Posts Tagged "project report example"

As the company has grown past the startup phase, I now find myself being called on to perform the duties of an executive far more than those of an entrepreneur.


7 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Earlier this quarter, Product2Market cracked the 100-employee mark for the first time since we launched the company. I’m incredibly proud of the company’s success to date, but as with all growth, there were some pains involved.

Related: 50 Rules for Being a Great Leader

While that certainly applies to the organization as a whole, it also applies to me personally. As CEO and founder of the company, I feel like the team hitting 100 members is truly a watershed moment, and I find myself acutely aware of how our new size is changing my own role within the company.

As the company has grown past the startup phase, I now find myself being called on to perform the duties of an executive far more than those of an entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur at heart, I’d be lying if I said that transition didn’t come with some challenges.

I know I’m certainly not alone in facing this change, so for you other entrepreneurs out there who are approaching the point where it’s time for your role to grow with your company, here are some of the most significant ways I’ve personally felt this big change in action.

I’m no longer as intimately involved in the who.

At Product2Market’s current size, it’s no longer practical for me to be involved in most of the hiring decisions. That’s a big change for me for a couple of reasons.

First and foremost, it’s completely new. When we were smaller, I was accustomed to being involved in almost all hiring decisions, which meant I could be 100 percent certain that the people I was bringing on board were the right fit for both the positions and the culture I was trying to build.

Now, I’ve had to delegate that responsibility to my team and delegating something I always considered such a core part of my responsibility as founder can be hard. Luckily, I have an unbelievable management team that understands my vision for our culture as if it were their own.

Related: 15 Ways to Lead With Effective Communication

Secondly, I’m a people person. I always loved the fact that I knew everyone that worked for me on a first-name basis and could strike up a chat over the proverbial water cooler with anyone. But, now, at 100 people, I find that I occasionally get LinkedIn requests from people I don’t even realize are members of my own team! That’s unavoidable with size, but it’s startling none the less.

The solution to dealing with that new paradigm is to accept that as a company grows bigger, it becomes impossible for the top levels of management to know everyone on a deeply personal basis, but to strive for that goal anyway.

I might not know the names of the new hire’s kids on Day One, but by maintaining my people-centric focus and trying to continue making those connections, I can make myself a better, more approachable executive.

I have to sacrifice tactics for strategy.

In the military, there is a concept called “mission command,” which is a model for decentralizing decision-making. The idea is that it isn’t practical or possible for a general or other officers in high command positions to be responsible for every mission and every decision. Instead, that commanding officer thinks only about overall strategy, providing an intent to their subordinates. Those junior officers are then trusted to make the actual tactical-level decisions to meet that command intent.

The business world works the same way — or at least it should. As Product2Market has grown, I’ve found that my role has rapidly shifted away from the hands-on CEO of our startup days to that of a strategic planner.

Related: 22 Qualities That Make a Great Leader

In an extensive study of CEO leadership styles, Harvard Business Review identified this style as “the strategy approach.” Embracing this new leadership approach has been a bit of a tough change for me because I so enjoy being immersed in the day-to-day operation of the business, but from an organizational standpoint, it would be disastrous for the company if I didn’t embrace my new role.

Managers and executives who can’t let go of tactical-level decision-making — the dreaded micromanagers — smother their subordinates. And even well-intentioned smothering is still smothering! Not only will micromanagement eventually break down an organization, but it also severely stunts the growth of the employees who should be doing the day-to-day tactical decision-making, robbing them of the chance to grow into the strong, well-rounded managers that the company needs them to be.

The key here is for executives to imagine themselves as the generals in the mission command model and to shift away from details and toward intent. In the business world, a better term to choose might be vision. Embrace the fact that your job is now to guide the big picture and then enable, and, most importantly, trust your staff with the authority and responsibility to turn your vision into a reality.

I have to accept a less customer-facing role.

When I started Product2Market, I was involved in every single aspect of every single client relationship. Customer-focus was one of the ways we differentiated ourselves, and I always went out of my way to ensure that our clients knew that I, as the CEO, was both accessible to them and personally focused on their needs.

As we’ve grown, I’ve increasingly had to turn away from that customer-facing role and toward an organizational focus instead. At the size we’re currently at, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day for me to both immerse myself in the client-side of things and meet my responsibilities as the captain of the overall ship.

In another HBR study, Harvard researchers found that the average CEO spends just 3 percent of her time with customers. That’s shockingly low, and a mark I personally hope never to fall to, but it’s a clear demonstrator of how priorities have to shift away from constant customer contact as a business grows.

Related: 10 Books Every Leader Should Read to Be Successful

Failing to make this change is a big trap a lot of entrepreneurs fall into, probably second only to micromanagement. Most entrepreneurs thrive on the interpersonal side of things, and we all appreciate the importance of customer relationships, but misdirecting time and energy away from ensuring the entire machine is moving in the right direction is a sure-fire way to hamstring future success.

As different as entrepreneurs are as individuals, there are some qualities we all have in common. One is that we almost all dream of starting a company from scratch and nurturing that small seed of a startup into something big. Another is that we almost all face a certain level of difficulty letting go of the reigns once we start to realize that goal.

The most successful among us are the ones that make the transition from entrepreneur to executive seamlessly, allowing growth to continue unhindered and embracing their role as a shepherd rather than a sheepdog. Unfortunately, there are also many of us that can’t or won’t accept that transition, and those entrepreneurs almost always end up standing in the way of future growth rather than guiding it.

The key to avoiding that pitfall is to remember that even if your company started with you as the sole employee, as it grows bigger and bigger, it becomes bigger than you, too. It belongs as much to the employees — new and old — that operate it as it does to you. Fail to trust those people, and the company will slowly die. But, trust them with your baby, and enable them with responsibility, and they’ll almost always rise to the challenge, driving growth and helping you accomplish the dream you set out to achieve on day one.


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The Entrepreneur Index™ had a tough morning but rebounded with a strong afternoon.


3 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


The volatile stock market followed a familiar pattern today, falling sharply in the morning and roaring back in the afternoon.

The Dow Industrials index was down more than 500 points in morning trading, before staging a strong comeback. It closed up 34 points, or 0.14 percent on the day. The Entrepreneur Index™ also rallied in the second half of the day to post a gain of 0.54 percent.

Technology stocks led the way. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index was up 0.74 percent. Facebook posted the biggest gain in the sector and on the Entrepreneur Index™, rising 3.25 percent. A Deutsche Bank tech analyst ranked the company his top pick among large internet company stocks today, citing valuation as a major reason. Facebook shares are down more than 35 percent from a peak in July.

Other tech stocks posting good gains included chipmakers NVIDIA Corp. (2.93 percent) and Analog Devices (2.38 percent). Software maker Adobe Systems Inc. was up 2.56 percent and Twitter rose 1.86 percent.

Tesla was up 2.01 percent today, despite more combative remarks toward the SEC from CEO Elon Musk in a interview with 60 Minutes that aired yesterday. The regulator and Tesla came to an agreement earlier this year over market-moving tweets Musk had made about taking the company private.

Tesla shares have been among the best performers in the market over the last three volatile months, rising more than 30 percent since early October. A Piper Jaffray technical analyst suggested today that if the stock can reach the $390 level — it’s currently at $365 — it could cause another big squeeze on short-sellers of the stock. With short interest of more than 20 percent of the public share float, the analyst suggested that a move above $390 could force massive buying by shorts to cover their losing positions. He said it could rapidly drive the share price above $500.

Ford Motor Co. on the other hand, fell 3.4 percent today. The stock had been trending up from a low in late October but is now back well below $9 per share, in part because of growing pessimism about a trade deal between China and the United States. China has leveled tariffs on U.S. cars in retaliation for tariffs imposed on Chinese exports.

Fedex Corp. continued to slide today, falling 4.2 percent. It was down more than six percent on Friday, after the abrupt departure of the head of its Fedex Express business unit. The shares were downgraded to neutral by Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Ken Hoexter today.

Under Armour Inc. (-4.52 percent) was also down sharply today, posting the biggest decline on the Entrepreneur Index™. The maker of active apparel surged more than 15 percent after reporting strong earnings in late October and is up 58 percent so far this year. It will hold an annual analyst/investor meeting on Wednesday where senior executives will discuss the strategy and outlook for the company.

The Entrepreneur Index™ collects the top 60 publicly traded companies founded and run by entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial spirit is a valuable asset for any business, and this index recognizes its importance, no matter how much a company has grown. These inspirational businesses can be tracked in real time on Entrepreneur.com.


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Amazon and Netflix stock prices just keep climbing.


3 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Stock prices soared after encouraging words from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell today.

In comments at a luncheon in New York, the Fed Chairman said that the central bank’s benchmark Fed Funds rate — currently at a range of 2.0 percent to 2.25 percent — was now “just below neutral.” Neutral is considered an interest rate level that neither stimulates nor restricts economic growth and is presumably a target rate for the Fed at this point.

That’s a major shift from his comments at the beginning of October, when he said that rates were still “a long way from neutral.” Investors are hoping it means the Fed will either not raise rates as expected next month and/or reduce the number of rate hikes it planned to make next year.

Stock prices spiked shortly after Powell began his speech at noon, with strength across all segments of the market. The Entrepreneur Index™ closed the day up 3.17 percent, with only four of 60 stocks in the red. The Dow Jones Industrials index surged 617 points (2.5 percent), while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite indexes were up 2.3 percent and 2.95 percent respectively.

The technology sector had some of the largest gains of the day, with salesforce.com up 10.24 percent–the biggest jump on the Entrepreneur Index™. Adobe Systems Inc. also rose 7.3 percent. Amazon was up 6.09 percent and Netflix closed the day 6.01 percent higher. Facebook was the weakest of the so-called FANG stocks, rising 1.3 percent.

Retailers Costco Wholesale Corp. (3.29 percent) and Walmart (2.55 percent) and were both up sharply, while discount retailer Dollar Tree Inc. was up 1.83 percent.

Under Armour Inc. was up 5.55 percent — the biggest gain on the index outside the tech sector. The athletic apparel maker reported blow-out earnings at the end of last month and has been on a tear of late. The stock is up 62 percent so far this year. After big gains in the last two days, L Brands was up a more modest 1.78 percent today. Gap Inc. was up 2.53 percent.

Other prominent gains on the index today included NVIDIA Corp. (4.12 percent), Alphabet Inc. (4.0 percent), Boston Scientific Corp. (3.94 percent), Chipotle Mexican Grill (3.61 percent) and Verisign Inc. (3.35 percent).

While most of the market was up smartly, J.M. Smucker Company was clobbered after it reported disappointing financial results this morning. The stock was down 7.24 percent, the biggest decline by far on the Entrepreneur Index™ today. The food-maker missed badly on earnings estimates, was shy of revenue targets, and lowered guidance for its full-year outlook. Fellow food-maker Tyson Foods (-2.31 percent) was also down sharply.

The only other two stocks on the Entrepreneur Index™ that declined today were Ralph Lauren Corp. (-0.07 percent) and Wynn Resorts (-0.03 percent).

The Entrepreneur Index™ collects the top 60 publicly traded companies founded and run by entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial spirit is a valuable asset for any business, and this index recognizes its importance, no matter how much a company has grown. These inspirational businesses can be tracked in real time on Entrepreneur.com.


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