Industry Magazine C•Suite Atlantic Magazine Spring 2018 - Page 9
HERE ARE a couple of simple exercises to help you
map out a game plan that will see you take your company
to the “next level.”
The one overriding job of the CEO is to build a
sustaining organization. That could mean different
things to different people, but here’s what it means
to me. It means having a management team of high-
performing people who are able to operate and grow
the company without the day-to-day involvement of
Why? Simple. Because that allows the CEO to be the
CEO. Long-time TEC speaker Larry King figures that
there are six functions of a CEO:
Now look at your current org chart. Identify where
you think each of your people will fit in the future
organisation and which of your current people will help
get you to your growth target. As Marshall Goldsmith
wisely observes, “What got you here won’t get you
Finally, identify the holes in your future org chart.
Write a plan with timelines, stating how you are going to
fill those holes and with what level of employee.
Sixes And Nines
To help you determine where your current people will
fit into your future organization, try this quick exercise.
In a column, write down the names of the key 10–15
people in your company. Beside each name, give them a
score rating their current performance on a scale of one
to 10. But here’s the catch. You can only score them as
either a six or a nine.
Now, beside each of the 6s, write either a T6 (terminal
6) or a P9 (potential 9). For each of the T6s, decide
whether you are going to allow them to continue with
unsatisfactory performance or move them (to another
job in your company, or out).
Next, write a plan for how to get each of your P9s to
become actual 9s. This may involve training, mentoring,
coaching, education, or whatever. Put a time frame on
it. If they don’t respond in a reasonable period, perhaps
they are not P9s after all and must be considered T6s.
Now, have a look at your 9s. You need to write a plan
for each of them. These are the people that are driving
your organization. Are you getting maximum value from
them? Are they growing in their roles to allow them
to assume greater responsibility as your company
evolves? Also, assess the risk of losing these people
and how you are going to minimize this risk.
Just doing these two simple exercises should give
you greater clarity as to where your people fit as you
continue to grow your company. It may also help you
hand off some of your current tasks, allowing you time
to assume the higher value duties of a true CEO.
Notice that none of these include salesman,
accountant, foreman, HR director, or any other
operational job. But in my experience, CEOs tend to
get mired in the daily grind of running the company and
simply don’t have the time to perform the functions
Larry articulates. Thus, taking the company “to the next
level” without high-performing team members in each
of the key functional areas of the company becomes, at
best, difficult and often impossible.
Building that sustainable team is no easy task. It takes
time, energy, and a huge amount of resolve. And it takes
a plan. So here are a couple of exercises you can do to
assist you as you plan your roadmap to a sustainably
Comparative Org Charts
Make sure your current organization chart is up-to-
date and accurately reflects roles within the company.
Then, determine what the “next level” looks like to you.
Perhaps you would do this in terms of sales. If you are
currently at $3 million, imagine your company at $5
million or $10 million. If you are at $15 million, imagine
it at $25 million; or from $30 million to $50 million, etc.
Now draw an org chart of how your company would
have to look at your imagined volume. Don’t simply add
more people reporting to you, but rather reduce that
number to between four and six. More responsibility
will be placed on the shoulders of a smaller number of
As a 12-year TEC Chair, Mike Mallory has logged over 1,300 hours
of facilitation and more than 3,800 hours of one-to-one coaching.
A recipient of the Rookie-of-the-Year award in his first year as TEC
Chair, Mike has subsequently won six Chair Excellence awards as
well as the prestigious Master Chair award in four of the last five
years. In 2017, Mike achieved elite status as he was honoured with
the Robert Nourse award as top Canadian Chair of the year.