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From Entrepreneur to CEO: Highlights from Daniel Marcos’ Webinar


“Nobody teaches you how to be a CEO,” said Daniel Marcos, CEO of the Growth Institute, to open his talk on “From Entrepreneur to CEO”.

In the hour or so that followed Daniel unpacked exactly what that meant in terms of the four stages of business success:

  • Start-Up: Less than $1 Million in Revenue (96% of firms), 1-5 employees, CEO is the center of the company, focus on product development
  • Grow Up: Between $1 Million and $10 Million Revenue (4% of firms), 6-15 employees, CEO is focused leader, focus on sales
  • Scale Up: Between $10 Million and $50 Million Revenue (0.4% of firms), 15-250 employees, CEO is a leader of leaders, focus on aligning and simplifying processes
  • Domination: Over $50 Million Revenue (17,000 firms), over 250 employees, company is an industry leader and controls a significant percentage of the market

The biggest threats moving from phase to phase happens in the so-called “Valleys of Death” that lie between each stage. These are the points when a CEO must evolve to guarantee their company’s transition to the next stage. He also shared that the majority of organizations hit the Scale Up stage after a long tenure into a 25 year framework.  He says it is magical what happens if you are growing and learning and improving your systems with a focus on the long term growth. The systems and procedures and branding that you build and refine over that time is how Fortune 500 companies average over $1M per employee vs an average of $100,000 per employee in a mid-market company.

Daniel discussed his observations on effective leadership at each stage. He recommended ways to structure and develop leadership based on his experience.

While athletes spend 90% of their time training, learning, and practicing and only 10% competing, Daniel observes CEOs doing very much the opposite, performing 99% of the time and spending 1% of the time learning and improving. Growing a company requires continuously growing as a CEO through training and continuing education and if you focus more efforts there, you will set yourself apart from the competition.

Especially in the Scale Up stage, the role of delegation and ability to maintain accountability are challenges to many CEOs. Daniel recommended the ScalingUp framework developed by Verne Harnish and an accountability dashboard , likeAlign’s priority dashboard, to drive execution.

Daniel concluded by telling us every leader has to find what makes his company future proof.  When he looked at his own online learning company for executives and their teams, he found the evergreen pain points of his clients to be scaling impact and reducing drama. While everything else in the business may change rapidly, these two goals, driven by a long term vision, remain the same.

We are so grateful to Daniel for joining us for this webinar and encourage everyone to check out a full video here:


Interested in hearing more from Daniel? Check out the full course offerings from Growth Institute!

If you’d like a tour of Align to see how you can use our tools to manage growth. Sign up for a demo today!