Fractional C-Suites Leadership: What it is and How it Works?

Roshni Khatri

17th Feb'23
Fractional C-Suites Leadership: What it is and How it Works? | OpenGrowth

The term "fractional CEO" has become increasingly popular over the last few years. The phrase has become increasingly popular among mid-market companies and emerging start-ups. The problem is that many business owners are unsure about what a fractional CEO is or how they could benefit your company. 

Most importantly, how do you find the right applicant? You should decide whether or not to hire one based on your business. Yes, there are several benefits to hiring a fractional CEO. They frequently encourage growth and steer your business in the right direction. 

In short, fractional leadership focuses on what is leadership vision and then takes decisions accordingly. 

So let’s explore more about the term “fractional CEO” and how it works!


What is fractional leadership?

As a sort of interim management, fractional leadership involves hiring outside executive talent to temporarily fill certain responsibilities within an organization. This could refer to a specific task or piece of work as well as a time of transition, such as a leadership change or the search for new employees. Experienced C-level executives with specialized knowledge and skills that may be used to accomplish particular goals are frequently referred to as fractional leaders. In order to fill specific leadership gaps, fractional leaders frequently have contracts with more than one or two firms at once.


Fractional Leadership


Who are fractional CEOs?

Fractional CEOs, who are also referred to as experienced CEOs, super temps, and freelancers, can provide the same benefits as CEOs at a fraction of the cost. The CIO, CFO, COO, and CHRO are just a few examples of managers who work part-time in your C-suite as fractional executives. Once your business reaches a certain scale, it can also be challenging for a founder or CEO to balance all these duties while still running a business. 


They operate as consultants rather than being employed by anyone, and they are referred to as "fractional executives." In many cases, they are compensated on an hourly, per-project, or fee-for-service basis.  


Companies and organizations frequently employ fractional executives to help corporate leaders in senior or director-level roles or to aid with management growth. This infographic is for you if you're interested in the management consulting sector or want to broaden your knowledge base and expertise. 


How do Fractional C-Suite Leaders work?

Fractional executives perform tasks with some specific strategies and these are as follows:

1. Define the company’s orientation and long-term objectives 


The fractional CEO is responsible for developing fresh strategic plans and guidelines to help the firm achieve its objectives. The CEO helps the Board of Directors and employees understand what is expected of them in terms of future business growth. By laying out specific vision, alignment, and execution, he here concentrates on both short- and long-term objectives. 


2. Implement the suggested strategies

The whole overall strategy of the business is managed by fractional CEOs. Within a short period of time, they produce exceptional business strategies and plans that support both immediate and long-term objectives. They must explain their plan to the entire organization if they want to ensure that the company's operations are in line with its overall strategy.


3. Make the plans

A lot of people are unhappy to hear that the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) cannot take on all of the CEO's financial duties. Instead, the CEO must first create a yearly budget to allocate funds while accounting for factors like net revenue, cash flow, and the ultimate goal. 


The CEO will then, with the CFO's guidance and taking into account variables like industry swings, forecast potential expenses, revenue, and profitability for the following year. The burden is only lifted when the CFO controls cash flow, risk management in finance and does fiscal as well as financial analysis year-round. 


4. Building healthy public relations

The CEO is essentially a necessary promotional tool because the general populace associates them with the firm's brand. As the CEO, who is the company's main representative, he is under pressure to exhibit the highest standards of conduct. 


The corporate brand is significantly impacted by both its positive and negative behaviors and values. Building relationships with the public is therefore vital to the success of the corporation.


5. Communication with the director board

A CEO's relationship with the board has the power to make them their greatest ally or spell their doom. Board meetings should be held frequently so that the board is kept informed of significant, as well as unpleasant business decisions. However, it is equally critical that employees are made aware of their expectations. Communication between both the board and the CEO must be transparent. 


6. A review of corporate performance

An essential part of the CEO's job is to be informed of how the company is doing in relation to its competitors. Revenue growth, increasing sales, and gross profit margins can all offer useful data. Furthermore, keeping a close watch on the market is crucial to helping the company fend off other pressures and move closer to its long-term goals. This is true whether it be for potential acquisitions or significant legislative changes in the field. 

Fractional Leadership


What are the Advantages of Fractional CEOs?

Fractional executives can help your business in a number of ways. Given their potential business experience, they may be more qualified than many other team members. Therefore, they are the best individuals to offer unique ideas and in-depth knowledge of these fields. 


  • A part-time CEO can protect your company from threats and make innovative expansion proposals. Their experience working with other companies and in various industries can provide you with valuable information that you could not have hoped to learn on your own. 


  • One of the biggest issues that many business owners face is knowing when and how to quickly scale up a business. The sector in which your company operates is one in which many of the fractional executives have experience. 


  • They are more qualified to advise you on whether or not to grow as a result. Financial savings are made by fractional executives, sometimes known as "Fractional CEOs." They provide you with less to worry about, more time for yourself, and a level of experience that will help you make better decisions and increase the success of your company


  • Any organization may struggle with change, and when its executives are overworked, the likelihood of it happening is significantly lower. A component CEO could operate as the organization's change agent and help it accomplish its goals. 


  • You could have a competitive advantage by being the first in your sector to adopt innovative IT methods or tools. As a result, this will not only make your business a leader in the field but also inevitably result in increased revenues and perhaps even a larger consumer base. 


  • The time of a founder can be dedicated to serving clients while fractional executives concentrate on growing a company. These experienced CEOs provide crucial direction and a calming presence to keep things running smoothly. They give employees more time to focus on their tasks and the upkeep of organizational goals and deadlines.



Fractional executives have a broad range of abilities and expertise to offer the role, in addition to having a lot of experience working with big businesses. They frequently take on freelance or part-time jobs. Nevertheless, in contrast to many of your full-time employees, they can have an impact on your business. They also help your business by contributing their leadership skills. 

With this, you should also know about key strengths of task oriented leaders as being a leader can be a challenging task as well. 


The majority of the time, startups and small businesses do very well hiring fractional executives. They can help you define the role for the first time or manage crucial projects.

We, at OpenGrowth, are constantly looking for innovative and trending start-ups in the ecosystem. If you want to have more information about any module of OG Hub, then do let us know in the comment section below.

A keen observer, who loves to spend time with nature. A fun loving person, enjoys to explore the new aspects of life. Passionate about reading and learning new things. Roshni is dedicated towards her work and has worked in different professions.