Podcast Episode 52

Mastering the C-Suite: Insights from Mike Dias on CEO Coaching

In this episode of Tech Business Roundtable Podcast, get insight into the world of CEO coaching and leadership development with Mike Dias, CEO of Scale Up Valley. Join Ryan as he interviews Mike, covering topics like effective leadership strategies, navigating emerging trends in tech, and practical advice for building high-performance teams. Gain actionable insights and real-world experiences from Mike’s wealth of knowledge and expertise in the C-suite, equipping you with the tools to drive success in today’s dynamic business landscape.

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Background and Introduction

Ryan: Welcome everyone to the Tech Business Roundtable podcast show. This is a podcast show dedicated to shining a spotlight on tech innovators, entrepreneurs, founders, and the compelling narratives behind the movements they’ve established. I’m your host, Ryan Davies, and I’m hosting today’s discussion, Mastering the C-Suite, insights from Mike Dias on CEO coaching with Mike Dias. Of course, it would be you, you’re in the title, it has to be you. So Mike, thank you so much for being here. 

Mike: Thank you, Ryan, for hosting me and congrats for the amazing things that you do with the Tech Business Roundtable podcast, and of course, outside of the podcast as well. 

Ryan: Thank you so much. That is very kind of you. And Mike, I think you are going to be an absolute rock star of a guest for our listeners today. For those who are looking for the brief background on Mike, and I will try and keep it brief because there’s so much we could say about him. Mike’s goal really is to help CEOs and leadership teams scale from 10 to 25 million, from 50 to $100 million, from 50 to 200 or 500 plus employees by implementing a leadership team framework that delivers clarity of vision and world class execution with OKRs and a strong meeting cadence. With over 20 years of experience, Mike has had the privilege to partner with 300 plus venture backed CEOs and to work closely with over 50 leadership teams across the US, Europe, Latin America, Asia, and has contributed to scale one IPO, one Decacorn, four unicorns, my goodness. I mean, there’s a lot of notches on that belt, which you should be very proud of. And he founded the ScaleUp Valley podcast in 2018 to host the best CEOs and investors across the world. That podcast has released over 300 episodes so far. I look like an infant in comparison with where we are compared to where you are, but we all strive to kind of get to that level. And as the founder and CEO of ScaleUpValley.com, he is going to bring some incredible insight to us today. Mike, thank you again for being here. I can’t wait to jump in. 

Mike: Thank you for the kind introduction and the kind words. Yeah, sometimes I don’t even believe it when you share what I have in my profile. 

Ryan: I mean, it’s incredible. It’s fun to hear it. And I love helping people again, kind of go back and reminisce a little bit of all the amazing accomplishments they’ve done. I want to leave it to your words a little bit in terms of your journey, and particularly what inspired you to establish ScaleUp Valley? 

Mike: That’s an amazing question, right? The why behind everything that I do and what keeps me waking up every day and motivated and with a spark in the eyes and moving forward. And definitely, it started with a big challenge in my adolescence. My parents had a factory. I would be the first generation succeeding my father. And unfortunately, that company entered the bankruptcy process. So from then on, that sparked my passion, right? So I’ve been there since a child, kind of going through the ups and downs of the business, looking to all the workers and the employees, and sometimes even interacting with them, going there to work on the summer, trying to find out solutions to avoid what happened at the time in the manufacturing industry, in the shoes industry, in Portugal, in the Western part of Europe. And that’s what sparked my passion. After that, I went working to a branding agency in the marketing space, and I did a bit of everything from CFO, COO, CIO, sometimes even creating a project management system for the agency. Consultant, I started doing CEO coaching as well. I was the second in command for the CEO. And later on, he invited me, do you want to keep leading the company? Because I want to do other things in life. And I have two options, or I will sell the company, or I will just close the company. Or if you want, you can succeed me, and I will support you as much as I can, because I see how hard you work for this company and how passionate you are about this. That’s what I did for almost three years. And then we sold it to the largest client. And after that, I started SkillUp Valium to follow my passion after having my professional CEO experience after that. And that is why I do what I do. In terms of Scale Up Valley, at that time, I was 20 in my 20s. So I’ve been trying different industries of CEOs that will be open to be coached by me. And a lot of them didn’t take me too seriously at the time, given my age. And I was really fortunate to find a niche, the VC and the tech niche that was really open to my insights, that was just starting from scratch, especially outside of Silicon Valley. And yeah, I specialized in that niche. Nowadays, I’m going more mainstream across tech, not only VC-backed. I really appreciate working with companies also that are able to bootstrap and remain profitable and not be dependent on raising in rounds after rounds.

But I have both of these backgrounds. And 11 years later, almost in January, that’s the story of Scale Up Valley so far. 

Ryan: Incredible. And I mean, you’ve built quite a profile there. And I think based on how people and the great things they have to say about you, some of the things that are on your website and just on LinkedIn and everything else, he’s one of the few people on the planet that gets how CEOs feel. And he’s worked closely with us and is not just here for an advisory role, but he’s an effective leader. He’s persistent. It’s all of these things that I think bleed into being a CEO. So tell me a little bit about that. Give me a bit about what the role of the CEO is and what led you to focus on coaching CEOs as that kind of missing link to build these really high performance leadership teams? 

Mike: Yeah. I think that we always need, if we want to change results, we always need to start at the top. So that is my belief. And we need to be able to lead by example and to set the tone at the top of the pyramid. And a lot of times what happens is CEOs reach out to me for me to help their leadership teams. And what ends up happening is that I’m helping the CEO and the leadership team. Of course, I’ve never said that I’m helping the CEO, but they realize nowadays and after they go through the process of self-growth and being self-aware of their own limitations, their own areas of improvement, but also aware of their strengths. And we know that it’s not easy to be in the job of the CEO. I’ve been there and I know how tough it is. And I had my burnout, I had my ups and downs, I had the roller coaster that all CEOs go through. So I’m not saying that it’s really an outlier role in the very role too. So I have huge respect for all the CEOs that I work with and what they have achieved, but it’s so fantastic. And as I tell them, typically when I get in and I would like to share the stats, as you said, I get in nowadays much more than 10 to 25 million, sometimes even 10 to 50 million to help them to go from the 50 to 100 million in revenue. I like to share these stats with them. So only 4% of all companies get to 1 million in revenue, 4%. Only 0.4% get to 10 million. So 10% of the ones who get to 1, get to 10. And under 0.04% get to 100 million, which means under 10% of the ones who get to 10, get to 100 million. So starting a company and scaling it to 100 million in revenue, it’s really 0.04% odds of being successful doing that. And a lot of us, and that’s great because if the majority of the CEOs would be aware of these odds, they will never have started anything. And that was also why I started Scale Up Valley. I’m really privileged that at the time I didn’t know that. So that’s why I changed all the odds. And I would tell you after my first DecoCorn or our first, so this is always teamwork with TalkDesk.

I thought that this would be kind of trivial, right? It would be kind of easy to get to that kind of stage. But I was really lucky because I betted on the right horses, let’s say on the right companies, on the right teams, on the right CEOs. It didn’t always happen like that.

I also had my lessons learned and my failures. And even in the most successful cases, sometimes what is curious is that we felt that we were failing and we were being successful at the end of the day. We were always able to step up and be able to face adversity. So in terms of the role of the CEO, there are three principles that I think are critical to do the job of the CEO well. Number one is clarity of vision. Are you able to articulate your narrative, your vision narrative for the long-term, mid-term and short-term? Number two, it’s as you said, it’s all about leading and building your leadership team for each stage of growth, right? So going from five to 10 or 10 to 20 or 20 to 50 or 50 to 100 are different stages of growth that require different skills.

And first, there are people that don’t want to go through all stages of growth and there are people that don’t have the skills to go through each stage of growth. So I love to have kind of a 50-50 role. So you hire 50% new VPs to the new stage of growth and you retain 50% who are able and want to go to the next stage. And that’s okay with the ones who don’t want to go to the next stage and want to go back to the five to 10 million because they have much more fun there. And that’s okay. It’s not a failure for them.

It’s just a decision that they make with their lives, what they want to do with their lives. So number three, it’s all about the execution machine. So if you have clarity of vision, if you have the right team or the right people on the right seats for the stage of growth, and if you have the discipline, as you said, about having the meeting cadence that is so important in terms of communication as you scale and also having the objectives and key results that are clear that you track on a weekly basis, that will allow you to learn as quickly as possible. And we know that the ones who win are not the ones who are always right, are the ones who are able to learn quicker, to adapt quicker and are able to unite when they face adversity. So I think that the number one role of the CEO is really to be a team coach, an individual coach for VPs, to be a student of their executives, not a teacher. This is a common mistake. They don’t need to know all the stuff about marketing, sales, product, finance, people. They need to have the right people and they need to be advised by those people, not to tell those people what to do. And the other thing is they also need to be great communicators, but not only to set up the story themselves, to write the story themselves only with their pencils. It’s bringing everyone together to write that story. Then it becomes the story of the leadership team, not the story of the CEO. And guess what? When it becomes the story of the leadership team, it’s much easier to execute than when it’s only the story of the CEO. And the goal of the leadership team is how do we cascade this story so everyone in the organization feels that they have written the story with us, that they had a chance to share feedback on the story, that they were able to get inputs to be considered in the narrative that we are telling. And that narrative is not static. It keeps evolving and progressing as we go through execution. And that’s why I always keep that, okay, what are the goals for next quarter? What I call the midterm, one, two, three years in advance, the five, 10 years in advance, so the short, the mid and the long term. And we need to keep always adjusting these components in terms of the job of the CEO. And some would say as well, but I think if you have the right team in place, this will be taken care of, but also ensure that there is always cash on the bank. 

Ryan: Nice. Very, very key to make sure that portion, right? So rewinding back there a bit and just clarify for me or make sure I’ve got it right. You were talking kind of about this 50, 50 split when you’re building a leadership team in terms of retention versus growth and bringing new people and focused on that sort of thing. So with that, there would be two sides to that then, correct? It would be building a leadership team and identifying and attracting top tier talent to your leadership team, and then developing a leadership team and things like continuous learning from that perspective as well. So from that, let’s start on the first half of that and build that world-class leadership team. And I think there’s probably some common, and you kind of touched on it, qualities and skills that make a world-class VP or executive, especially in a very fast-paced dynamic sector like tech. And then also the strategies to be able to A, identify them and attract them, and B, bring them in and introduce them and continue them in your culture. So I know that’s kind of a big… I think I just asked a seven-part question there, but let’s break it down. I was even writing down some of the questions that you made, so I don’t forget. I was going to say, we could start with some of these qualities and skills that you would say, and I guess, again, it can really range, but that people should be looking for when they’re attracting these world-class executives, specifically in the tech space. 

Mike: Yeah. Yeah. You know, that’s one of the things that kills companies are founders’ conflicts, right? So conflicts between founders. What also kills companies and makes companies go into crisis, of course, there are market shifts that they are not aware of and not being able to adapt quicker. But a lot of times it’s conflicts across the leadership team that cascade down across the organization. So I would say that the world-class VP starts with someone who is a true team worker, who is a cultural fit for the leadership team. I prefer 100% someone who is a cultural fit with 80% of technical skills than someone who is an outlier in terms of technical skills, but is a complete, excuse me, my Spanish asshole in terms of personality, right? I like it. 

Ryan: Yeah. Tell it like it is, Mike. I love it. 

Mike: Yeah. So, and for me, it’s the point that a lot of CEOs and a lot of VPs miss. And I love sports, so you know how difficult it is to create that vintage team that wins all the trophies in a season. So it’s very difficult to replicate it during two or three years. And in a decade, it’s almost impossible. So that is the beauty. And if you really need to win big, and we know the odds of winning big, we really need to first have some luck, of course, at the right timing, but also a lot of work and being able to attract the best. That’s why it’s so important that you have a clear vision, a bold vision, that you are able to articulate your vision, because that’s the only way to attract the best, to work for a vision that they believe in, that they want to be part of. Because the best don’t want to work for other people, they want to work for themselves. And the leaders that are able to attract the best are the ones who make them feel that they can work for themselves, even if they are working under an entity. They still have freedom to align with the vision. They have fun working with their teammates, with their peers. They are not kind of shocked or anxious because Monday is coming, and they have the weekly meeting, and they will be tracking results, and they know the environment and the culture and the toxic behaviors that you have there. No, it’s the opposite. They are excited. Oh, I had an amazing weekend. It was great to be with family, to be with friends, to have fun, but I will keep having fun during the week, right? So it will be amazing to be with those folks. We will see some challenges. It will not be all paradise and butterflies, but we’ll find a way, and we’ll feel so good that we were able to face adversity and find other ways. So I will start there with the social or with the cultural or the soft skill fit to the team, and the second thing that I would be that is incredibly important for a world-class VP and the world-class leadership team is in all the seats, any of the VPs could be the CEO, but they are so passionate about their own functional areas that they prefer to sit in that functional areas and to contribute, but they all think as CEO, and they all act as CEO, of course, respecting the CEO and knowing that the CEO has the final words when there is a conflict in the team, when there are different opinions, which is great. That’s the CEO as a say at the end, but they all act and own and are accountable and make things happen with the CEO mindset first and second with the functional act. This is the best description that I was able to take over the years with what is for me a world-class VP. In terms of attracting the best talent, I shared some tricks there, but what I would say is that leadership is really important. You need to make people want to, again, join your vision. You need to share out loud on social media, on articles, whatever it is, what is your view of the world? What are your values? What is your vision? What does it look like working with you? It’s the same we do with customers, the same with employees, what we’re saying about the testimonials. What people tell about working with me, and it’s not me telling what people say, it’s my customers and my people telling what it looks like to work with me. In terms of developing those leaders, that’s a bit of what I do in my capacity. I work with the CEO and with the leadership team in terms of individual coaching and team coaching. I make sure I always say I’m not an expert in marketing, I’m not an expert in sales, I’m not an expert in any functional area. I’m an expert in scaling up and I’m an expert in CEOs and leadership teams and helping them scale from the branches that you already described on your show. It’s all about, again, applying the same methodology across the entire functions. It’s helping those leaders be ready to become CEOs. That’s always my point. I always tell the CEO, my job is to ensure that in every single seat of your leadership team, you have CEO readiness, which means that if tomorrow any of your leaders that you need to go out for two or three months, or for 12 months, any of your leaders can step up and succeed you as CEO. In that sense, I would say you have a world-class culture and you have a world-class leadership team and your business will scale. There is no option to not be able to, if you have that caliber of people and team around you. 

Implementing Effective Leadership Development Strategies

Ryan: I love that because you hear that a lot at the middle management level and stuff, let’s go with both sides of the coin. If you get hit by a bus tomorrow, who’s going to step in and take your job? Or if you win the lottery tomorrow, let’s go with the positive one, and you never come back to work again. Who’s going to step in to keep things moving? You always hear that thing, but you don’t necessarily hear that about the top because the CEO is like, well, CEO is there. It’s there. The VPs are there, the CFO, the CTO, whatever. They’re not going anywhere, but you’re right. You need to have that readiness, and that should be these people that are in your mold, because if you build them that way, you can trust that whatever you delegated them with, tasked them with, whatever their goals are, they’re going to achieve them in your mold and mindset, because you’ve got somebody who’s ready to basically take the reins at a moment’s notice, which is amazing. Maybe that’s that perfect discussion where we were kind of the second half, what we were talking about was approaching leadership development with an organization. As you mentioned, thought leadership is huge. Continuous learning is huge. Maybe talk a little bit about that strategy, the importance behind it, and how you help instill that process in an organization. 

Mike: So in terms of the thought leadership components or the coaching components? 

Ryan: Yeah. If you’re talking about developing those leaders and you want to bring them to be that kind of ready, it does take that continuous learning. What sort of things do you have to have in place in that mentality? Because again, CEOs cast a thousand ways across the board. Sometimes that’s something that doesn’t really hit them. They’re like, well, the person I hired should be able to take this. That’s why I hired them. But you need to be able to continue that learning process, right? 

Mike: Absolutely. I think that’s why I do coaching in a much more boutique fashion or style because I didn’t believe too much in kind of just sitting down with the CEO and the CEO would share the problems. And then I will share, ask some questions, try to help the CEO to think better, share my opinion and my recommendations, and then help the CEO to structure the decision and also to structure the execution of the decision, right? So all those things are very helpful to any leader and to any CEO. But you don’t have perspective when you are sharing with me your problems, right? Because that’s your perspective of reality, which of course, in some components, it is an accurate perception of the reality, but in other components, it is not, right? So we all have our blind spots and we don’t know our blind spots by definition. And that’s why I like to be there. And this is quite unique in terms of the style of coaching, but I prefer it because I see the results. It also creates some scalability problems for me and for my company in terms of the practice. But I’m there on a weekly basis facilitating or every 14 days facilitating the weekly or the every 14 days leadership team meeting. So I’m the one who facilitates those meetings. I have one-on-ones again every week or every 14 days with the five to seven members of the leadership team, including the CEO. So I see them in action. I see them, you know, interacting with each other. So I’m able to share feedback in real time. So what is happening here in terms of team dynamics? Are we growing as a team? What is missing? Some of the frameworks that I use are the Rockefeller habits, a set of habits of the scaling up framework and scaling up book from Vern Arnish, one of my mentors. And I’m also able sometimes when the CEO speaks and addresses the leadership team or even addresses the entire company in the tunnel, I’m there silent. And after that, I will just have a quick audio or a quick message or a quick call and tell, so congrats for that, that and that. And I would improve on it that way. This also requires a lot of, again, being open to feedback and really starving and having a culture of loving feedback, understanding that I’m not criticizing them, right? I’m saying, look, as I said in the beginning, I have huge respect for your position and for the position of any executive in this company, right? So what you did so far, it’s amazing. Again, a lot of the times I get there at 0.4%. So they are already outliers, they are successful people, right? So I’m just there to make them even more successful. And as a team, as I tell, this is not my job only, it’s our job, it’s teamwork. And in that sense, I think that kind of feedback in real time on the job, that’s in my perspective, what really makes the difference. And also, applying the framework step-by-step without overwhelming them and being myself facilitating it and sometimes bringing a shift of staff to start taking some of my tasks. So then I free up the organization so they can keep walking and running alone without me and not making them dependent on me. So I would say I bring the framework, I understand the rhythm and the pace of the organization, the stage of growth, I start implementing bits of the framework. But I feel that a lot of CEOs miss it until we conclude the process and then they realize what was really important, it wasn’t the framework. The framework was just there to have a common language and to organize us and to give some order, some clarity. What was really, really important was the behavioral coaching. And in two components, the team coaching and individual coaching, understanding that there were differences and leveraging those differences, praising those differences, but also being able to align and explain to each executive. So your peer is coming from this angle, you are both right, let’s find a common ground. And also avoiding a lot of friction, a lot of misunderstanding by the one-on-ones that I do.

So that’s why I combine, again, the individual coaching, one-on-ones on a regular basis with a group coaching, which are the weeklies, the quarterly sessions and annual sessions where we go through OKRs and we also review the vision narrative. 

Ryan: That’s, I mean, I think that’s a great, great breakdown in terms of how we’re going to take it again, how to find it, how to keep it, how to upscale it, and then for CEOs, how to continue that growth within themselves and take that feedback. You mentioned before, I’m the same way, I’m a big sports fan too. And it’s not like when Messi’s out on the pitch, it’s not like he’s getting, oh, I’m already the greatest player, so I don’t need any more adjustments. You’re still getting coached. It doesn’t matter what stage of your career or greatness you’re at, there’s still something to work on, there’s still feedback to get. I’m a big baseball fan. And some of the best pitchers in the game who are sitting there in the dugout and they’re going, OK, well, if you do this and have this grip that’s slightly different, you’re going to get more runs on your fastball or break on a curveball or something. And people are like, OK, I’m going to take this. And if you’ve got somebody who’s whispering in your ear, like you said, don’t take it as you’re bad, you’re already at 0.4%. You’re four out of a thousand to get to this stage. But now we want to make you that 0.04% and make you that next level. And here’s those tweaks you need to make.

Right. Instead of making massive overhauls, it becomes these minor changes. And, you know, one of the things that I think is very difficult, I always find this difficult when you’re dealing with it. Human beings in something where it’s soft skills and tangibles and things like that that are, you know, are the intangibles, I mean, that are not necessarily super easily measurable. How do you measure the success of your coaching interventions and your growth with leadership teams? Like are there key performance indicators that can be tracked or is there anything that where they go like, yes, this is working? Or do you say it is as simple as looking at how happy you look at the CSAT scores or your internal happiness scores or your revenue bottom line? This is speaking for itself. Are there other other factors at play as well? 

Mike: That is a great question. And of course, that’s why I always have this narrative. I help you scale from X number of revenue to a Y number of revenue and or profitability or cash flow, depending on what is more important for you. And to help you get there, get from A to B or A to Z, because we need to go through all the letters to get there. I will apply this framework. And of course, in this framework, we need to implement OKRs and OKRs will have a combination of, you know, team key results, customer key results, business key results, and financial metrics. So customer metrics, team metrics. But at the end of the day, it’s always the same, right? It’s a combination of the NPS and the ENPS that are the leading indicators that will allow us to increase revenue and profitability, which is how likely would your team or your customer recommend you to another customer or another team member to work on this company? Right. And if the score is I, you are close to becoming one of the greatest places to work. And if you are one of the greatest places to work, I’m sure that you are delivering A world class value to your customers. No questions about it. Right. So in terms of the growth of the leaders, that’s the difficult part to measure. Right. So it’s not possible to measure that in an accurate way. What I have is kind of the CEO readiness index. So I typically send a report to the CEO that I’m also happy to share with executives at the end of every single month where I have some strengths, areas of improvement, progress from last month and CEO readiness. Right. And it’s kind of a scale from zero to 10. How ready are you to become CEO if the business needs you? And I would say that even if the business will not promote you as CEO, I think that one of the things that the most successful companies in the world are most proud of is the amount of CEOs that left their leadership teams. Yeah. So which means that they are kind of factories of or of creating new CEOs. And if you want to become a conglomerate and diversify your core business in a large corporation, it is amazing that you are typically the bottleneck of growth also in this stage of growth from the 50 to 100 or from 20 to 100. It’s always leadership development and the pipeline of leaders that we have available to go to make growth initiatives happen. So that’s why leadership readiness or CEO readiness . That’s the report that I do more on the soft stuff. I’m accountable for the success of the team as the CEO. And in that sense, the success of the leadership team is to be able to, you know, deliver the mandate results that they propose themselves to do, which is their vision narrative and the financial results that are attached to that vision narrative. So if we get there, I’ll be successful in my coaching practice. If we don’t get there, I’m also not successful in my coaching practice. So we share the wins and we share the losses. And typically, as any great coach does, when it doesn’t work, it is my fault. When it works, it’s their merit. 

Ryan: Again, there’s the sports fan initiative coach goes up there and goes, yeah, I drew up a great play, you know, great game plan. And I had the right lineup out there. It was really all me. All they had to do was show up. And, you know, it’s always like, well, you know, they took it and they did it all. I just you know, I just made it easy for them to do it. But really, it was all them today. And exactly what goes wrong. It’s like, well, I didn’t set them up for success. We didn’t practice right or whatever it is. You know, I love that mentality. And it’s tough to do that. Right. Sometimes we want to have a little bit of a yeah, I did this. Yeah.

Mike: Like sometimes we even like to listen. Thank you. Really appreciate what you did. And always being here telling me the truth, having the hard conversation, because it also requires a level of emotional maturity. And early in my career, I would always be very close, you know, to the exhaustion that I was. I need to be able to revert that cycle because it’s so intense from an emotional perspective. What I do, because I take all the emotions in the room, right through the ups and downs, the euphoria states and the depression states and the word states. So I observe all of that and I need to bring new energy to the room. And by the way, I think this is also the role of the leader and the role of the CEO. And I needed to be able to, you know, digest those emotions, not let those emotions affect me and redirect those emotions. And a lot of times I absorb those and they will be killing me. But frankly, today, I’m much better, still a lot of room to improve anyway. 

Ryan: Again, I think it’s just that exact mentality, right? You look at a guy like a sports fan, right? Like Guardiola, who’s gone through and led dynasty after dynasty and league after league. But when they struggle, it’s on him and he takes the fall and goes, this is what’s happening. And when it’s great, he goes, I didn’t do anything. I’m just here to make him look good. Right. And that’s kind of what you’ve done such an incredible job of. And again, like if you go and take a look at the ScaleUpValley.com site and all of the amazing kind things that people have to say about Mike, it is so evident that he really embodies it and, you know, speaks the language and understands from that. I kind of want to transition on our way out here. I told you I was going to keep you for like 20, 25 minutes. So we’re well over 30 because I just had a feeling I was going to keep. 

Mike: I’m having a lot of fun. You were an amazing host. I also enjoy your insights. 

Ryan: Perfect. Before I let you go, though, I do have a couple more thoughts because I want to know, you know, let’s crystal ball this looking ahead. What do you see? Any trends that you’re seeing in leadership development for tech CEOs? Maybe they should be preparing for this changing landscape? How fast things have always been fast. But now I think it’s like hyper fast. It’s in super accelerated mode. Right. So do you see any trends that, you know, you foresee in leadership development? 

Mike: I would say the role of the CEO will remain stable in terms of the principles of the key principles if you need to be able to again. Making a business successful is not the job of one person. Right. So we went back to the team. If we are able to have the right people in the right seats that are aware of those trends. And that’s why sometimes I’m a bit lazy because I try to surround myself with the best of the best. So then they keep me updated about what is happening and what are the big changes that are happening out there. Right. 

Ryan: So that’s not lazy. That’s strategic. That’s strategic leadership. Don’t sell yourself short here, Mike. Yeah. It’s also yes. It also takes some effort to nurture those people and to keep them around. 

Mike: There you are right. 

Ryan: Reaping the fruits of your labor, I believe, is what that’s called. Right. Yeah, absolutely. 

Mike: Sometimes I think that we take too much attention to those trends and we underestimate the basics. Right. So it’s kind of a sentence and a quote that I love, which is common sense, but it’s not common practice. Right. So a lot of the things that we need to apply in leadership teams are simple. Everyone knows, but very few do. Right. And I’m there and that’s why I have such an intensive practice because I’m there to ensure that things are applied. So I would say that no matter the century, no matter the time, the businesses that will win are the ones who have the best teams over long periods of times and are able to reinvent themselves when key members leave those teams and are able to have those succession plans in place.

Team, team and team. Those are my trends. 

Concluding Thoughts and Future Outlook

Ryan: I love it. I love it. I was going to ask you as a final takeaway. I have one as well. But, you know, final piece of advice to tech CEOs striving to lead and build these high performance teams. Today’s competitive, dynamic tech business environment. I think that might’ve been the final takeaway there and I might’ve stolen the thunder, but do you have a final thought or a final key takeaway or is that the one? Because that was a pretty solid one. 

Mike: Yeah. I liked that. I enjoyed that one. But yeah, I would say, take a look at your agenda, right? Do an audit of your agenda and make sure that you are dedicating what I like to say in terms of the framework. One day to internal stakeholders, one day to external stakeholders, kind of the ambassador concept that I like to talk about. Being a CEO and being a leader is about being an ambassador. So you represent the team in front of your customers, but then you’d say you are in very good hands. I trust my team to deliver value to you. It was very nice. I really appreciate you trusting the company and the team to deliver value to you. If you have any issues, feel free to reach out to me. You are in very good hands and I’m sure that person is much better than me to deliver the value for me. So number one, pay attention to internal stakeholders. Number two, pay attention to external stakeholders, be an ambassador. Number three, lead the team of the present. Number four, lead the team of the future. Always be recruiting, always be nurturing new relationships. We never know. Always have a backup for every single seat. And number five, take time to think. So those are kind of the way I would structure my calendar in a CEO position, those five days and get out of the noise. So we have too much noise on a day-to-day basis and the job of the CEO is to kill the noise and to bring clarity for everyone. So that’s why being able to always repeat the same narrative, being able to repeat the same narrative with the same enthusiasm every time that you repeat yourself and being able to not believe so much in what you are saying, but always being open to feedback. But at the same time, being able to make your team visualize the future happening today. Those are all critical ingredients for great CEOs and great executives because world-class executives are ready to become CEOs and are also world-class CEOs themselves.

Ryan: Incredible. I asked you for one final takeaway and I think the whole thing was just a giant takeaway because there’s so much information here. There’s so much that people can go back. This is going to be, I bet you, one of our more re-listened to ones where people go, okay, I got to hear that again. I got to get this one, right? Because it’s such a strong message. There’s so much here really focused on our audience. And thank you so much, Mike. Before we go, so is scaleupvalley.com is the website.The Scale Up Valley podcast is the podcast. 300 plus episodes of amazing, great information and insights and journeys there. So don’t miss out on that either. And Mike, anything else to add anywhere else to get in contact with you for our listeners? Because I know that they’re probably going to be starving for more of you. 

Mike: Feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn, Mike Dias, Scale Up Valley. And yeah, I try to publish content every single day. Try to add value in all these concepts that I’ve been sharing with Ryan and where my inspiration and what happens on a daily basis with my clients and with CEOs that in leadership teams I interact with. I try to make the contents very practical, pragmatic, and very real-time oriented. So if it helps the community, I feel really, really happy for that because I’m all about impact. So I’m all about helping others to be successful because that’s the way I believe I become successful. It’s by serving others. 

Ryan: Incredible. Well, you certainly made an impact here today. You certainly helped scale up our audience in terms of where they’re at and where they should be striving to get to. So with that, I’m going to take a final second here. Thank you, Mike Dias, for this amazing podcast on Mastering the C-Suite. Insights from Mike Dias on CEO coaching. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much for being here. 

Mike: Thank you so much, Ryan. Congrats for what you do. And you are an amazing host. And I wish you all the success with the podcast. 

Ryan: Well, thank you, Mike. Kind words. They mean the world to me as well. Thank you so, so much for that. And I also another thank you to hand out to our listeners. As you know, we can’t do what we do without you. So until we meet again with another amazing TBR episode, I’m your host, Ryan Davies. Thanks, everybody. And take care.

About Our Host and Guest

Director of Marketing – Ekwa.Tech & Ekwa Marketing
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CEO/Co-Founder @ Future Tech
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” No matter the century, no matter the time, the businesses that will win are the ones who have the best teams over long periods of time and who are able to reinvent themselves. “

– Mike Dias –