Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

In a mid-sized company, it’s not the competition that is your enemy. It’s the way that the everyday chaos of running the business pulls you out of focus and away from who you are. It’s easy to have your strategy, your focus on your key markets, pulled in every direction by the endless need for system upgrades, disruptive market forces, changes in route to market, as well as competition. The spinning forces of the everyday can separate your staff, having them lose focus and a sense of shared purpose.


Three steps to preparing for a transition

After years of growing a business, surviving the setbacks, picking up the pieces, and celebrating the triumphs, it’s nearly impossible for most owners to embrace and engage in their orderly exit from the business. How will it go on without you? Is there any way to feel good about the exit? The company won’t be the same. It may feel like giving up, like an end. Or maybe you’re getting a non-stop stream of casual offers for the business, and you trust that a sale will just happen when it’s time. Someone will write you a check, not unlike the…

Writing Concise Answers to the Right Questions. The Value Comes in the Act of Creating It.

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One-Page Business Plans are gaining greater acceptance and have easy appeal compared to a shelved plan in a 30-page binder. However, its biggest value isn’t the words on the page; it's in the process of creating it. That’s why facilitation is key.

Marathon Planning Session vs. A One-Page Sprint

Perhaps you're looking to create your first business plan, or you're a marathon business planning event survivor looking for redemption. Either way, you’ve come to the right place. Parts of that 30-page plan are useful, such as market studies, competitive assessments, economic outlook, or cost analysis. They are valuable later in implementing a business plan. But when presented…

The one trait that separates most entrepreneurs from others is the same one that eventually separates them from their business.

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I’m not a Startup person, but I’ve worked with people who are. If you Google “traits of successful entrepreneurs,” you wouldn’t be surprised by the results: passionate, confident, driven, creative, fast learner, adaptable…I have a fair number of those, and perhaps you do too. However, if there’s one trait of the successful entrepreneur that separates them from most of us, it’s risk tolerance. If you would rank risk-tolerance on a scale of 1 to 10, I’m a 6, and most entrepreneurs are an 11.

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“Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake.”

Wallace Stevens

I inherited my last executive office right out of the Mad Men set with its 1950s mahogany walls, paisley-patterned carpets, and built-in backlit shelves for your favorite bourbons. As an executive, my most common meeting was a “one-to-one,” where my office could take on a different feel depending upon the meeting. It could be dark and oppressive in a performance discussion, bright and airy reveling in a recent win, or tired and depressing when lamenting a setback. Redecorating made little difference.

Sorry Delta. We Never Heard of Vasovagal Syncope.

Photo by Kaysha on Unsplash

Carol’s hair was still wet from her early morning shower as we easily crossed Pittsburgh on a Sunday in February towards the airport with her one hand on the wheel of her Mini Cooper and the other alternately gripping between the stick shift and a thermos size cup of coffee. In the over 35 years of being together, unlike me, Carol wasn’t bothered by bodily discomforts. She had a high pain threshold and low interest in the latest in personal care.

Moving From a Sales Culture to a Growth Culture

What’s the difference between growing sales and growing the company? When sales are growing, there is no difference. But as your new product or service or new market matures, as competition strengthens, or technologies evolve, your sales engine isn’t going to climb that next hill with the same horsepower of your original offering. Growing sales and growing the business are two different things and require too different efforts.

Program Management is Boring

Let’s face it. In comparison to a salesperson landing a whale of a new customer and making this year’s budget, Program Management is boring. But where does new growth come from? The…

Two parts need, one part ego, an instigator, and sleeping on the job

Bell Labs Transistor Developers: Bardeen, Shockley, and Brattain. AT&T photographer, JS; Wikimedia Commons

In the fall of 1948, Mervin Kelly, President of Bell Labs, was preparing for a month-long trip through Europe to share insights on the Lab’s world-renowned approach to research and development. The term innovation had only recently come into use within a technology industry that emerged in the wake of inventors like Edison and Bell. In contrast to the focus on invention, innovation encompassed the entire process of discovery, invention, and commercialization.

Thanks for visiting MID-MARKET EXEC

We want to be the home for the best guidance for Mid-Market Executives. They are the CEOs, CFOs, and Senior Execs that make-up the no-nonsense leadership teams at companies beyond “The Start-Up” but less than $250M in annual sales. We’re interested in writers that have walked in their shoes, thought hard about what they’ve learned, and have a natural aptitude for sharing it.


Take a deep breath. You’ve selected this person to lead a critical part of your business with functional expertise that complements your own. I know it’s hard to believe, but after months of recruiting or grooming and possibly many more months of hoping it would resolve itself, your senior manager is failing. So let’s not slip into denial or wishful thinking. Let's face this head-on.

Doug Keeports

Ex-CEO of PE-backed Tech Company, Mgt Advisor, Founder of Mid-Market Exec (MME), motorcycling after fifty. www.IntrinsicV.com

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