How to become a High Performance Executive? Start by building your executive enablement team
We recently hosted the webinar “The High Performance Executive”, where Kristel Kuit, the founder and CEO of Headroom Assistance, and Mackenzie Lee, CEO of Cedar, a leadership development firm, discuss the importance of executive enablement and the value of a well-structured executive support team.
Let’s explore how executives can reach their peak potential by leveraging an executive enablement system comprising people, processes, and technology.
Here are the key insights:
Why Executive Enablement is Essential
Kristel and Mackenzie agree: executives today face unprecedented challenges in an ever-changing global landscape. The expectations placed on them are enormous, and the complexity of their roles can be overwhelming. To excel in their positions and sustain long-term success, executives need a strong support system. This support system should not just comprise traditional executive assistants but also strategic partners like Chief of Staffs who can elevate their performance (yes, Chief of Staff and EA are two different roles).
In the words of Kristel, “In this age where CEOs and founders are getting younger, the demand for excellence 24/7 can quickly lead to burnout. We need to reconsider this grind management style and find sustainable ways for executives to excel both professionally and personally.“
That’s exactly why Mackenzie founded Cedar: he was inspired by the realization that the most effective and high-performing executives have robust support systems (think Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Class Pass’ Payal Kadakia and more). These systems help them overcome overload and delegate tasks efficiently, letting them to focus on high-impact activities.
Building an Executive Enablement System
Mackenzie emphasizes the importance of self-awareness for executives to identify their strengths and limitations. By understanding their zone of genius, he says, leaders can build a support team that complements their skills and fills in the gaps. Mackenzie and Kristel call this A+ support team “Executive Enablement System”. It can include a Chief of Staff and an Executive Assistant and other roles:
- Strategic advisor
- Communications director
- Master organizer
- Change management expert
- High-performance coach
Creating an executive enablement system involves defining the requirements for people, processes, and technology. The key is to tailor this system to the specific needs of the executive and the company. A thoughtful and strategic approach ensures the team’s efficiency and maximizes the value they bring to the organization.
Adapting to the Changing Work Environment
As the work environment evolves, executives need to adapt and embrace modern communication and collaboration tools, Kristel suggests. As the founder of a remote-first company herself, she sees remote work, hybrid teams, and flexible arrangements becoming increasingly prevalent.
Mackenzie also stresses the importance of embracing modern communication and collaboration tools. CEOs and executive support teams must leverage technology effectively to enhance communication and streamline processes in both remote and office environments.
Of course, a tech-savvy Chief of Staff or Executive Assistant can guide executives through these changes and optimize their efficiency.
The Power of Fractional Resources
For startups or resource-limited companies, Mackenzie recommends fractional resources, such as part-time virtual assistants or fractional Chief of Staffs, as a cost-effective and scalable solution. These professionals can grow with the company, starting with a smaller workload and expanding as the organization’s needs evolve.
Learn from Successful Executives
Many recognizable names and successful business leaders have embraced the executive enablement system and seen significant benefits. These leaders understand the value of investing in themselves and their support teams. By leveraging this system, they achieve faster growth, delegate effectively, and maintain sustainable performance.
Conclusion: build an A+ executive entourage and become a peak performer
What a value-packed and rich session this was! You can watch the recordings here.
The bottom line of this engaging webinar?
Unlocking your peak potential as an executive requires a strong support system in the form of an executive enablement system. A well-structured team of support staff, including a Chief of Staff and Executive Assistant, can help you stay focused on high-priority tasks, delegate effectively, and achieve faster growth.
Balancing personal and professional life, embracing modern tools, and leveraging fractional resources can be valuable steps toward reaching your peak performance as an executive.