Tim's Take

Building Trust With the CEO

Cockpit Counsel

Building Trust With the CEO

In this short video, Tim gives his take on how to build trust with the CEO. He highlights the importance of consistency, demonstrating an understanding of the business, contextualizing the advice that you're giving, and being inquisitive.


Question: Can you give some advice on how to build trust with the CEO?

Answer: It's really not that dissimilar than any other relationship that you're going to have. This also assumes that the CEO is is is your boss, and maybe I'll answer it both ways. If the CEO is your boss. It's just like any other manager that you've had. It's, you know, be able to understand and take direction. Be willing to ask questions. Be vulnerable enough to ask questions if you don't understand something.

Probably most important is just deliver what you say you're gonna deliver. On time. You think about some of the the most successful people out there, maybe they don't have the most innovative ideas. maybe they don't have the hardest skills that are, you know, that are out there. Maybe they're not a level ten expert in whatever. But they're always delivering, and they're always doing good quality work on the timeline that's set for them or that they've set for themselves.

And so when you think about what that really means, it's like your manager, your CEO, needs to actually believe in you and your abilities and believe that you're going to deliver on a consistent basis.

Right? I know I say it a ton, but consistency is key. If you're consistent, you provide predictability.

In an environment where you're on the legal team and you can provide some predictability for the executives, then you're going to be seen as a valuable asset to the organization. When you think about building trust with the CEO and the CEO maybe is not your direct manager, like, maybe you reported to the CFO or COO or something like that, or maybe you do report into the CEO and you wanna try to build trust with the board. A lot of the same things come into play. Right? Making sure that you you are consistent in the way that you're delivering. I think, being inquisitive is important as well. Again, demonstrating understanding with the business is always really important. Right? Contextualizing the advice that you're giving.

Contextualizing the work that you've that you've performed too. Those things are are really critical because what the CEO, the board, your manager is really looking for is, does this person have the hard skills and the motivation to actually do the job that I've asked them to do?

At a very fundamental level, they have some idea of what the job the purpose of the job is. And they're just trying to evaluate you at every single turn whether you are performing that or not. And I think when you get when you get to the level where you have a high functioning CEO, the stakes are just higher.

Particularly if it's not your your direct manager, but even if it is, like, you have to make every single interaction count. Like, if you know that you screwed something up or dropped the ball or you just got kinda lit up in a meeting or something like that, that should affect you. You should figure out how to learn from that and be like, okay. What went wrong? And just minimize those types of interactions.

Make sure you just don't make the same mistake twice because most executives have issues with that.


Tim Parilla Headshot
Tim ParillaChief Legal Officer, LinkSquares
Alyssa Verzino headshot
Alyssa VerzinoProducer, Cockpit Counsel, LinkSquares