5 Insiders Every CEO Needs

The views expressed by the contributing Entrepreneurs are their own.

Every leader knows the phrase, “It’s lonely at the top.” It is true that leaders often experience loneliness. Many times, they are the only ones who know everything about every person and situation in the company.

When a leader has no one to share their personal problems or triumphs with, it can drain their energy and lead them to make poor decisions. They have no one to expand their thinking, share their ideas with, or get ideas and inspiration from.

No leader should ever be alone in his struggles and decisions. Leadership is having a group of people who will provide help and support in difficult times of the hour. Here are five insiders every CEO needs on their team:

1. Excellent executive assistant

A key person a leader needs on his team is an effective executive assistant. Executive assistants assist executives by supporting the CEO with critical tasks and responsibilities and acting as an information extension for the organization’s leader. Trust and effective communication are key characteristics of this person in the team.

Many business owners may be tempted to forego hiring an executive assistant because they would rather put those resources elsewhere in the business. However, when the leader produces, the organization produces. The executive assistant enables the leader to be more efficient and productive.

Related: 5 Tips for Building a Strong Leadership Team

2. A competent and prepared second-in-command

A strong advantage of having a second in command is that they can take the reins when needed. By nature, most leaders have a deep desire to create a better company, but are often frustrated by a lack of time, people, or resources to help make their plans a reality. A second in command or business person can help with business continuity and gain insight into many parts of the organization.

The leader should find responsible people who will help him think deliberately about the next steps of the organization. When leaders have people they trust to make decisions and lead well, it enables the top leader to spend their time working on the business and not just the business.

3. A strategic numbers person

Every CEO needs a person around them who understands and can interpret numbers. Numbers don’t lie and numbers tell a story. Many business owners and CEOs are not gifted with the ability to know and understand the truths or story that the organization’s numbers tell. Every CEO needs to be managed by a few key figures in the organization.

Many businesses struggle to make and maintain a profit. A strategic numbers person will help the CEO manage key metrics and help the leader make wise decisions that will ultimately make the company more profitable.

Related: Why Entrepreneurs Should Choose Information Over Guts

4. Business and process expert

Every business will have procedures. The growing business will have a clear understanding of the critical processes that will set them up for success. These critical processes could include processes related to payroll, on-boarding and off-boarding of customer and team members, and procurement-related systems.

One way to develop the organization’s processes and systems is to integrate a business expert into your team. This person can act as a general manager or as an operations manager. Their primary task is to examine how things are done and work to improve efficiency across the organization.

5. A person with high emotional intelligence

In business, it’s always about the people. People will constantly push your organization forward or tear it down. Working with people is difficult because people are often not a finished product. People need to be trained, developed and invested in to reach their peak performance. Having someone in the CEO circle with an eye for bringing out the best in people will be key to achieving the business principle of “improve your team to improve your organization”.

The person will have a high emotional quotient and will be able to see many sides of an issue. People in life face a lot of issues. Often these issues can be raised in the workplace and good people can be left to underperform without a person who can guide them on how to overcome their problems and improve themselves and their personal performance.

As companies grow, they often develop an HR department. As the CEO continues to expand his team, they need to consider having a person around them to help them discern who they can trust, how to handle difficult people issues, and what policies will be necessary to build a strong group culture.

Your team can make you better

The CEO’s team is critical to the success of the leader and the organization he leads. Many business owners understand the value of their team as it relates to their business, but may neglect to build a personal team around them to help them innovate, uncover blind spots, and wrestle with day-to-day decisions professionally and personally.

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