I took Maynard Webb’s advice. Here’s what happened

I’ve loved scripting this weekly column for 3 years, and I love when I hear again from founders about how my recommendation landed and the way they’re doing. One of many questions

that obtained quite a lot of traction this yr got here from an govt who was in search of extra challenges however didn’t wish to overextend.

Right here’s the unique letter and my response, printed on June 2, 2021:


I’ve put robust leaders in place and am seeking to tackle new challenges. My largest worry is that I’m going to get uninterested in much less to do, however I’m additionally apprehensive to tackle greater than I can handle. (I don’t assume that the CEO shall be eager on the concept of me including some exterior endeavors like board seats or investing.) 

-Govt at a crossroads

Pricey Govt, 

Congrats on being at this level the place you’ve got established that issues can run easily sufficient so that you can flip to different endeavors. That’s nice for the individuals you’ve empowered and for the liberty it affords you. 

Let’s rejoice that you’ve climbed the ladder and change into profitable. However you’ll discover that there’s all the time extra to do. At eBay, every time we obtained forward of the curve, there was one thing else across the nook. Moreover, simply because issues are going easily now, it doesn’t imply they are going to keep that method.  In a dynamic quick progress atmosphere, issues are all the time altering.  

Subsequently, it’d make sense to maintain issues as they’re for the following quarter or two. See how issues develop earlier than you resolve what else so as to add. 

So far as your concern about taking up an excessive amount of, I discover that there’s often a strategy to get all of it carried out. Typically, when I begin one thing new it may be overwhelming, however I can’t keep in that zone for lengthy. That pushes me to determine a strategy to conquer it, which is often doable by organising techniques and metrics and bringing on different individuals when mandatory. The irony is that earlier than lengthy, it now not requires as a lot from me and I’m in search of new issues to do. And so, the cycle continues. 


Lastly, simply because your boss could not like the concept of you involving your self in different efforts will not be a cause to desert the concept. In the event you do want approval, I would advocate sharing the fleshed-out thought and the way you’ll make this a non-issue in your firm. (Principally, you will need to reveal that every thing you dedicated to do will nonetheless get carried out.) In the event you make a adequate case, it is going to be arduous to disclaim you this request. CEOs want nice executives on their workforce. I guess you’ve got extra management than you assume. Additionally, many leaders perceive that an extracurricular exercise could make you keep longer in your job and can allow you to carry recent considering to your on a regular basis work. 

 I loved with the ability to supply steerage, and I was heartened to listen to how this one turned out.

This chief had a dialogue together with his boss and requested for an exception to the rule about sitting on exterior boards. He confused that he would be capable to deftly handle his day job with the surface board work, which might additionally assist him carry new expertise and perspective to his function on the firm. His request was granted and he’s since discovered two board roles, one at a late-stage non-public firm and one at a public firm. He’s having fun with the brand new learnings that include his new positions and feeling extra fulfilled and extra modern in his govt job.