Let’s talk about CEO growth strategy

Stanford Professor Jesper B. Sørensen defines strategy as “the plan for creating and capturing value”.
Startups are constantly working to define and update their business growth strategy, which is the right thing to do.

But something is missing.
I believe that founders and the CEO need to also create personal growth strategies.

What is a personal growth strategy? This is the professional and managerial growth plan to create and capture value as the leaders of the startup.
What does the personal growth strategy include?
I recently conducted a research interviewing more than 200 founders, dozens of investors and other key players in the eco-system. The research shows that each stage of the startup life cycle has different growth requirements from the founders and CEO.

These different requirements relate to management skills, leadership capacity, interpersonal assets and best ways to navigate complexity.
Trying to use the known and familiar methods or repeating the behaviors which led to success in the previous stage – will lead to failure.
Once the business grows from one round to the next, the founders must update and align their personal growth strategy.


In addition to the business stage, the growth strategy should be based on personal dimensions:

  • Awareness to who you are, what is important for you and where you are heading
  • Analysis of your qualities and your blind spots or comfort zones
  • Understanding how you are being perceived by the people around you (customers, employees, co-founders, investors)
  • Identification of your working mechanisms and behaviors which lead to business success and those that create frictions and hold your business back
  • And finally, definition of what are your growth goals and why. From self-awareness to self-management.