The start of a new year is always a time for new resolutions – but our guest is here to tell us why creating clear and powerful intentions is far more effective. Michelle Saul is the founder and president of Possibilities Consulting and she was my first ever real coach.
Speaking of today’s episode of CTO Studio, Michelle is here to define intentions versus resolutions and why the role of the CTO within the C suite can be so hard sometimes. Join us and hear her insights on those matters and more on this edition of CTO Studio.
In this episode, you’ll hear: What makes a great leader?
- Do CMOs have a higher turnover rate than other C suite roles?
- What is the death knell in a company?
- Why it’s important to seek first to understand before being understood.
- When do people become defensive?
- And so much more!
My first question to Michelle is what does she first feel when she meets a CTO? She says the first thing she feels is overwhelming compassion! Most executives – especially CTOs – are stressed.
And CTOs in particular are stressed because they get blamed for so much and then they are forced to create deadlines. Basically they are forced into situations that seem impossible and then are blamed when they say no.
But is that the nature of a tech company – does the CTO get blamed because the company is within the tech field or is it the CTO’s personality? Yes and yes according to Michelle. To address the first piece: a lot of people (even within tech companies) don’t understand the complexity of changes they are requesting so the CTO themselves get frustrated because they are still blamed if it breaks or doesn’t work.
As far as the personality piece, typically because CTOs are technology people they are geeks who like facts and data and information. They love to fix things. But then their C suite team asks them to be more than data, information and facts.
Basically, CTOs are being asked to have a sales component; they are being asked to convince their executive team of why the CTO needs things done in a specific way (ie why they need to hire more people, why things need to be done in a certain way or in a certain timeframe, etc). But CTOs are not sales people.
If the C suite doesn’t understand what the CTO does then how is that CTO left feeling, in her experience? Does it feel like no one understands the pressure they are under?