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 partner could be a game changer for any be to be company. So what if you 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 network faster than ever? Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to the be to be growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieve 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's a culture advisor for growing startups. Cecilia, welcome to the show. Thanks, Jonathan. It's great to be chatting with you. It's a pleasure to have you on the show. You actually came highly recommended from someone that we featured on the show. I mean, I've Gosh, it's got to be over 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 touch with you to talk about today, this idea that CEO and executive coaching can really 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 get into today's topic, but before we do so, seely maybe you can tell our 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 executives as well, but mostly startup CEOS. I've been in the startup space since two thousand and ten and I started studying culture and very, very long time ago, and after I started iterating it and doing different programs and processes and helping startup screw, I realized that working...

...with CEOS actually had the biggest return on culture, and now today I get to work with them directly to work through their beliefs, their identity and kind of coach them in a way that isn't just let's make it to do list, let's make you know your dream lists and figure out how we get from A to B. It's a lot deeper than that. It's more around the world of Hey, what actually cause you to make that decision? What let you know to make that decision? And is that? Are Those decisions that you want to be making? Is that the experience you want to be having? and seeing how that has impacted company culture has been really eye opening and Super Fun. And Yeah, that's that'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's been eye opening and fun, but you'd also said before we even started recording to day, that you are, I mean you're sort of living your dream job and I think it's yeah, that's so incredible and encouraging, and it also the people that are so passionate about what they're doing. I mean they definitely 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 to sort of tappen to your expertise today. So, like you said, it, this can go the CEO, the executive coaching and as it relates to company culture, I mean it can. It can run deeper than the basic programs 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 with sort of about how that relates to the the structure of the unwritten rules of company culture. Yeah, so you know a lot of CEOS that I've talked to you before and I talked to CEOS to our twenty six and in their s and in their s. So we're in their s and it's really fascinating because some CEO's don't realize when they walk...

...into the office that vibe they give off or the energy they give off, and I know that sometimes that can be a taboo kind of thing to say, but you know, it's that that attitude 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 a completely different way, the way the CEO is acting is going to shine through with the values and those written values that are on the wall are going to be meaningless unless a CEO is actually really committed to those values. And it's their 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 when I was doing people operations and company culture work was really interesting because you know you'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 do this, and they have to collectively decide as a group. But as a CEO you hold that weight and you see how these different leadership styles shine through. So some CEOS and start up founders they don't really realize how they're how their leadership styles influence not just, you know, the executive team or the decision, but how it influence influences the entire group, how that decision then infects the crow and the VP of engineering and the design and this and that, and then how those decisions trickle down. So it's, and I say unwritten rules of company culture because you know, we see day to day how the how values are posted on the wall and I'm sure lots of people work at companies and they see those values and those values aren't being lived out at all. And other companies you see values written on the wall and you see them lived out. You know, through the decisions through. You know, you see it at the company barbecuing, you see it at the at the board meeting and so and when you see those differences, it really all all 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 this this disconnect or disparity between the written rules of company culture and and what's actually being put into practice. Yeah, you know, do you have any pieces of advice in terms of assessing whether there is a disconnect? I mean it definitely, you know, I guess you can even start with the best intentions or think one thing of yourself and the way that you that you lead your team or you approach business and then but in practice, you know, it doesn't it doesn't map to the same place or in practice over the years you've started 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 at well, did the current rules still reflect the you know, my my current values exactly. Yeah, and I actually always tell CEO's that that, you know, even when values are on the wall, that doesn't mean they're permanent, right, like, as we grow up through the years, our values that we had when we were seventeen or probably a lot different than they are today, right. So iterating how instantly looking at those values. Is that the same value that we had five years ago? Sure? Is that a value that we want to keep having? Maybe not. And actually that self awareness is really, really helpful, because some people have these values on the wall and they've been there for, you know, ten years and it's like now you guys aren't a thirteen person company working in, you know, two rooms in a basement anymore. You guys are a hundred people and things are bustling. Maybe it's time to reiterate those values. And they kind of sometimes people 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 great is that? Let's celebrate that success.

And, you know, changing values or iterating them is in a bad thing necessarily. It's how are you operating now? How are you a different person now? And let's celebrate that and make sure that the actual values that are shining through or actually on the wall for everyone else to see. Yeah, Yep, it makes a lot of sense. So all right, let's move on to sort of this second point about founders, CEOS, executives and and becoming self aware. I'm interested in this. Yeah, so one thing I realized, because I used to do gosh, I would start on boarding programs and do and help companies put together servey systems and it was really interesting doing this type of work and having groups get super involved in it. But if the CEO wasn't behind it or the CEE 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 a CEO 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 timbered with this, or I might work too late, and now everyone's working too late on a Friday type of deal. And I realize the more they became selfaware and the more they realize their little ticks or they're patterning or their belief systems, then that sort of influence the rest of the group. So and then 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 years that you don't know any other way and to work? But is this exactly what 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 on any point what we would like our experience to be and then we can move forward from there. How do we shape that? How do we reach for that? 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 know that they want to get to the next point or they want to, you know, get this feedback and when we start working together they start realizing, oh, okay, like I talked to my CEO like this, but I talked to my cro like this and I talked to my vp of engineering like this, and now I see where where there's all this discrepancy and dissonance and things 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 my favorite things to have them come back after a few sessions and say, Oh yeah, I was talking to my cofounder and it was totally different. I was having a conversation I would have had three weeks ago and I would have been 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'm always 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, this idea of becoming more selfaware. What would you say is is the is there a dividing line between maybe the beliefs and and way in which you live your life personally overlaps with how you project your beliefs and company culture professionally? I mean, does there have to be two different things? I mean, is there? 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 environment of 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 of our lives or online and and recorded and out there, and there's people are putting more of a premium on you know, Oh, there's you know, there's real people behind this company. It's not just the faceless company. It's not be to see your be to be.

It's, you know, it's P top, it's people to people put that on there. So, you know, 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 life balance at all. I think there's just life and it's about it's a balancing 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 any kids, you're going for runs, it's you're on a constant trying to figure out what would I like to do next, and that's why I love the work that I do, because I've had some people reach out to me and they'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 to talk about that. I hate to break it to you, but if you had a shitty night of sleep or a bad night of sleep, sorry for swearing, then you know that might affect your work day and that's that's home life 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 and leave it at the office, but then you that that terrible day at the office 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 about home life and then the next session that because we talked about home life and we were able to tackle stresses and anxieties. Or I want to make sure that I'm home at six o'clock and playing with my kids and leaving work at work, which I know is important to a lot of people. Then that comes back and actually affects work because you are wellarrested, you played with your kids last night, you left work at work, and now you're back at work and being a hundred percent. So, yeah, I don't think there's any overlap. I think it's just life...

...being life and us in a constant sometimes it's a battle and a struggle to balance it all out and sometimes it's a really fun game. Sometimes it's turning on music and having a lot of dance moves and you get to do it all, and how exciting is that while dance moves and high fives? Yeah, that's that's how I like to live my life. So let's socilious talk about this third point. Then this idea 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 board in a different way, is what I usually say. You know, instead of just feeling like I have to make the next move, they can turn the table and look at it above and below and kind of see where they want to move next, and that actually gives everybody else the opportunity to start doing the same thing, which is really cool to watch to people start taking the queue and they start getting new perspectives and new attitudes and then they end up getting to be in a more proactive culture instead of this reactive culture where this is how it is. Well, this is what the CEO said and this isn't going to change. And I know so many people who have said that in company culture and I've worked in startups where we're trying to do great things 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, then well, this is how it is. And again, getting that self awareness and understanding your patterning, your belief system why it is the way it is allows 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 in a 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 really starts getting very, very, very limiting. And when you get out of that mindset, when you actually get to say hey, I think this is a great idea because of the experience I had, because of the amount of time I put into this, and the CEO knows, like, Oh, okay, I might not love this idea, but I want to believe in someone being proactive, in being creative in Xyz. Whatever it is, it makes for makes room for just a lot more opportunity for companies to grow and then again, at the end of the day, totally effects company culture, which is, you know, I said before, I was living my dream job. I work with CEOS to help company Cultures Thrive. My goals to make sure that everyone's really happy where they were, because we're working a lot these days and people don't work in identified anymore. They get a bit for and go for a run and start work at five and maybe take a break for lunch and they're working till nine and even Chad was telling me about as twelve hour days. But he loves his work, he loves what he does and 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, they know 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, I mean. And who wouldn't want to enhance their workplace where they hit, where they spend so many of their waking hours? Like you said, people are not working a lot of traditional nine FIS an. He knows so any more. So. So, Celia, this has been some fantastic content. I really do appreciate you coming on sharing your expertise with our listeners. If any of our listeners are interested in connecting with you after today's episode, learning a little bit more about you know the content...

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

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