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 4:  Professional

35 – 57 employees


If a company makes it through Stage 3 and the leader has built a strong team, has taken steps to let go of control and create ownership of roles and responsibilities among staff, the leader will be more prepared for the requirements of Stage 4.


Process is now the Gate of Focus and this is the stage where a leader can look to able managers to help determine what those processes look like. With anywhere from 6 – 10 Managers, this Stage is all about creating strong fiefdoms within the company. The leader wants to make sure they are either hiring experienced Managers or training capable people to become good Managers. It’s important to resist the need to promote people who are good at doing a job thinking they will be good at managing others. Find a way to reward people who are good at getting work done, exceptional with dealing with customers, great at designing or innovating projects that doesn’t require them to become Managers.


The Three Faces of the Leader is now extremely strong in Manager for this very reason. The CEO will spend the majority of their time working with their Managers to strengthen processes, identify opportunities, and emulate the culture and values of the organization in order to provide these Managers with the direction they need to help move the company forward.


The goal for these Managers in Stage 4 is for them to build their own division to a level where that division is operating effectively as its own entity, with a strong team, confident in what they provide the company and how they deliver upon their promise. The divisions are focused on understanding, developing and delivering a set of goals and objectives for their respective division. Of course, these goals and objectives have to line up behind the company’s goals but the focus right now is building strong, standalone divisions with capable management.


Supporting the CEO in this increased Manager role is his/her role in continuing to take a Facilitative presence in the company as they were doing in Stage 3. The CEO wants to be there to help those Managers succeed and maintaining a presence where the CEO is approachable, open and willing to engage those Managers in critical conversations is the Modality expected for Stage 4.


To this end, the Manager’s Modality has shifted to Dominant in Stage 4 for all the reasons stated. A Manager must establish their influence, first, among their own team members and, second, with the CEO.  The CEO should help their staff understand their Modality at this stage of growth which is Supportive. By communicating to the entire company the challenges of Stage 4 and how important it is that the Managers start building strong teams, the role of the staff must support those efforts.


This won’t just happen. The conversation about the influence and/or presence that the CEO, the Managers and the Staff are charged with taking during this stage of growth will help everyone step up and help making the transition to Stage 4.


The Builder/Protector Ratio for Stage 4 is 3:2:  It’s the only time there is a larger ratio of Protectors in the company. Understanding the need for this ratio in Stage 4 is highlighted by looking at the challenges. Four out of five challenges relate to process issues. The company is experiencing a huge increase in the number of processes it takes to manage the complexity. It is a time to slow the pace of change down a bit, to focus on making sure the company can sustain profitability and continue to improve performance.


The higher Protector ratio is there to counterbalance the need for growth, as indicated by a strong need for the Builder mindset to still be evident. With Managers taking on more and more of the day to day operations and the CEO stepping away from some of those crucial areas, the need for a stronger Protector balance is helpful.



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. 


Your success. My passion.
Laurie Taylor, FlashPoint!