THE CHIEF CRITICAL OFFICER (CCO) | Nick’s Daily Blog | 7th March 2023.

by | Mar 7, 2023

THE CHIEF CRITICAL OFFICER (CCO) |  Nick’s Daily Blog | 7th March 2023. 

A healthy employee is what ever single leader who I have the pleasure of coming into contact with wants. That word ‘healthy’ means a variety of things to many of us. When I look at Boards, leadership teams, organisations and really get under the hood I am looking for something that may not be on many’s list of ‘healthy’. 

Leadership Assessment – Brings Evidence to life!

I am sure that anyone reading today’s daily blog would have experienced a truly life changing organisation that he/she has worked for or in. Over the last decade I have noticed so many positive and not so positive changes to how we work and I have noted a few below

  1. ……. must have a ping pong table in reception
  2. ……..must ensuring our mission statement is positioned on every single wall around the office
  3. ……..must only hire a person exactly like the one who left
  4. ……..must dress down on a Friday
  5. ……..must move to a hybrid….no not hybrid… hybrid workforce

The one thing I am looking for is healthy ‘discussion’. Respectful ‘discussion’. Robust ‘discussion. We must allow healthy ‘discussion’ and to be ok with agreeing and or disagreeing with each other. A group of people coming together from all across the globe will each have their own thoughts and ideas when it comes to leading an organisation, a team and or themselves. I have observed the ‘yes’ group. Those leaders who as a group will say yes to nearly everything that their leader shares (trust me no CEO | Executive who I coach wants a yes group of people around them). They are looking for trust sure but more importantly they need to hear your voice, your views, your thoughts and ideas. No one of my clients has ever said to me in a coaching session, Nick I wish they would just all agree with me! Those mature wise old owls want debate, they will not tolerate when the line gets cross and they will shy away from having all the answers. 

The role of the Chief Critical Officer (CCO).

Together get comfortable with having conversations! I recently had the privilege of coaching a CEO here in New Zealand and she was working with me post her 360 leadership assessment. We were talking through the detailed report and condensing my interviews with her 15 odd stakeholders. It was a real fascinating time for her in her own professional development. She had never been given any kind of ‘feedback’, sure she had her regular one-on-one meetings with her Chairperson but away from that nothing. All the feedback was in her head and she was starting to second guess herself. Within her 360 we had asked her stakeholders which included her Chair, a couple of Board Members, Direct reports and a few in direct reports many specific questions around her leadership. Within one section titled ‘Working Through Others’ there was a common theme. She had a number of very strong opinionated people. On the surface it looked like they were undermining her credibility but as we dug into the report it highlighted that she had surrounded herself with very passionate, driven and highly experienced people. Those people only wanted the very best for her and the organisation. The findings showed us that she was not afraid to be challenged, not afraid to be wrong, not afraid to have someone else step up and lead, not afraid to take a backward step. The report gave her enormous confidence in her own leadership approach, style and technics. Those inner thoughts could now be banished to the bin and quiet righty so.

A CEO or executive must ensure they surround themselves with a bunch of Chief Critical Officers (CCO), why because no leader will last when they surround themselves with ‘yes’ people. 

Step forwards in your professional development

Today I encourage you to share with your teams that you want to be challenged, you want to hear their voice and you want the team to be ok with shacking up the status quo. 

I’m deeply interested to hear how from you if you have or are leading a group of yes people and you want to shift that environment forwards. Reach out to me at

When we face our fears we typically grow, when we allow fears to dictate our action things start to stall. Don’t let that inner voice hold you back – get evidence! 

Enjoy the art of learning and keep sharing your wisdom with others. The world needs you and we will all be better of for it

Nick x | global award winning leadership coach | +6421375630


For a confidential conversation about your leadership coaching needs, call Nick on +6421375630 or email him

Nick Roud

Nick Roud

Executive Leadership Coach

Nick is the Chairman of Nick Roud Coaching and a Global Award Winning Executive Coach. Nick holds the highest coaching qualification MCEC. His clients are typically Chief Executive Officers, Executives and Emerging Leaders. Nick’s office is based in Auckland, New Zealand and he travels extensively around the world to coach his clients. You can contact Nick directly on +6421375630