Are you slowing your company down? – Mark MacLeod

November 24, 2022 - Mark MacLeod

Are you slowing your company down?

As CEO, you set the example. What you do (more than what you say) determines the values and norms in your company.

As I have written about before many times, speed is both the primary strategy and primary tactic when it comes to running a high growth company. All else being equal, getting to the same place faster tends to be more valuable.

Now, it is definitely true that most CEOs, especially founder CEOs, are the hardest-working people in their company. They set the bar for work ethic, often at great personal sacrifice. But, this doesn’t always translate into speed.

As CEO, you have the ultimate context. The most domain knowledge. And as your company grows the demands on you become all encompassing.

Many CEOs are overwhelmed when they reach out to me for coaching. They can’t keep up. More often than not, this is driven by one or both of not operating at the right altitude or not having the right leadership team.

If either of these is true, if you are too deep in the weeds and/ or you are making up for the weakness of one or more of your leaders, then despite all your efforts, you may be slowing your company down.

Are you slowing your company down? Let’s check…

Do you take days to respond to emails or slack messages?

Do you only respond to some messages because it is impossible to respond to everything (excluding messages that don’t require a response)?

Does it take a long time to get on your schedule because it is so packed with meetings?

Are you unable to quickly react to changes, opportunities, emergencies because your schedule is so rigid?

Are you unable to be fully present in a meeting because you thinking about what is next or otherwise just overwhelmed by your responsibilities?

If any of these are true, then despite your herculean efforts, you are slowing your company down. Moreover, you are establishing a norm that slow is OK. It’s ok to be slow to respond because the CEO is. It’s OK to not be fully present in a meeting, because the CEO isn’t present.

You get the picture…

The fix for this is NOT more work. In fact, it is likely a reduction of work. It is about operating at the right altitude and having the strongest leadership team that your scale and resources allow for.

Photo by Alex Blăjan on Unsplash

Your journey is never done

Sign up to my newsletter and join an inspired community of leaders who realize that the journey to achieving their full potential is never done.

    If you’re curious about my coaching and deal work you can learn more here.

    back to blog

    Latest Blog Feed

    The case for not deferring happiness

    When is the last time you were truly “happy”? When was the last time you experienced real “joy”? I asked one of my CEOs this recently. He talked about the day he got married and when his kids were born. […]

    read more

    When to borrow to grow your business

    I am often asked about when or if a company should take on debt to help grow their business. Here are my thoughts: Sources of Capital There are three source of capital to grow your business: Revenue – well, actually, […]

    read more

    How venture capital works

    Do you understand how VC funds work? If you want to raise VC, it’s important to know this. Here’s how they work: Let’s take a $100M fund, called Acme Ventures. $100M is pretty small for VC funds these days, but […]

    read more


    Email :

    Follow me:

    Mark MacLeod ICF Member

    Send Me A Message