S4 E3: In the Hot Seat: A CEO’s Perspective on People Ops, with Workweek’s Adam Ryan

Hebba Youssef
Hebba Youssef
May 6, 2024

Oil and water. Fire and ice. CEOs and CPOs. 

Some things just don’t go together like they should. But does it always have to be that way? 

In this super candid conversation, Hebba chats with her IRL CEO at Workweek, Adam Ryan, to discuss the complex relationship between CEOs and CPOs. Adam opens up about the CEO’s perspective on HR and shares his thoughts on how HR leaders can build a better relationship with their CEO. 

What role can honesty, vulnerability, and empathy play in building a better path forward for both sides? And does there always have to be a conflict of interest between the two departments? Adam reveals what it’s like to hold the weight of an entire company on his shoulders and explains the role that ego can play in conflict.

Plus, what’s the best way to capture the attention of a reluctant or stubborn CEO? Adam shares his best tips for effective communication strategies and opens his playbook for successful HR/CEO relations. 

And later, find out the top warning signs and red flags of when a CEO/CPO relationship is about to turn sour and Adam’s super juicy take on why employees leave. 


00:00:00 – Navigating the Tension Between HR and CEO

00:01:13 – When Company Values Clash: Reasons to Leave

00:08:57 – CEO and CPO Relationship Dynamics Unpacked

00:13:58 – The Importance of Consistent Communication with CEOs

00:16:56 – Navigating Tensions in Company Communications

00:23:25 – Understanding Your CEO’s Perspective in Decision Making

00:28:44 – HR and Finance Roles: A Balancing Act

00:34:37 – Building Strong Working Relationships at Work

00:38:01 – Strengthening HR-CEO Relationship with Empathy 


And if you love HR Therapy, sign up to I Hate it Here, the newsletter for jaded, overworked, and emotionally burnt-out HR/People Operations professionals needing a little inspiration.



And if you love the podcast, be sure to check out https://www.youtube.com/@ihateit-here for even more exclusive insider content!


Follow Adam: 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adamtryan/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AdamRy_n

Podcast: Perpetual


Follow Hebba: 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@ihateit-here/videos

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/hebba-youssef

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hebbamyoussef

Hebba Youssef
Hebba Youssef