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Cascading Leadership Series – Talent at the Top

Posted by Kevin Nolan on February 15, 2024

Let’s talk senior management team.

You must surround yourself with people who will challenge you, whom you trust to give you candid advice, and who really care about the company

Finding good people to fill these key roles is vital! 

At Nolan Painting, the management team has six people (magic number again!). The influence of senior management cascades throughout your entire company, so be thoughtful about this. I have assembled a great management team! Each of them has strengths I don’t have! I tend to be a jack of all trades and a master of none. 

Better Odds

Every new idea gets filtered through this team; every big decision involves their feedback. I make 0 final decisions on my own without taking the time to run it by the team. When I make decisions alone and quickly, my success rate is 50/50. But, when I filter it through the team (slowly), I make the right decisions 80 or 90% of the time. I’ll take those odds!

Some of the difference comes directly from their excellent advice, and some success comes from simply slowing down the decision-making process. 

Know your skills and shortcomings when building a team—balance is essential! I have operations, sales, and someone with a solid financial understanding paired together. You can either develop these individuals in-house as I did, or bring people in from the outside. Still, they must all share the same value system and agree to fundamental tenets—general consensus is usually achieved when folks share values.

Consultative Decision-Making for the Win

The CEO decides based on the discussion, and the management team supports it. Everybody votes, and I decide—that’s consultative decision-making in action. You can’t scale your company without a management team to give you ideas, cascade the information down, and protect the culture.

Leaders in the Pipeline

Field managers are the next level down at Nolan Painting; these are our future senior leaders. You must pay well to maintain high capacity and talented leaders who share your values and can protect your company culture, hit targets, and train employees! But it’s vital for success and future growth. Who are your future leaders?

Next week—cascading leadership by building team culture. Team culture is a serious muscle—build it!

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