How do you manage a team of executives?

Evan is the CEO and co-founder of Abnormal Security. In this class, Evan breaks down what a functional and effective culture of leadership means at enterprise startups, and the best ways to foster that culture. Prior to Abnormal, Evan most recently led product and machine learning teams at Twitter after co-founding successful companies including Bloomspot, acquired by JPMorgan Chase, and AdStack, acquired by TellApart.

Yeah. when companies become successful, right? Like you really want to end up in an executive team, that's filled with people that are way better than you as a founder.

And sometimes if you haven't done that, then you probably don't have really the executive team that you're gonna need to be successful. So everyone in that room is going to have everyone in the executive around the executive table is going to have some sort of expertise or experience or wisdom.

That's, that's additive, right. And complimentary to the rest of the team. [00:58:00] So by definition, every executive is going to be better at you in something. And I think that, when you're trying to work with that team and manage them and ultimately help them drive better performance.

I think that you don't want to be overly directive, right. And say, Hey, this is the way I really want to see it done. Because you're losing on their expertise at the same time. I don't think you want to be overly deferential and say, Hey, why don't, just you're the expert and you figure everything else out.

Evan: So I think it's really important to have a active and regular conversation about,what w what do each of you need, for the, for each other to be successful, right. As CEO, what do I really need from our chief revenue officer, To make sure I feel confident in kind of building the organization that I think we need to be successful.

What does our chief revenue officer need from our CEO, In order to make sure that he's successful right. Or that, her team is all successful. So I think that those are,there's a kind of a partnership conversation. and I think at the end of the day, the, the CEO, Should not be. Making the majority of decisions, right? It's probably, 98 to 99% of the [00:59:00] kind of functional decisions need to be totally deferred and deferred into the, to the functional leader. there, there will be some things, that are really important where, you should be weighing in on.

and there may be a very small set of things, Where you actually want to make a decision because you believe it's strategically important to, to important to the company. But I think that the best CEOs will really come enable their executive partners. but we'll also ultimately the CEO is going to be the standards bearer, About what performance looks like. And I think it's the CEO's responsibility to keep pushing and challenging as executives to keep upping their game. Even though they may not be, an expert. So that requires like, that's a bit of a paradox, right? you have to be a contributor or you have to be be pushing and challenging also recognizing you don't know the answers.

But, you can still ask a lot of questions, right? You can you can test the thinking. I think you gotta be really choosy about where do you want to inject yourself or where do you want to let the team run. And either extreme right. is not, is going to be some optimal.

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