Alliance Perspectives

The implicit understanding among Alliance members is that, in exchange for their willingness to share their own experience and knowledge, they gain access to the extraordinary collective wisdom of the Alliance community of CEOs. Our members do amazing things and here we've collected some of their lessons learned to preserve and highlight the wealth of knowledge in our membership. Alliance Founder & CEO, Paul Witkay, also shares his perspectives on topics such as leadership, strategy and innovation.

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Leadership - Search Results (91)

An Unexpected Offer
August 11, 2015

Marco Marini and Bart Schaefer, both executives in the email marketing industry, were fellow Alliance group members for years, and built a solid rapport of delivering straightforward feedback and comparing notes on their industry. But, when Bart decided it might be time to sell his company, Marco had much more to offer him than his opinion.

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Case categories include: Leadership   M&A   Strategy & Planning   

Craig Sardella

Want to Upgrade Your Business? Upgrade Your Leadership Team.
February 17, 2015

A maturing industry requires its leaders to act differently. As industry players grow larger to manage compliance burdens and to gain access to capital, leadership styles that worked in the past can become dysfunctional. For midsized mortgage businesses to continue growing, they will need to upgrade their leadership teams through coaching, mentoring, and recruitment. Learn how Alliance member, Craig Sardella of Comstock Mortgage grew its volume to $750 million during a downturn in the industry, even while competition continued to be a drag on growth and profitability.

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Case categories include: Entrepreneurship   Leadership   M&A   Strategy & Planning   

Lori Bush

Tinkering is Fine in R&D, but Not in the Boardroom
November 26, 2014

As a CEO, restrain yourself from tinkering with your core strategy. Instead, funnel those great ideas through a process that helps vet the ideas without distracting your team from executing the current strategy. Once your winning ideas are confirmed and proven, then adjust the business plan to incorporate them. Read how Rodan + Fields grew 10-fold by avoiding top-level tinkering.

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Case categories include: Entrepreneurship   Leadership   Strategy & Planning   

Andrew Giacomini

Proactively Building Leadership Infrastructure Keeps the 7 Silent Growth Killers at Bay
November 07, 2014

Knowing about the seven growth killers certainly is a good start to defending against them. When each rears its ugly head, you can spot it sooner and whack it into submission. But playing whack-a-mole every day is both exhausting and unrewarding. And while you’re whacking, you’re not growing. Midsized company leaders should look at their company’s needs for leadership infrastructure holistically to try to picture what the company will need in one or two years. Then tackle the work in phases.

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Case categories include: Leadership   Strategy & Planning   

Rick Martig

How Much Should you Risk for Growth?
January 23, 2013

Before you lay down a significant bet, spend time and effort on assessing market predictability, execution competency and your team’s forecasting acumen.  Then make the decision about your spending velocity and the level of risk that is prudent.

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Case categories include: Entrepreneurship   Finance   Leadership   Sales   Strategy & Planning   

Creating and Maintaining a High-Performance Workplace
July 28, 2012

Keeping your team in a healthy state of dissatisfaction is an underlying element of any high-performance work environment.

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Case categories include: Human Resources   Leadership   

Paul Limbrey

How Mid-Market Companies Can Develop High-Performers
July 25, 2012

How important is it for mid-market companies to have employees who consistently strive to perform at high levels? Should mid-market CEOs worry when some employees are unenthused with their work? The answer is an emphatic yes - if strong company growth is crucial. Find out the causes of a disengaged workforce and the keys behind creating a high-performance culture that can make a real difference for the mid-market firm.

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Case categories include: Executive Development   Leadership   Strategy & Planning   

Lisa Im

Why a Loyal CEO Can Be Deadly
April 30, 2012

Chief executives who are loyal to their lieutenants can be the enemies of performance. Such CEOs have kept many a company from hitting its numbers and sunk more than a few. A company whose senior managers are coasting on long ago accomplishments is a company that isn't firing on all cylinders.

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Case categories include: Executive Development   Leadership   

Member Survey: Building Top Teams
February 19, 2012

We asked our members a battery of questions about how their top teams function and how they were built.  The results were presented at our February 15, 2012 Round Table. Read some of the takeaways from the private table discussions that followed.

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Case categories include: CEO Survey   Leadership   

Dennis Raefield

Superhero Selling: the CEO
January 25, 2011

When it comes to high stakes with key customers, face to face is the only option for a CEO. Read how Dennis Raefield, CEO of Mace Security International, salvages two grave situations; one involving a multi-million dollar deal, the other saving his company from certain death.

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Case categories include: Leadership   

Belinda Tsao-Nivaggioli

Wrestling with a Rat
November 04, 2009

What happens when a CEO's board misplaces its trust in a manipulating advisor who holds the company hostage.

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Case categories include: Ethics   Finance   Leadership   

Protecting Liquidity: Smart Strategies for Tough Times
July 02, 2009

In today's market, liquidity issues are a serious risk to companies in every industry sector. Read about how to anticipate problems and devise solutions before liquidity issues come to a state of crisis.

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Case categories include: Leadership   Strategy & Planning   

Paul Witkay

Let’s Get Rolling!
May 19, 2009

Alliance Founder, Paul Witkay discusses the current mood of CEOs. This article urges CEOs to start thinking long-term again and focus on leading their organizations toward compelling visions for the future.

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Case categories include: Leadership   Strategy & Planning   

Good News for a Bad Economy
May 19, 2009

In a dismal economy, Alliance members find ways to move forward. One company secures a financial "safety net," while another looks outside of their traditional areas of growth to form a new business, some diversify their services while others focus on customer service to help their clients stay in business or gain market share against weaker competitors.

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Case categories include: Leadership   Marketing   Strategy & Planning   

Andrew Giacomini

Attracting and Retaining the Optimal Team
April 11, 2009

This article discusses a long-term workplace differentiation strategy that will enable you to attract and retain top talent, even in the talent shortage that challenges us all in every economic growth cycle. An ideal time to start is a year or more before the talent pool shrinks.

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Case categories include: Human Resources   Leadership   Strategy & Planning   

The Resilient CEO
November 30, 2008

When adversity hit, these leaders battled back and gave us all something to learn Inside Alliance private working groups, we hear with some regularity jaw-dropping events that land on the chief executive's desk. Sometimes they are simply challenging opportunities, but often they are disasters that threaten the survival of the business. From hundreds of incredible survival stories, we've chosen to reveal four of the most amazing. With special permission from each CEO, we've told the story of the adversity they had to overcome, how they survived, and what there is for all of us to learn from their experiences.

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Case categories include: Leadership   

Sequoia Capital’s Advice to their Portfolio CEOs
October 12, 2008

Sequoia Capital gathered the CEOs of their portfolio companies together for an "emergency meeting" subsequent to the meltdown of the financial markets. They presented their analysis of the current economic crisis and their recommendations to their portfolio CEOs to save their money. You can check out their presentation by clicking on "Download PDF." Many of our Alliance CEOs have commented on Sequoia's recommendations which were quite controversial and provocative, even amusing. We post it here so you can make your own conclusions.

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Case categories include: Leadership   

Bob Fahlman

The New CEO as a Change Agent
August 09, 2008

A private equity firm brings in a seasoned CEO to dramatically accelerate the growth of a stable, conservative company. The CEO carefully controls his own on-boarding process designed to identify and retain great talent and create momentum company-wide for high growth. This case study details his technique.

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Case categories include: Human Resources   Leadership   

John Keagy

Keeping Your Team Focused on your Value-Creation Strategy
August 09, 2008

A high growth CEO builds value by being first to the market with hot new products and technologies. But that means moving faster than is comfortable for all his teams as his organization grows. The case talks about minimizing risk on new product introductions and managing the teams that must do the work.

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Case categories include: Human Resources   Leadership   Strategy & Planning   

Jim Pouliot

Values Based Organizations
April 16, 2008

CEOs are too tolerant of executives that aren't top performers and that don't behave according to the values that the organization holds dear. CEO Jim Pouliot of CSAA talks to the Alliance about his experiences cleaning up executive teams. This essay explores why CEOs continually struggle with this issue, and what they can do about it.

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Case categories include: Human Resources   Leadership