Going to The Next Level? What Needs to Change

By: Cynthia Wihardja
. 21/01/2020

I love the title of Marshall Goldsmith’s book: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.  And that’s the case with companies wanting to go to the next level.

A traditional company handing over to professionals… A local company going national… A national company going global… What got you here won’t get you there.

To go to the next level, you need a change in at least 2 areas.  For simplicity, I will label them the BE and the DO.

The BE is the mindset, the way of thinking of the organization starting from the owner.  The DO is the strategies or systems, the things that need to get done in order for you to achieve your goals.

For this post, I will focus on a traditional company is typically highly dependent on a capable owner.  In fact, many of the decisions are still kept at owner level, because typically only the owner knows the vision, the goals, the financial data, and the best way things are done.

Eventually, the owner gets tired and wants to hand over the company to a team of managers.  What’s the BE & DO that needs to change?


  1. Congruence.  Walking the talk.  You are stepping down from “I am God” mentality and into a people developer mindset.  You are becoming the role model of your people, and therefore being congruent will be important.
  2. Trust.  The mindset of trusting the managers with more details about the organization, such as the Vision, the Financial Data, the Strategies ahead.
  3. Support Risk Taking.  Being able to step aside and let people make some level of decisions and even letting them learn by making mistakes.
  4. Having a Coach’s Mindset.  Not telling them what to do, but digging their potential by asking them questions that gets them to figure out what to do themselves.  Teaching them how to fish, instead of giving them the fish.
  5. Having the Courage to be Firm.  Having clear rules and keeping to them.  Having clear consequences even for senior people when they do not follow the rules.


  1. Sharing the vision. Letting people know where the company is going and why is it important to them.  Getting common agreement that this is indeed exciting for everyone, not just the owner.
  2. Setting up a transparent system.  How can they perform if they don’t know their numbers?  Open up some level of transparency in financial data, approval systems, and communication to allow your managers to make educated decisions.
  3. Having clear structure, job descriptions, goals, and plans.  Clarity will help people get involved and know where they can contribute best.  Clarity will enable you to measure their performance in a measurable way.
  4. Regularly Coach your people.  Either done internally or through a third party, get your people some guidance to help them in their development to become mature leaders.
  5. Know when to back off.  Perhaps the test of a professionalized owner is his/her ability to know when to back off, keep quiet, and let the managers do the work.  This will be essential to maintaining the morale of the team and developing a team of professional leaders.

Clearly there is a lot to be done to get to the next level.  And I hope you know why it’s worthwhile for you to go through with all this.  Having a clear destination before starting the process will help you sustain your motivation and get through the challenges along the way.

Here’s the full formula of success… BE x DO = HAVE.

Get clarity on what you want to HAVE and why that is important.  Create the list of DO that you need to implement in order to make it happen.  And most importantly, decide on a list of BE that needs to change to ensure a smoother and easier journey.

Make it a good day.

Coach Cynthia Wihardja

About the Author

With over 20 years of experience in sales, business turnarounds, and entrepreneurship, she focuses on building the ActionCOACH business in Indonesia and coaching selected clients. As a business builder, she creates an environment where her team can grow as leaders. As a coach, she combines her understanding of business and human psychology to provide a holistic approach. She is a coach’s coach, international speaker, and became the first woman inducted into the ActionCOACH Hall of Fame in 2014 for her global contribution.