This isn’t the time to think about saving money by hiring inexperienced managers. In Stage 4, with 35 – 57 employees, you need managers who ‘have been there, done that’.
The CEO is now spending at least 70% of his/her time ‘managing’. Getting the right people on board to take your company through this stage of growth is all about bringing on experienced managers, creating management systems and maintaining your market position.
Are you still hanging onto your need to control everything? Still playing specialist or out there ‘visioning’ your next opportunity? Sorry – wrong time, wrong focus.
Stage 4 is all about internal focus. It’s all about improving internal processes and introducing advanced tools and systems to support continued business success. If you need to be convinced, here are the top 5 Challenges for a Stage 4 company:
- Weak project management
- Difficulty diagnosing problems
- Increased employee turnover
- Not getting systems in place
- Your organization is uniformed about company growth
Remember Stage 3? It was all about delegation, all about you, the CEO letting go. The necessity of that lesson will become painfully clear if you head into Stage 4 looking like a cat dangling from your living room drapes – you must LET GO!
Why is one of your challenges ‘employee turnover’? Because if you haven’t started getting ‘strong, experienced managers’ in place, your employees will leave. Remember, people stay at a company because they respect their manager. If you can begin to provide your employees with managers who know how to manage the work of the company, as well as manage the people, your employees feel less frustrated, work fewer hours, are way more productive and receive solid input on their performance on a regular basis.
Stage 4 is also about helping each manager feel confident about their team, about their work, about their own identity as a team. Your job is to help them gain that confidence. Don’t worry about integrating these managers across the company’s silos just yet. Help them find ‘their own way’, work with them to be accountable for their own areas as their team evolves and matures. You will avoid a lot of finger-pointing and department disputes if you let each manager build a stronghold and develop their own sense of commitment and team-ness.
Are you getting the message here? This isn’t just about ‘training’ qualified people to move up in your organization. Yes, that can be done, however experience tells us that it’s generally just an easy way for a CEO to avoid doing the harder work – finding experienced, already trained people already hardwired to help them grow their business.
Successful CEOs surround themselves with knowledgeable, experienced people – they want to be challenged on decisions, knowing that the more diversity of ideas and even attitude they bring on board, the more depth they create in their organization.
As you moved from Stage 3 to Stage 4, you also went through another Flood Zone: an increase in the level of activity. Because you are teetering on shifting the major control of your company over to experienced managers, remember to focus on key processes, key systems that will provide you foundational building blocks to manage that shift.
Your company is growing up. The biggest question to ask yourself is ‘are you’? It might be a good time to hire an Executive Coach.