537: 3 Ways Coaching CEOs Can Influence Company Culture w/ Cecilia Landholt

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Cecilia Landholt, Executive Coach and Culture Advisor for growing startups.

A relationship with the right referral partnercould be a game changer for any be to be company. So what ifyou could reverse engineer these relationships at a moment's notice, start a podcast,invite potential referral partners to be guests on your show and grow your referral networkfaster than ever? Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to thebe to be growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping be to be executivesachieve explosive growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to the BE TOB growth show. Today we are joined by Cecilia landhole. Cecilia is an executive coach and she'sa culture advisor for growing startups. Cecilia, welcome to the show.Thanks, Jonathan. It's great to be chatting with you. It's a pleasureto have you on the show. You actually came highly recommended from someone thatwe featured on the show. I mean, I've Gosh, it's got to beover a year ago, but Chad Sanderson. We work with him.He's a fantastic guy and we're really grateful for him to putting us in touchwith you to talk about today, this idea that CEO and executive coaching canreally affect company culture on a deeper level than just the pro grams and processes. You know, it goes much deeper than that and I'm excited to getinto today's topic, but before we do so, seely maybe you can tellour listeners a little about sort of what you've been up to these days.Yeah, of course. So I work directly with startup CEOS and other executivesas well, but mostly startup CEOS. I've been in the startup space sincetwo thousand and ten and I started studying culture and very, very long timeago, and after I started iterating it and doing different programs and processes andhelping startup screw, I realized that working...

...with CEOS actually had the biggest returnon culture, and now today I get to work with them directly to workthrough their beliefs, their identity and kind of coach them in a way thatisn't just let's make it to do list, let's make you know your dream listsand figure out how we get from A to B. It's a lotdeeper than that. It's more around the world of Hey, what actually causeyou to make that decision? What let you know to make that decision?And is that? Are Those decisions that you want to be making? Isthat the experience you want to be having? and seeing how that has impacted companyculture has been really eye opening and Super Fun. And Yeah, that'sthat's kind of what what I've been doing for the last couple of years.Perfect and we you know, in you you just mentioned you know, it'sbeen eye opening and fun, but you'd also said before we even started recordingto day, that you are, I mean you're sort of living your dreamjob and I think it's yeah, that's so incredible and encouraging, and italso the people that are so passionate about what they're doing. I mean theydefinitely bring a level of expertise, a level of enthusiasm to, you know, what they do. So that's one of the reasons I'm so excited tosort of tappen to your expertise today. So, like you said, it, this can go the CEO, the executive coaching and as it relates tocompany culture, I mean it can. It can run deeper than the basicprograms and processes that people may think of going through the nation's you know,where are we going to start? I think today we're going to start withsort of about how that relates to the the structure of the unwritten rules ofcompany culture. Yeah, so you know a lot of CEOS that I've talkedto you before and I talked to CEOS to our twenty six and in theirs and in their s. So we're in their s and it's really fascinatingbecause some CEO's don't realize when they walk...

...into the office that vibe they giveoff or the energy they give off, and I know that sometimes that canbe a taboo kind of thing to say, but you know, it's that thatattitude and those belief systems really structure what's going on with company culture.When you have values that are written down but the CEO is acting in acompletely different way, the way the CEO is acting is going to shine throughwith the values and those written values that are on the wall are going tobe meaningless unless a CEO is actually really committed to those values. And it'stheir values as well. So those patterning and values are. You know,they come through in so many different ways and being on an executive team whenI was doing people operations and company culture work was really interesting because you knowyou're talking to a slew of different people and you're watching them say, okay, yes, we're going to do this, no, we're not going to dothis, and they have to collectively decide as a group. But asa CEO you hold that weight and you see how these different leadership styles shinethrough. So some CEOS and start up founders they don't really realize how they'rehow their leadership styles influence not just, you know, the executive team orthe decision, but how it influence influences the entire group, how that decisionthen infects the crow and the VP of engineering and the design and this andthat, and then how those decisions trickle down. So it's, and Isay unwritten rules of company culture because you know, we see day to dayhow the how values are posted on the wall and I'm sure lots of peoplework at companies and they see those values and those values aren't being lived outat all. And other companies you see values written on the wall and yousee them lived out. You know, through the decisions through. You know, you see it at the company barbecuing, you see it at the at theboard meeting and so and when you see those differences, it really allall goes back to the CEO and or...

...the founder. Sometimes they're different people. So I always they CEEO and and or start a founder. M Yeah, I mean it's interesting that you had mentioned that sometimes there can be thisthis disconnect or disparity between the written rules of company culture and and what's actuallybeing put into practice. Yeah, you know, do you have any piecesof advice in terms of assessing whether there is a disconnect? I mean itdefinitely, you know, I guess you can even start with the best intentionsor think one thing of yourself and the way that you that you lead yourteam or you approach business and then but in practice, you know, itdoesn't it doesn't map to the same place or in practice over the years you'vestarted to stray and you know, maybe that's not even a bad thing.Maybe maybe, you know, there is a time to adjust and look atwell, did the current rules still reflect the you know, my my currentvalues exactly. Yeah, and I actually always tell CEO's that that, youknow, even when values are on the wall, that doesn't mean they're permanent, right, like, as we grow up through the years, our valuesthat we had when we were seventeen or probably a lot different than they aretoday, right. So iterating how instantly looking at those values. Is thatthe same value that we had five years ago? Sure? Is that avalue that we want to keep having? Maybe not. And actually that selfawareness is really, really helpful, because some people have these values on thewall and they've been there for, you know, ten years and it's likenow you guys aren't a thirteen person company working in, you know, tworooms in a basement anymore. You guys are a hundred people and things arebustling. Maybe it's time to reiterate those values. And they kind of sometimespeople give me that like what do you mean face and because and well,Hey, like, you're operating at a different level now, and how greatis that? Let's celebrate that success.

And, you know, changing valuesor iterating them is in a bad thing necessarily. It's how are you operatingnow? How are you a different person now? And let's celebrate that andmake sure that the actual values that are shining through or actually on the wallfor everyone else to see. Yeah, Yep, it makes a lot ofsense. So all right, let's move on to sort of this second pointabout founders, CEOS, executives and and becoming self aware. I'm interested inthis. Yeah, so one thing I realized, because I used to dogosh, I would start on boarding programs and do and help companies put togetherservey systems and it was really interesting doing this type of work and having groupsget super involved in it. But if the CEO wasn't behind it or theCEE I was like yeah, okay, this will be helpful, we'll see, it really wouldn't take off. And I realize that working directly with aCEO on coaching got a much higher return because they started seeing, Oh wow, like I am anxious with this, or I do get really short timberedwith this, or I might work too late, and now everyone's working toolate on a Friday type of deal. And I realize the more they becameselfaware and the more they realize their little ticks or they're patterning or their beliefsystems, then that sort of influence the rest of the group. So andthen they also got to decide, okay, do you want to keep doing this. Is this something that you has been going on for so many yearsthat you don't know any other way and to work? But is this exactlywhat you want? My first question with clients is always what would you like? What would you like your experience to be, because we can decide onany point what we would like our experience to be and then we can moveforward from there. How do we shape that? How do we reach forthat? Because you can't reach for what you don't know that you want,and so we have to map all that...

...out and a lot of CEOS knowthat they want to get to the next point or they want to, youknow, get this feedback and when we start working together they start realizing,oh, okay, like I talked to my CEO like this, but Italked to my cro like this and I talked to my vp of engineering likethis, and now I see where where there's all this discrepancy and dissonance andthings like that, and they can actually start putting the puzzle pieces together,which is Super, Super Fun to watch with clients. It's one of myfavorite things to have them come back after a few sessions and say, Ohyeah, I was talking to my cofounder and it was totally different. Iwas having a conversation I would have had three weeks ago and I would havebeen flying off the rails, and this was just a fifteen minute conversation.We were able to get it done and move on to the next thing,because that's what I wanted. I wanted to have a fifteen minute conversation,get it done and move on to my next thing. And you know I'malways high fighting people, so it's I was a high five moment. Yeah, when that happens. Yeah. So, Cecili, I'm and I'm curious.I think this question kind of relates to, at least tangentially, thisidea of becoming more selfaware. What would you say is is the is therea dividing line between maybe the beliefs and and way in which you live yourlife personally overlaps with how you project your beliefs and company culture professionally? Imean, does there have to be two different things? I mean, isthere? Can there be overlap and they can they be one in the same? I mean I I kind of grew up in this. I felt environmentof okay, there's your there's your personal life and then there's your professional life, and they don't necessarily overlap, but now, I mean so much ofour lives or online and and recorded and out there, and there's people areputting more of a premium on you know, Oh, there's you know, there'sreal people behind this company. It's not just the faceless company. It'snot be to see your be to be.

It's, you know, it's Ptop, it's people to people put that on there. So, youknow, I'm curious what your what your thoughts are in terms of that overlap. Yeah, and I actually just think we are living life. You know, when you hear about work life balance, I I don't think there's work lifebalance at all. I think there's just life and it's about it's abalancing act a hundred percent of the time. So regardless of whether you're at work, you're at home, you're with your kids, you don't have anykids, you're going for runs, it's you're on a constant trying to figureout what would I like to do next, and that's why I love the workthat I do, because I've had some people reach out to me andthey're like, well, I just want to work on the work staff.I don't need to talk about home life. them well, that we're going totalk about that. I hate to break it to you, but if youhad a shitty night of sleep or a bad night of sleep, sorry forswearing, then you know that might affect your work day and that's that's homelife into work life. If you had a terrible day of the office,yeah, maybe you can go home and play with the kids and put andleave it at the office, but then you that that terrible day at theoffice is still going to be there tomorrow. So again for me working with clients, that goes back to what would you like your experience to be?Some days I work with clients and all we do is we just talk abouthome life and then the next session that because we talked about home life andwe were able to tackle stresses and anxieties. Or I want to make sure thatI'm home at six o'clock and playing with my kids and leaving work atwork, which I know is important to a lot of people. Then thatcomes back and actually affects work because you are wellarrested, you played with yourkids last night, you left work at work, and now you're back atwork and being a hundred percent. So, yeah, I don't think there's anyoverlap. I think it's just life...

...being life and us in a constantsometimes it's a battle and a struggle to balance it all out and sometimes it'sa really fun game. Sometimes it's turning on music and having a lot ofdance moves and you get to do it all, and how exciting is thatwhile dance moves and high fives? Yeah, that's that's how I like to livemy life. So let's socilious talk about this third point. Then thisidea of and then perspectives and attitudes outside of the ones that the founder,CEO Executive is bringing to the table. Yeah, so this whole self awareness, this with CEOS is really cool because it allows them to guide conversations.They end up being more proactive, so they are looking at the chess boardin a different way, is what I usually say. You know, insteadof just feeling like I have to make the next move, they can turnthe table and look at it above and below and kind of see where theywant to move next, and that actually gives everybody else the opportunity to startdoing the same thing, which is really cool to watch to people start takingthe queue and they start getting new perspectives and new attitudes and then they endup getting to be in a more proactive culture instead of this reactive culture wherethis is how it is. Well, this is what the CEO said andthis isn't going to change. And I know so many people who have saidthat in company culture and I've worked in startups where we're trying to do greatthings and get this process going and it'll improve everybody else. But you know, at the end of the day, of the CEO Says No, thenwell, this is how it is. And again, getting that self awarenessand understanding your patterning, your belief system why it is the way it isallows for that to trickle down to everybody else so they can be more proactive, so they can have that freedom to get creative and think about problems ina different way that they might not have...

...thought of before, instead of well, I have to think about it the way the CEO was thinking about it, because that's the only way I'm going to get this approved, which reallystarts getting very, very, very limiting. And when you get out of thatmindset, when you actually get to say hey, I think this isa great idea because of the experience I had, because of the amount oftime I put into this, and the CEO knows, like, Oh,okay, I might not love this idea, but I want to believe in someonebeing proactive, in being creative in Xyz. Whatever it is, itmakes for makes room for just a lot more opportunity for companies to grow andthen again, at the end of the day, totally effects company culture,which is, you know, I said before, I was living my dreamjob. I work with CEOS to help company Cultures Thrive. My goals tomake sure that everyone's really happy where they were, because we're working a lotthese days and people don't work in identified anymore. They get a bit forand go for a run and start work at five and maybe take a breakfor lunch and they're working till nine and even Chad was telling me about astwelve hour days. But he loves his work, he loves what he doesand when people can love what they do, they can do beautiful, amazing things, and that is ultimately my goal by working with CEOS and executives,to make sure that they're selfaware that they are they know their beliefs, theyknow what's going on so that they can have a way more proactive, exciting, thriving company called chure. Well, and it's a beautiful goal, Imean. And who wouldn't want to enhance their workplace where they hit, wherethey spend so many of their waking hours? Like you said, people are notworking a lot of traditional nine FIS an. He knows so any more. So. So, Celia, this has been some fantastic content. Ireally do appreciate you coming on sharing your expertise with our listeners. If anyof our listeners are interested in connecting with you after today's episode, learning alittle bit more about you know the content...

...we talked about, learning a littlebit more about how you work. What's the best way for them to goabout doing that? Linkedin is actually the best way to reach me at themoment, Cecilia Landhol Linkedin, I'm there, I'm on it, and if youwrite me a little note and let me know who you are, that'sliterally the best way to get in touch with me. Perfect. So,Seeli, you thank you so much again for for taking your time at yourschedule. Is a pleasure having you on the show today. Yeah, thankyou so much, Schnathan, I really appreciate it. If you're a betob marketer, we want to feature you on sites like Huffyton Post, socialmedia examiner and chief marketer. Every week we send out a question related tobe to be marketing. We use the responses to those questions to fuel thecontent we write for really popular websites. To head over to sweet fish MEDIACOMbackslash questions and sign up today. Thank you so much for listening. Untilnext time.

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