Last updated: December 2

Optimizing leadership with the extroverted CEO 

Driving peak performance for CEOs and their boards, Westgate Executive Branding Offers Premier Advisory Services & Personal Branding Consulting for High-Profile Leaders. About Maureen—CEO & Founder. 

CEO turnover and its cost to investors, reputational damage to the brand, and friction with employees are all risks associated with poor communication.

According to a report by McKinsey, well-connected teams see a productivity increase of 20-25%. Additionally, Gallup's State of the Global Workplace 2022 Report states that disengaged employees cost the world $7.8 trillion in lost productivity.

Executive personal branding helps to uncover authentic messaging based on personal values using verifiable tools. Personal branding strengthens communications with internal and external audiences in a way that supports the corporation’s brand and its business goals.

This article is an extension of a very popular one we wrote discussing how to work with teams. This is the second article of 4 that we will be publishing over the next 2 months on the four primary leadership styles.

You might be interested in viewing the first one we published—The "type A" Leader.

Executive performance optimization

At a recent business meeting in New York City, a private-equity partner (after listening to my value proposition) asked me: “Maureen, how do I get someone like you into my portfolio company? I know they need you, but how do we bring you into the company without accusing the CEO (or the board) of incompetence?”

It’s a great question, which we address in this article.

When to bring Westgate into your organization

Typically, we’re invited into organizations when:

There is a newly appointed CEO

  • To protect the board’s investment in the new CEO
  • To assist with an effective CEO transition with the new leadership team
  • To align internal and external messaging designed to improve CEO/Board engagement

When change is coming

  • Handing over the reins to a new leader
  • An IPO or strategic sale is on the horizon
  • Require a plan for the business post-bankruptcy

When change is overdue

  • Optimize the digital footprint for the CEO and leadership team
  • Raise thought leadership and visibility in the capital markets
  • Align the CEO and the board’s priorities

Organizations are led by various types of leaders: high drivers, extroverts, introverts, and analytical leaders. This article focuses on the extroverted, people-oriented CEO, Board Chair, shareholder or investor.

Extroverted executives

When leading an extroverted, people-oriented CEO, Board Chair, shareholder or investor, understand the business and situation from their perspective. Extroverted leaders love people and to be the center of attention, telling stories, and engaging others.

How do you know the person you’re dealing with (CEO, board chair, etc.) is extroverted?

  • Excellent verbal skills
  • Brings optimism to the team
  • Popular team player
  • Positive sense of humor
  • Display a high energy level and are very good at meeting new people
  • Often will become easily bored by mundane or routine projects

The following infographic demonstrates their outward preferences and behaviors:

How to handle conflict with an extroverted executive (real or perceived) …

In moments of conflict, highly extroverted executives may lash out with a strong verbal attack on another person. This can, of course, seem startling as it is so unlike their normal behavior.

They may experience the desire to get even if someone thwarts a major component of their personal agenda. That said, they likely won’t follow through on it. They may choose to overlook the matter to preserve the relationship.

Generally, they respond with anger to personal attacks and, sometimes, the failure of someone supporting them when they are really counting on it. 

Highly extroverted leaders tend to “think out loud.” Others may take these “brainstorming” ideas as actual commitments and become upset when those “commitments” are not completed. So, these executives should let others know in advance when they are only exploring ideas and options and not committing to actions.

With these executives, it’s extra important to clarify commitments and the expectations of others. You can do so by following up in writing to reconfirm commitments.

How to help the outgoing CEO decide…

Highly extroverted executives want to avoid discussions of complex, negative-sounding, messy problems. Therefore, try to frame suggestions in a positive light. This is not to suggest they don’t understand the issues—they simply want to avoid the conversations.

Be certain to conclude the communication with modes of action and specific instructions for the next step.

They are open to suggestions—especially when it makes them look and feel good, ideally not requiring a lot of tedious follow-ups, detail work, or long-term commitments.

“You seem to know everybody, Alan. Since we need to get $100,000 in pledges by the end of February, why not go ahead and wrap up all your calls by Friday? Then you can relax a lot more next week.”

How to encourage outgoing leaders…

Highly outgoing leaders generally require freedom to express their own ideas, initiatives, and creativity. Try to prioritize creating this space for them. They are motivated by opportunities and encouragement to try new ideas and take risks. It’s ideal to point out objectives and expected results.

They want the influence and power to delegate to achieve results. They’re generally encouraged by a participatory administrative infrastructure and a democratic supervisor or board.

They prefer an environment that provides lots of interpersonal contact, disparate activities, and occasional surprises. They won’t respond well to micro-managing and will be most effective in a workplace that frees them from too many details and heavy supervision.

Be engaging, stimulating, and fast-paced. Provide immediate incentives for Christina’s willingness to help on the project. Additionally, plan to talk about things that support their dreams and goals.

It can be helpful to use their own words to direct you back to the topic or issue at hand. They will respond well to this level of recognition.

How to compliment the outgoing CEO…

Provide special incentives to inspire them to go the whole nine yards. Show them how they can look good in the eyes of others.

Create short-term contests that don’t require long-term commitments. Reward them in front of others and let them speak about their achievements.

Provide testimonials from people that they see as important, because they enjoy being popular and well liked.

Know the fears of the outgoing CEO…

Understanding their fears is key to help extroverted executives succeed in their leadership roles.

Generally, the extroverted CEO’s primary fear is missing out on an event or opportunity. Loss of social approval is uncomfortable and they will generally seek opportunities for recognition and visibility.

Show them your admiration and appreciation for them. Support their feelings when possible, and be sure to include them in activities, plans, and events.

How you can introduce us to your firm’s leadership:

Launch your offsite meeting confidently with our premier inclusion event.

Create inclusion and trust for your executive management team. Let people know you care by learning their behavioral styles and understanding their personal preferences for engaging with others.

This private event delivers a high return on time invested because you will walk away with a tool that takes the mystery out of people, making your relationships with your team members more meaningful, trusting, and effective.

The Main Event begins with a 1:1 conversation with the CEO and their team, followed by a group debrief that lasts approximately 40 minutes. It’s fun, safe, and provides strategies your CEO and team can begin using immediately.

For more information, contact: Maddison Shears at maddison@westgatecareercoaching.com.

Instant download below (Main Event Brochure)

Westgate's senior leadership retreat program

Maureen Farmer, CEO/Founder, is a Certified Personal Branding Strategist. She helps CEOs build authority, trust and elevate their credibility with capital markets, shareholders, investors, employees, and clients.


About executive resume writing author 

Westgate - Maureen Farmer

Maureen Farmer is the Founder & CEO of Westgate Executive Branding & Career Consulting Inc., an international personal branding and career consulting firm delivering premier executive branding and career consulting services for high-profile leaders. Author of The CEO Script Vault: Job Search Scripts for Busy Executives, Maureen believes that when we’re doing work aligned with our values, everyone wins. Using the law of attraction to identify quality employers utilizing the hidden job market is a cornerstone of her career management strategy.

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