The Unconventional CEO – Outgrowing your first staff

The Unconventional CEO

Chapter 49 – Here’s an oft-ignored and sad reality. The staff you started off with may no longer fit the bill. Those who trusted and supported your spindly-legged ventures, or who boosted your meteoric ascent to the egosphere, have earned your eternal gratitude. They don’t necessarily belong on the inside track to follow the future trajectory.

The time may come when different or – and this is painful! – a superior set of skills are needed to step on the gas. Those familiar eyes, which knew you from garage start-up days and mopped up after your previous disasters, will not always understand or forgive your present patent cruelty and inhuman ingratitude in the promotion game.

Here’s some guidance, and it comes with my heartfelt sympathy:

  1. Bring in some A-team players to lift everyone else’s output

If you need to promote over the head of incumbents, go outside of the company. Get the best candidate. Anyone promoted from the inside will be a latecomer and you don’t want to have to adjudicate that standoff. Get star quality and it will justify itself. A bigger company gives access to, and can afford, better middle management. So aim to get there. Soon.

  1. Builders vs bureaucrats

You need to make this clear company-wide. There are stages in the enterprise’s life cycle where it needs different types of management. The old Greiner model defines five stages of a company’s growth and crises in its life cycle. Structure the enterprise in a different way and set some distance between yourself and the old-faithful. Make sure that you are seen hamming it up with the un-promoted. Regularly. There is still a bond from way back and they will have at least the bragging rights that the top dog couldn’t have got this far without them.

The Unconventional CEO offers succinct, compelling advice from one successful CEO Mario Pretorius, to you The Cape Messenger reader.

The book is also available to purchase in full from the Amazon store.

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