A Conversation with Author Robert Sher

We are thrilled to kick off our Fall 2014 season with Robert Sher’s Mighty Midsized Companies: How Leaders Overcome 7 Silent Growth Killers— released today, September 16.

Robert SherWe are thrilled to kick off our Fall 2014 season with Robert Sher’s Mighty Midsized Companies: How Leaders Overcome 7 Silent Growth Killers — released today, September 16.

In the book, Sher points to seven insidious killers that erode growth and can drive even successful companies into extinction. He offers clear, tangible, actionable advice about dealing with these killers and how companies can grow in spite of them.

Check out this review from Publishers Weekly, and our interview with the author below. Congrats, Robert!

What inspired you to write Mighty Midsized Companies?

RS: I’m tired of seeing the same pitfalls stop the growth of midsized companies. It is painful for both management and ownership. I’ve seen and felt it in my own battles with the killers as a CEO, and my work with my clients over the years. My research changed the book, honed the message, and discovered new prescriptions to be certain. But seeing and feeling the pain that the killers extract from good, hardworking business leaders is what influenced the course of the book.

What was your favorite part of the writing and publishing process?

RS: I love learning and thinking, so the research interviews were incredibly fun, as well as the synthesizing of all 100+ interviews and hammering out the key takeaways and how we were going to deliver them in the text. I like writing, and I had some great editorial help, so I got to do the fun part of the writing, and had expert help polishing it up.

Who do hope reads your book? What do you want them to get from it?

RS: This book is for the leaders of midsized companies, businesses that don’t get nearly the attention accorded their smaller and larger brethren—even though they share equally severe headaches. It attempts to highlight critical barriers to growth and provide specific steps for recognizing and overcoming the unique challenges of midsized companies—challenges that smaller firms (less than $10 million in revenue) and bigger firms (more than $1 billion) rarely experience. In the end, I want my readers to be better able to make their midsized businesses mighty, growing companies.

Mighty Midsized CompaniesIf readers take away one thing from this book, what do you hope it is?

RS: That for midsized businesses to grow consistently, leaders must pay special attention to how, when and to what extent leadership teams and systems are developed, structured and operated. Powerful, sustainable leadership does not develop organically for midsized firms. It must be built thoughtfully, operated with discipline and modified as the company grows. If not, the seven silent growth killers will make management’s lives miserable.

What are you reading right now?

RS: I’m reading the posts of great business thinkers on line, from sites like Forbes, HBR, and many others. I’m curating that thinking for my community.