• Cord Harper

Wednesday anecdote: Big company executive transitioned to lead small company.

"I've always led divisions of large companies," he said when we first visited. "Big budgets. Lots of resources. A team of people around me. That was my world."

This time he wanted something different. The corporate politics of intrigue and climbing the ladder no longer appealed to him. "I think I would like to lead a start-up or a smaller company."

We talked about it at length to make sure he knew what all that entailed. Smaller companies don't have the same resources. You wear a lot of hats and have to roll up your sleeves to do quite a bit of the work yourself. Sometimes you just don't have the bandwidth to do everything you want.

"Yes, that's what I want," he said.

It took some time and a lot of rebranding who he was and what he brought to the table. He had to translate that experience into the value it would bring to a small company. We also needed to overcome the inherent biases of age and refocus on the value of his experience.

Instead of dreading going to work each day, now he can't wait to get in and help build and grow the small company he leads.

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