The Emotional Intelligence Playbook for Fractional C-suite Leaders

In the ever-evolving landscape of corporate leadership, the role of fractional C-suite executives has emerged as a dynamic and influential force. These leaders, who lend their expertise to multiple organizations on a fractional basis, face unique challenges and opportunities. Among the myriad skills required for such roles, one stands out as particularly crucial: Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Unlike traditional, full-time executives, fractional leaders must quickly adapt to new environments, understand diverse team dynamics, and build trust rapidly—all tasks where a high EQ is not just beneficial but essential. In this blog, we delve into the transformative power of EQ in the fractional C-suite, exploring how it shapes leadership styles, impacts organizational culture, and drives success in these unique roles.   Understanding Emotional Intelligence in Leadership   When I first encountered this concept of Emotional Intelligence (EQ), it struck me as a vital, yet often overlooked, aspect

A Game-Changer for Scaling Small Companies

A few years ago, the head of a portfolio of five waste management companies faced a significant challenge. Larry's $5M industrial composting plant was losing money, and he realized his operations manager could not orchestrate a turnaround. He knew he needed a senior level executive who could drive operational excellence and be a role model leader for his young team. However, the prospect of hiring such an executive raised financial concerns for Larry. Then Larry was introduced to a game-changing concept: fractional executives. These are senior level executives who offer expertise and leadership to a number of companies on a limited basis, bringing a wealth of experience and strategic acumen without the commitment of a full-time hire. This model offers not only cost-effectiveness but also remarkable efficiency. Initially skeptical, Larry sought an example to understand how a fractional executive could benefit his organization. “You, Larry, are a fractional CEO yourself,” we explain

Don't Skip the Strategy: How a Fractional Chief Marketing Officer Can Save You Money and Help Your Business Win

Throughout my marketing career, I have met many people who are experts at developing a solid marketing strategy. They are founders, engineers, architects, physicians, restauranteurs, and when I talk to them about their commercial strategy, they can wax lyrical for hours. Of course, I am being facetious—they are not marketing experts, they just think they are.  So many business leaders I have met throughout my career mistake plans or actions for strategy. They possess in-depth knowledge about their product, industry, and maybe their customers but all too often they dive headfirst into planning and execution before addressing key strategic questions.   • What are we trying to achieve?  • Why will my customer care?  • What will make them choose me over my competition? As a strategic marketer, I often get brought into companies to help them grow their business, launch their product or to turnaround a stagnant business. Often, they have hired a junior person to manage their social med

2 Milestones in 1: 5k members and Frak 2023

This last week was a very eventful one for both the community and fractionals at large. For the community, we reached 5000 members just in time for the second milestone event, which was Frak 2023, the first-ever fractional conference, organized by our partner and ally, VoyageurU . Frak 2023 was an opportunity for current fractional leaders, leaders who were fractionally curious, and even some local small business owners to come together in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Many others have already posted on LinkedIn their takeaways from the conference, and I know that will be repurposed to share all event sessions and materials for those who couldn't make it, so I'm going to focus on my key memories and personal takeaways. First the memories: I loved getting to meet John Arms himself and so many others I've had zoom calls with. There's nothing like coming face-to-face with someone and deepening that bond you started on zoom. There were too many to ment

A Guide to Fee Models for Fractional Executives - With Focus on The Fractional Sales Leader

Fee models for fractional executives is one of the most talked-about topics in fractional communities. And it makes sense, as there is no one-size-fits-all. These fees have an art and a science to them, a balance between multiple factors, and an element of as-high-or-as-low-as-desperation-takes-you. And that is not too different from the permanent job market: there are currently job postings for a VP of Sales on Indeed making $80k and $500k+ a year. But numbers aside for a moment, what are those factors to consider? Factors that hold true for both the client and the executive so that they also provide a more unbiased way to determine a fee agreeable and beneficial to both. 1. Fixed vs. Variable: Similar to traditional sales compensation, do you want to pay (or get paid) on a (1) pre-determined basis, (2) based on the outcome, or a (3) mix of both? In most discussions I have been involved in, the answer really depended on how well both parties could foresee the outcome.  Tasked with s

The Actional Fractional

Image courtesy of: Your first thought may be that actional is a mistake and should be actionable ; however that word was carefully chosen and will be explained shortly. The word fractional , in the context of this post, is a type of service provided to businesses; it is also often used as a title for those providing the services. Fractional services Fractional, as a type of service or part of a job title, is becoming more common, particularly in leadership circles. My title for example is Fractional CTO. Fractional services are sometimes referred to as pay-as-you-go, on-demand, Something-as-a-Service (CTO-as-a-Service for example), or virtual. Fractional services provide businesses with the flexibility to access expertise without the commitment of full-time employment. The services are usually part-time and provided as an on-going service to one or more clients during a given period. An example is 1 hour each month as an advisor with one client,

Client Roster Getting Crowded? 4 Time-Management Hacks for the Busy Fractional

It’s 8:30 a.m. on a Monday. Claire has just sat down at her desk, ready to ease into her work week. A mug of hot coffee on one side of her workspace, photos of her dogs on the other, she stretches, mentally reviewing some of her priorities for the day and the week. She jiggles her mouse to wake up her laptop and widescreen monitor, logs in, and fires up her Outlook. Claire’s inbox doesn’t look like most people’s, because she is a Fractional Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) with different email accounts for each of her nine clients in professional services industries from architecture to cybersecurity. Perusing her inboxes one at a time, she notices  two messages threatening to derail the order of her day.   Client 1 is requesting an impromptu meeting at noon, right in the middle of one of Claire’s weekly standing meetings with Client 2. Client 1 just received an RFP, due on Friday, and wants to have a strategy discussion before beginning to compile the response.   In the meantim