I’m writing a series called A Summary of How the Hidden Agents in the Stages of Growth Model Interact. You can also find this video series on the GCS Membership Site under the 7 SOG Videos tab, and they are called How it All Fits Together.




You may want to have a copy of the Stages of Growth Matrix in front of you as you listen to this series of videos. The intent is to show the interrelationships between different hidden agents and the stage of growth. 


Stage 3:  Delegation

20 – 34 employees


This is a critical stage of growth for a leader. If a leader has been down this path before, they are more prepared to deal with the requirements of being a leader with 20 – 34 employees. If not, this is where many companies get derailed because the business owner can’t make the shift to this stage we call Delegation.


The company has moved from CEO-centric to Enterprise-centric. The CEO can no longer manage all aspects of the company with up to 34 employees. Roles and responsibilities must be delegated. The Three Gates of Focus has People as top priority, Profit as the second and Process in third place. All but one of the challenges are people-focused and deserve attention.


In Stage 2 we were setting the stage to get the right people in place (hiring quality staff was the #1 challenge) and the business owner was starting to relinquish control to able minded staff members. Critical to understand in Stage 3 are the dynamics that are impacting the leader from all angles.


The Manager face has jumped way up to 60% (it was only 20% in Stage 2) due to the demand by the staff to have direction, clarify roles, be provided feedback, training and performance reviews. The people that are now being hired are specialists, no longer the generalists that helped get the company going. In fact, it’s very typical in this stage of growth for the CEO to look around and realize the company has outgrown many of the people that helped get the company to where it is today. That’s a reality that is hard to deal with. This may be the first time in the CEOs management career that they have to let people go because they no longer can perform at the level necessary.


The Builder/Protector Ratio is 1:1. Balanced between both worlds. The reality of Stage 3 is that it’s a very precarious time. Not only is the leader learning to let go of more and more control, and delegate more responsibility and authority, selected employees are trying out their wings and learning what the leader expects from them and the staff are having to step up and take hold of the responsibility and authority being released by the CEO. There can’t be too much Builder mindset or too much Protector mindset in this volatile stage of growth.


Too much of a builder-mindset right now could create fear and uncertainty in staff members taking on new roles and authority and shut down the necessary confidence being built into those key employees. On the other hand, too much caution could send a message that says the CEO is rethinking their role and may not be willing to let go (and those actions speak louder than words).


Aligning with a very necessary balance between confidence and caution are the Facilitative Modality a CEO must exhibit. The CEO must help to make this transition easy and moving from a Dominant Modality to a Facilitative Modality is required. And this is not an easy transition to make. This is no picnic for a CEO and all of their traininig, instincts and emotional intelligence has to come into play to help the company adjust to this stage of growth.


Of the 5 top challenges, four of them are all about People – the Focus Gate. Staff buy-in, the #1 challenge can occur because new members to the organization may not have the same relationship existing employees have with the CEO/Founder. If the CEO isn’t delegating, staff members could also start to question their value and question the leader’s ability to grow the organization. If core values haven’t been addressed and the culture has been left to chance, this will lead to that leadership/staff communication gap and create a culture resistant to change.


One of those challenges has to do with reevaluating how the company makes and keeps money, how it is handling strategic alliances, business development, customer intelligence – just a few of the aspects of a company’s business/profit design. Starting a program of financial literacy, helping each and every person connect the dots to how their job impacts the company’s bottom line, would be of value for a Stage 3 CEO.


Coaching is still the top leadership style. Paying close attention to the leadership competencies of Accurate Self-Assessment, Achievement, Developing Others, Conflict Management and Teamwork and Collaboration is important. An emotionally intelligent leader will see the value of getting outside assistance to provide support as he/she manages through this challenging stage of growth.


The real value in the 7 Stages of Growth is how all of the components work together to present a comprehensive picture of what business owner needs to know regarding their current stage of growth. 


Check out my Flash Sheets by FlashPoint! where I explain all aspects of the 7 Stages of Growth by STAGE OF GROWTH, addressing how why the hidden agents show up as they do. This resource along with this series on How It Fits Together will provide you in-depth knowledge of this powerful model.




Your success. My passion.
Laurie Taylor, FlashPoint!