Fractional Leadership – Removing the hats that don’t fit

A fractional leader is a for-hire professional with extensive knowledge and experience leading teams of a specific discipline. CPA’s, when working with smaller organizations that do not house their own Accounting departments, are well-known examples of fractional leaders.

This concept has evolved in recent years as small-medium size businesses choose to reduce their overhead by outsourcing certain leadership responsibilities to Lawyers, Marketing Firms, IT Guru’s, Financial Advisors, HR Specialists/Recruiting Agencies and Sales Executives.

Why would my organization need a fractional leader?

Do you and your leadership team find yourselves running as fast as you can all the time? It can be difficult to slow down, step back and assess your organization from a 30,000 ft perspective. However, taking this precious time, with the proper vision, can open your eyes to inefficiencies and ongoing issues that have been lingering right under your feet.

A couple big questions to ask yourself are:

  1. How many hats does your leadership team wear?
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CSO
  • CMO
  • CIO
  • CFO
  • CAO
  • CCO
  • SVP of HR
  • General Counsel

2) How many heads do you have to wear all these hats?

Everybody has their own specialty. Even with years of experience covering varying disciplines, strengths are always greater in a specific area of business. This is why every Chief Executive Officer has a team of other CxO’s reporting to them. The CEO may be the founder or a hired professional with extensive knowledge of all components of a business, but they cannot know every detail of every function within their business. So, they depend on the team around them to help lead the minutia within each discipline.

Delegation at the highest level

But I have a small organization, why would I need all these C-Suite positions?

Great news, you probably don’t. However, you will need the specialized guidance of a proven, experienced professional in some of these roles, depending on your organization and its current strengths, if you really want your business to grow and operate as efficiently as possible. That is where fractional leadership serves you as an ideal option.

Just a few benefits of partnering with a fractional leader:

  • Higher quality professional than budget validates
    • Ivy League professional on a Community College budget
  • Allows each leader to focus on a single discipline
    • Improving efficiency, effectiveness and morale
  • Maximized performance
    • Utilizing the experience and knowledge of a seasoned professional
  • Significant decrease to labor related overhead expenses
    • Avoidance of salary, bonus, benefits, taxes, office space/supplies and fringe benefit compensation

How do I find a fractional leader to collaborate with?

The biggest key to partnering with a fractional leader is chemistry. You are inviting this person to lead a piece of your organization. Which means they need to align with your desired vision, mission and culture. Treat this search as you would while hiring a full-time leader to join your executive team. You don’t need to thoroughly understand their profession, but you do need cohesion, trust and respect.

The recent gravitation towards fractional services has increased supply of every specialty. This means you have multiple options regardless of the discipline you need help with. Make sure you and the fractional leader have a strong, unified vision; it will be key to a successful collaboration.

Start with your existing network for word-of-mouth referrals. Most people within your network already share similar visions and mindsets as you and your organization. Start by asking those around you for feedback and guidance. Eventually a great fit will answer your call!

If your network does not include a Fortune 500 sales leader working for a start-up budget, then connect with Kassner Keen to see if a keen collaboration is right for you and your organization!