Three conclusions I made before restructuring my business

Yura Lazebnikov

Most hired CEOs cannot envision a company's development in a 5-10-year perspective, especially in innovative segments. This is not a statement for executives to take offense at but rather a conclusion drawn from my several years of empirical experience.

In 2019, my partner and I created the international TECHIIA holding, combining our businesses to streamline management and increase investment attractiveness. For over four years, we kept ourselves away from operational activities and observed the benefits it brought during both peaceful times and crises.

Here are a few conclusions we have made and are using as the basis for the next iteration of our holding. Remember that this is our unique journey, and copying someone else's experience may not be advisable.

Deep delegation does not suit fast-growing companies

An operational CEO is a luxury for businesses with well-established products or services, structures, and cultures. The role of the leader is simple – sit at the “controls” and press the right buttons in the correct sequence to maintain the quality of products or services and support growth. This often means hiring the right people and optimizing their interactions.

My partner and I believed several companies were ready for this transition. After years of operational chaos, stepping away from being multi-armed Shivas seemed right. We delegated maximum authority to trusted managers and kept strategic planning, launching new companies, and attracting investments to ourselves.

However, practice and crises like COVID-19 and Russia's war against Ukraine showed that we rushed into it. Most of our holding's companies belong to innovative industries, including content production, drones, and cutting-edge construction technologies. We also have early-stage startups. Only a few could be classified as traditional companies with clear business models and scalability.

In my belief, during the nonlinear growth stage, a company should be led by a visionary in the healthiest sense of the word. They envision the future 5-10 years ahead and find motivation within themselves, not just in their duties or salary. They retain purpose even in challenging times when there is a budget shortage, customer issues, or hiring problems.

Sadly, such individuals are rare, especially if they come from outside the company rather than growing within it, absorbing its spirit and values. Some people succeed, and they continue to lead the companies. Others, who we believe couldn't handle it, must be replaced.

Unfortunately, these conclusions cannot be copied from experienced ones. We couldn't grasp the nuances of delegation until we let go of the process and saw how people managed without us.