For CEOs

Scaling a startup can be especially daunting for first-time CEOs and executives. “It’s lonely at the top,” especially trying to find answers. You need someone to walk with you, to help you stay relevant as the business scales.

Congratulations — you have one of the hardest and loneliest jobs around, and if you are a first-time startup CEO, this role is especially daunting. You started your business with great passion and expertise and even convinced investors to believe in your vision.

Uncertainty and self-doubt slowly set in and you find yourself thinking:

  • How do I scale this business?
  • What skills do I need to continue to be relevant to my investors and see this vision through to the end?
  • How do I go from creating the product to leading the company that creates the product?
  • I can’t clone myself, so how can I get comfortable delegating?
  • Whom should I hire?
  • What processes do I need to put in place?
  • How do I juggle all of this?
  • Will I ever sleep again?

Consider me your advisor, truth teller, coach, and one of your biggest advocates. Others may be sitting on the sidelines wondering if you’ll succeed. I walk with you to make sure you do.

What does a typical engagement look like? Our meetings are confidential – they are a safe place for you to vent, explore issues, and test solutions. The meetings take you out of your chaotic environment for an hour so you can catch your breath and prioritize all that’s on your plate. I will help you to develop the leadership skills you’re going to need to scale effectively.

As we build a trusted partnership, I often become an advisor to your executive team and organization as well. We may explore how you run your meetings to see if you can cut back on some and get more out of the others. I’ll teach your leaders how to lead and motivate their people, and more importantly, hold them accountable. As hiring becomes a priority in scaling, you may call me in to teach employees how to conduct great interviews and set up a process that will get the best candidates hired. Communication usually suffers greatly as a company scales, so I’ll show you how to change the way you communicate to accommodate your growth in headcount. A company just can’t get communication and accountability wrong if they want to succeed.
Every CEO should have a leadership advisor/coach. To find out more about how this could work for you, please give me a shout.


For Investors

You invest in startups primarily because you believe in the CEOs, but how do you know their skills will grow with the company? The right time to equip a CEO with the help he or she needs is before a crisis emerges. I help investors answer a simple question: Can my CEO scale this business?

I know where you’re coming from. You want the business to generate revenue. Lots of it. You did your due diligence prior to investing and have decided to invest in the CEO. Something about the CEO: his passion, her expertise, his connections…something makes you believe in her.

But while first-time CEOs can be fantastic at all of those things, chances are they haven’t scaled a business. And chances are they’ll have to develop the leadership skills needed to scale the business successfully.

This is your dilemma: You will advise the CEO on everything from building a business model, creating a repeatable sales process, generating increasing revenues, creating a hiring funnel, but you won’t know how the CEO is leading employees day-to-day. And if the CEO can’t lead well, the culture will suffer, good people will leave, and the company will fail, not scale.

What to do? Encourage the CEO to partner with me. My meetings with the CEO are confidential, so they can feel safe to work on any and all issues, including how to work more effectively with you and the board. In our meetings, the CEO will be able to vent, explore issues, and test solutions. I work with the CEO to uncover strengths and weaknesses in the CEO and in the business. I’ll then grow the CEO’s leadership capabilities, help to create the right culture, change organizationally, and get the company hiring smarter.
Every CEO should have a leadership advisor/coach. To find out more about how this could work for one of your CEOs, please give me a shout.

Lori Dernavich HR Services

For HR Professionals

You want to focus on leadership and culture development but don’t have enough bandwidth. Sometimes, developing leaders is better accomplished by partnering with a neutral third party who can help effect change.

You have the difficult job of implementing the processes companies need to run smoothly, while managing the reputation of being the gatekeeper. You’re usually the person in the company who knows what’s going on at a personal level. You have the pulse on employee engagement, culture and leadership needs
Your CEO and senior management, especially if these are first-time roles, will need to develop their leadership skills to scale the business. You’ll probably see the need before they recognize it themselves.

You would call me if:

  • You don’t have the time to coach them, OR
  • An objective third party would be more appropriate for the issues they need to work on

I offer a variety of services to an organization:

  • CEO coaching
  • Executive coaching
  • New leader coaching
  • 360 assessments (interview-style and/or online versions)
  • Leadership meeting facilitation
  • Interview skills training
  • Engaging and motivating your employees workshop
  • Internal communications improvement
  • DISC assessment and debriefings
  • Senior level job candidate screenings

For more information, please give me a shout.