An Entrepreneur Scales Up Fast

“Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between
obstacle and opportunity.”
– Machiavelli

Situation

Alan, the president of a biotech startup, looked older than his late thirties. Married with two young children, this founder-entrepreneur knew he was in trouble. “I’m burning out fast,” he said, a pained expression on his face.

“Our revenues are up 40 percent over last year, but work just isn’t fun anymore,” he said. “My blood pressure is too high. My family complains that they never see me. My staff complain that I micromanage. I’m even growling at our bankers.”

Alan’s was a classic case of “drowning in success.” Having grown his business from scratch, this newbie chief executive was having a hard time relinquishing control and responsibility. Intellectually, he knew what he should be doing, but something was getting in the way – and adding to his frustration and stress levels.

Solution

We worked with Alan and his operations team to optimize the company’s management structure and strategy execution. We also worked one-on-one with Alan to help him:

  • Define his top business goals and strategy for the coming year
  • Identify how his personal strengths and capabilities were promoting – and possibly hindering – his business plan and strategy
  • Modify his attitudes toward delegating responsibility
  • Focus on core business growth activities and stakeholders
  • Carve out dedicated “down” time to achieve work/life balance

“A year ago I would have taken the money and run, I felt so overwhelmed by the company’s success and mushrooming complexity. But now I not only know a lot more about maximizing its potential, I’ve acquired the skills to maximize my own potential.”

Posted in:
About the Author

Susan Battley

An advisor to Fortune 100 executives and world-class institutions for more than twenty years, Dr. Susan Battley is an internationally recognized expert on CEO and leadership effectiveness. Her clients include Fortune 500 companies, professional service firms, and elite research institutions. She has worked with chief executives, university presidents, Nobel laureates, and prominent scientists, diplomats, and educators. A respected media source for analyzing leadership in the context of news-breaking events and key trends, Battley has been featured in outlets worldwide including CNN, CNBC, Fox, Bloomberg, and National Public Radio, and in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Chief Executive, Business Week, United Press International, Harvard Management Update, Entrepreneur, Science, Leader to Leader, Investments, and Worth. She is the founder and CEO of Battley Performance Consulting, a leadership strategy and organization effectiveness consultancy.