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Challenges of navigating Stage Five Companies

The underlying principle of The Stages of Growth Series is based on effectively navigating your growth curve by balancing between equilibrium and chaos brought about by complexity caused by the number of employees, not revenue. Addressing the shifting people-related challenges is the number one focus at each of the 7 stages of growth for companies with less than 500 employees.

leadership team imageAs CEOs navigate through Stage 5, the primary goal is to integrate and unify their senior executives into a collaborative company-focused team.


By stage 5 with upward to 95 employees, the CEO must have the following in place:

  1. Management Systems with measurements and feedback.
  2. Financial Systems with financial modeling, cash flow forecasting, and dashboard.
  3. Work Community with a hiring system to select and hire top talent with performance measurements.
  4. Marketing and Sales Process with well-defined system that sales people are using, and customer intelligence.
  5. Support with in-house or outsourced COO, CFO, and HR professionals.

The CEO of a stage 5 company must develop  . . .

  • The awareness to set into motion the design of a business plan with detailed budgets.
  • The ability to manage a competent team of professionals.
  • The ability to address human resources issues with regard to the team.
  •  The ability to see the need to manage growth.
  • The ability and willingness to wear just one hat—the Chief Executive.

The Top Five Challenges in Stage Five:

  1. Improving Sales
  2. Difficulty Forecasting Problems
  3. Cost of Lost Expertise
  4. Weak Profit Design
  5. Staff Training

The Five Non-Negotiable Leadership Rules for the CEO of a Stage 5 Company:

  1. Integrate management team into an inter-dependent execution focused leadership unit.
  2. Overhaul the profit design.
  3. Establish a one-year operational business plan.
  4. Establish a fully integrated “living budget” by revenue group and department.
  5. Allocate an amount equal to 3% of total employee salaries for training and development.

Coming Next Week

What CEOs of Stage 6 Companies with 96 to 160 employees must know including the Five Challenges and Non-Negotiable Leadership Rules of the Road

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