Every Founder and CEO Makes This Mistake at Least Once

How you execute your plan and avoid a big mistake is what makes a great CEO.

How do you craft your strategic plan? Warning – no room for a mistake! Do you have a strategic plan, or do you just wing it day by day? Maybe you do my three-month planning hack. Regardless of your planning tactic, I am sure you are thinking about your vision and have thoughts on how to execute it. That is a strategic plan, in my book.

A problem most of us face is a gap or disconnect between the vision for our company and the ability to execute that vision.

For some of us, it’s because of a lack of capital. For me, capital feels like an aspect of a longer-term outlook and part of a different dimension. How about executing on the three-month version of your strategic plan? For many, the gap or disconnect is based on the team members and their lack of skills or experiences. Building a great team has many aspects, and those change over time. How do you keep this all straight?

Last week, I was in a conversation with a founder who was lamenting her inability to move her company along at the pace she felt was within reach. I probed with a series of questions until she revealed that her staff was young and inexperienced.

The crazy evolution of this discussion was that she began to adjust her vision downwards to meet the ability of the current team. When I called her on it, she realized there are huge ramifications for this kind of thinking.

Adjusting your plan to the ability of your team is a fool’s errand.

You know what you have to do to grow your company. You know the progress, pace, and milestones to grab market share or penetrate that niche market. Why the heck should you scale that down?

You are a better CEO when you realize this conundrum and you act appropriately. Your job as CEO is to gather the resources necessary to execute your plan. If the current resources cannot get you there, you must make the changes necessary, which include upgrading or modifying your staff.

Too many CEOs stick with individuals too long in hopes that they can rise to the occasion only to realize that they are losing valuable time.

Find a team to execute your plan.

Speaker, investor, mentor, startup founder. One of 3 or 4 Co-Founders of MapQuest (sold to AOL for $1.2B). Managing Director of $25M Venture Fund in late 90's. CEO, COO or President of various companies ranging from $200k to $20M in size. One of two Managing Directors of The Startup Factory (35 investments across 7 cohorts), founder and MC of the Big Top Reverse Job Fair and national writer and speaker waxing poetic around startups and startup communities. Currently EIR @ Techstars with Brad Feld ~ Startup Communities, to help community leaders around the world grow their startup community.

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