SaaS CEOs Need Senior Leaders to Grow Past 40 Employees

SaaS CEOs who grow past 40 employees have to learn how to hire and lead senior leaders who will help their businesses grow, not just the junior leaders who got them up and running.

Senior executive leaders differ from junior leaders regardless of their titles, salaries, and experiences.

These core differences are often missed, costing CEOs and their companies millions and years of lost potential.

All founders and CEOs must learn this to confidently grow past $5M ARR. It’s the key to your future growth—or your current valuation if you decide to sell your company.

How do you know if you are talking to a senior or junior leader?

Here are 3 big differences between senior leaders and junior leaders in growing B2B SaaS companies:

1) Senior leaders figure out the main results their team can contribute to the company’s goals. Junior leaders need to have their big goals handed to them by their bosses.

When you hire a senior leader, they will confirm the company’s goals, how their team contributes, and what resources they have. They will show up to drive their key results–without any babysitting.

Junior leaders need help figuring this out. What’s my goal? What do I need to do to accomplish that? And they need heavy follow-up and coaching.

There’s a place for junior leaders like this who get stuff done, but VPs and C-levels figure out what truly needs to be done and how to do it.

That’s what you pay senior leaders for. Figuring it out is part of the job. Senior leaders shouldn’t be micromanaged.

2) Senior leaders see the entire complicated situation and create simpler goals, organizations, and systems to get stuff done with people. Junior leaders see a narrower version of the world and don’t create a simple focus.

Does your leader have lots of ideas and want to do all of them right now? Can’t say no to the CEO or anyone else with a request?

That’s a junior leader who has yet to learn to sort the ideas into a short list of a few experiments and strategic priorities for their teams.

The more employees in your company, the more you need wise senior leaders whose “main job is keeping the main thing the main thing,” as they say.

3) Senior leaders are strategic and tactical, and junior leaders are just tactical. I don’t mean this in the false way that some leaders play the fake-leader game with privileges, status, and two-bit MBA words.

Senior leaders first need to get the whole picture of what’s happening with the company, its culture, the market, investors, other departments, and everything else to set practical goals and priorities that work in the real world.

Beware the senior leader who says, “I’m strategic,” but doesn’t understand the tactics of front-line execution.

Strategy makes your tactics work better, period.

Your job as CEO is to ensure your senior leaders are inspired and fully responsible for the big goals they helped create.

How else are senior executive leaders different than junior ones?

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