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CEOs Must Evolve as the Company Grows

This article is part of a series on right-sizing your company.

In this series of articles we are discussing the reasons why less than 3% of companies successfully grow to the next tier.  In this final article in the series, we will focus on how the role of the CEO needs to evolve as their company grows. 


I have been fortunate to have worked with many CEOs of high-growth companies over the years.  Successful CEOs have been able to change their approach to leadership as their company expands. This includes several elements that I have detailed below.

From Managing Details to Setting Direction - In the early stages of a company, the CEO often wears multiple hats and is directly involved in daily operations. However, as the company grows, they must delegate day-to-day tasks and focus on setting the company’s long-term direction. The leader must make key decisions that will shape the company’s future, such as entering new markets, launching new products, or pursuing mergers and acquisitions.  As ideas are presented to the CEO, their role increasing involves discerning fact from fiction. 


From Building Teams to Building Culture - As the company grows, the CEO must also shift from developing individual leaders and teams to building a strong corporate culture. In addition to creating a vision for the company, it also involves setting a vision for the type of culture the company should strive to attain.  A clear and positive culture can guide employees’ behavior, drive performance and retention, and create an environment where employees are committed to helping the company succeed. The CEO plays a crucial role in embodying the company’s values and ensuring they are reflected in every aspect of the business.


From Team Member to Voice of the CompanyOne of the more challenging transitions is when the CEO needs to shift from being a team member to becoming the faceplate of the organization.  Employees can interpret a casual hallway conversation with the CEO as a new direction they must act upon.  The CEO’s communication style must evolve and words must be carefully chosen.  Like an NFL coach, the CEO’s role also becomes one of setting the tone in the face of hard times, key transitions, or exciting successes. 


From Internal Focus to External Champion - As companies continue to grow, the CEO’s role continues to shift from an internal focus to becoming the external voice of the company. A larger company has increased visibility and scrutiny. This requires excellent communication skills and the ability to present a clear and compelling vision for the company’s future to investors, the community, and beyond. 


If you’d like to learn more about how to right-size your organization as your company grows, feel free to contact us at Anavo.  We’d be happy to share proven methods that will help your company succeed as it grows.  You can also find additional articles on our blog page or reach out to us at Anavo Growth Partners to learn more.   

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