When Executives Break

This post is by Elad Gil from Elad Blog

When your company is scaling rapidly due to product market fit, one of the biggest impediments (or boosters) to growth will turn out to be the composition of your executive team. If your executives are not able to scale with the company, entire functions may be thrown into disarray and your adoption or revenue may stop scaling. You will also fall into a mode as founder of constantly putting out fires or covering for your executives, when in reality executives exist to give you more bandwidth to do more as a company and as a CEO. 

In a period of raw product/market fit the company may do well even if the executive is not coming through. For example a VP Product or VP Sales may be weak even if the engineering team ships without good PMs and sales are up and to the right without a good plan or process. (Imagine how well you could do if core functions actually had their act together!)

3 Signs An Executive Is Not Scaling:
1. Sets the wrong priorities, doesn't come through on goals, doesn't have a plan, or can't take on more.
  • Sets the wrong goals. Self-explanatory.
  • Obviously bad decisions are made. Sometimes a person is clearly in over their head when they make poor choices or unforced errors that others with the same role would quickly point out. For example, if a head of finance hires a regional auditor instead of a big 4 auditor for a company that is (Read more...)