and communication was impeding her ability to be the best CEO she could be. In a last-ditch effort to salvage the relationship, she was willing to step out of her comfort zone and hoped I could help.
Great leaders know this: In order to succeed, they must flex all kinds of leadership muscles…even the ones that cause some pain.
Chapter 2: A Bewildered COO
After meeting with the COO to get his take on things, I discovered he was in a similar head-space: he felt the CEO often moved so fast, there were times she verged on “recklessness”. He pointed out that, as the COO, his job was to make sure that all of his work was 100% accurate, and that his heart-felt commitment to accuracy only seemed to infuriate her. He was disheartened.
Chapter 3: How DiSC Saved the Day (and their relationship)
Because this was a CEO who wanted to get to the root of her personality clash with the COO, she very quickly agreed to complete the DiSC assessment and asked the COO to do the same. After all, she reasoned, maybe there was something new she could learn about herself that would serve the relationship (and the company). Hmmmm…
Great leaders know this: “Let she who would move the world, first move herself” (Socrates).
Chapter 4: A Happy Ending
As both leaders dug into their very illuminating DiSC profiles, they uncovered how they were “hard-wired” to communicate, interact and lead. They also learned more about their limitations (we all have a few!) Ultimately they came to better understand, respect and value each other’s natural styles; their similarities; and their differences. Today, their relationship is healthier & happier…and so is the organization they lead.
Great leaders know this: Their way of doing things might not always be “better”. Using her own and the COO’s DiSC findings helped this CEO understand that, sometimes, the COO’s approach (and not hers) was best for the organization.
Your Leadership Call to Action:
Is someone in your orbit driving you crazy? Want a more cohesive, higher-performing team? We recommend the very powerful Everything DiSC Workplace assessment as a way to uncover similarities and differences, preferences and limitations (as well as practical tips and techniques on how to strengthen working relationships). 40 million people worldwide have taken the DiSC and it is currently the most-used communication assessment on the market. And that’s because it works!
As an award-winning DiSC Authorized Partner with Wiley Publishing, we would love to help! Please visit the DiSC section of our website (https://ceovisionllc.com/disc/) to learn more about how DiSC can strengthen your team and organizational cultur