Growth CEO Vs Turnaround CEO

Almost every company is a real life experiment which is led by a CEO who determines them. You never know what is going to come out of the experiment. Leaders who build these companies are hoping that the experiments play out in their favour. Once an experiment is found to work, more and more money is spent on the same experiment in order to grow the business.

At times, companies get into a bad position. This can be because they got disrupted or ran a bad experiment too long. The choice that stakeholders are left with is to shut the business or turn it around. Often, new leadership is brought in to change the way things have been run.

Now, there is a fundamental difference between the two situations. In the former case, things are headed up and taking risks would be rewarded even if they do not play out. In the latter case, things are headed down and the requirement is to cut risks.

Growth CEO

This person is tuned towards taking risks and growing the company.

Here the leader sees possibilities that do not exist and heads out towards them.

This person seeks to add more avenues and multiply revenue streams for the business.

Here the leader seeks to find more people to bring into their business.

Turnaround CEO

This person is one who is seeking to curtail risks and reduce the uncertainty that the business faces.

Here the leader wants to do away with anything that is unprofitable and does not have a clear path to profitability.

This person wishes to pursue the optimum path and do away with people who fall outside this.

Here the leader looks to cull out people and verticals.


This fundamental difference means we seek out very different people for the differing leadership scenario. One cannot replace the other because their skill sets and their outlook towards the world tend to be tremendously varied. One requires an optimist while the other a cynic.





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