• Cord Harper

Wednesday anecdote: CEO proposed action to Private Equity investors.



Several times a week I speak to accomplished executives who want to lead a PE portfolio company. Many have already done so in the past and earned a nice big exit check when it sold. They call us after they took some time off and want back in. They want to lead another company.


That's when they usually struggle.


One recent client shared, "I have great conversations with the partners of the PE firm. They say they want to work with me. But then it just drags. Nothing happens."


"You have to make specific proposals," I shared. "Learn what they need. Do they have a portfolio company that is struggling? Does it need new leadership? Are they expecting to close a deal soon for a new company?"


"I guess I haven't been asking enough questions to find out?" she said in reflection. "How do I pitch myself to lead one of those once they tell me their needs?"


"You just tell them. Make the active proposal," I said. "Put me in the game. I can help you hit your targets, move the EBITDA needle so you can exit in 24 months with the 3X you want."


As strong a leader as she was this was still not easy. It took a lot of coaching and practice. But she did it. Now she's in the game again.


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