Video Transcript

00:12 Scott Gerber: When is it time for a startup to consider a new face to the company, if you will? And? Then what are the different qualifications at each quintessential level of scale that you see that these characteristics are needed from these operational executives?

00:25 Alexis Maybank: The leader of an organization at every point in time has to be very flexible to tackle an organization that might number 50 people, tackle an organization that might number 5,000, 15,000 people. And it's hard to find that level of flexibility, especially at the CEO level, to tackle all those different stages. However, if at any point the person doesn't love exactly that stage of the company's growth, not the right person. Some people are very comfortable with the requirements of an early stage business in which you really have to have no ego. You have to roll up your sleeves and be willing to step into whatever job is required to get it done. As you get to a mid-stage business, let's say, those awkward teenage-level years where you're trying to fix a lot of things needed to really allow your company to get to the next level, you have to be willing to make some very hard decisions and say, "This part of our business is not working. We have to really rethink it, scrap it and start again." And as you get closer to going public a leader has to be very good at thinking about, "Okay, what systems and processes do I need to put in place to make sure that my business is predictable, that my business is managed at the highest levels of professional standards from accounting to anything else needed to operate in a public market."

01:44 Gerber: What is your take on startup founders who don't wanna lose control of their companies? Is this literally the time where founders have to realize multiple personnel are needed at multiple times?

01:54 Maybank: I think a single individual can take a company through all those different stages, and Jeff Bezos is the perfect example. I think it's a rare, rare person that loves the startup early stages in the trenches as much as they love the late stages in the big corner office where they're very far away from operations. So, I think it's a very rare person that can do all of it, but it's possible.

02:17 Maybank: And I think that a key question that all entrepreneurs have to ask themselves and have a really true conversation, very forthright conversation with someone in their life is, "Do I want this business to be big with or without me?" And if that's the case, then the next step is thinking, "Well, how far can I go?" And it's a really hard thing for anyone to think about but it comes down to, "What do I want from my business?" Some people wanna build a really big business and that's most important and they have to ask themselves that question. Some people might want to build a really nice family business and then that's not important to ask. Others may want to build a business that they want to remain at the head of no matter what, whether it's big, small or medium and that's an okay answer too. But what's critical is understanding what you want for your business and especially if it's the first to be big no matter as big as it possibly can be with or without me. Then that means you have to think what you love doing, how long you wanna take it, and can you get it there? If not, you gotta step aside.