Strategic Growth and Exit Planning: The Critical Role of a Strong Leadership Team to Maximize Company Value  

A strong leadership team is essential for the growth and maximum valuation of any organization. A competent leadership team brings diverse expertise, strategic vision, sound decision-making, effective communication and mentorship skills. A leadership team typically comprises executive and managerial roles. Executive leaders are more future-focused and typically hold the position of CEO, COO, and CFO, and are responsible for setting the overall direction, vision, and strategy for the company. Managerial roles play a critical role in driving day-to-day operations and ensure that their teams are aligned with company goals. Regardless of the role an individual plays on a leadership team, the ability to influence, motivate, and enable others to achieve personal and organizational success is paramount.  

As a small or mid-sized business owner, it’s essential to have both an exit plan and a business plan strategy. An exit plan strategy helps prepare for selling or transitioning the company while achieving the owner’s goals and maximizing its value. In contrast, a business plan strategy focuses on driving sustainable growth, maximizing profits, and achieving success now and in the future. Integrating these two strategies ensures greater control and risk mitigation and leads to overall company success.  

As part of RVR’s ongoing article series, we will discuss the significance of establishing and developing strong leadership teams and how it can impact performance. We’ll also discuss our approach to helping clients develop effective plans to achieve strategic objectives, with a focus on aligning company vision, growth, exit, and talent strategies for high performance, sustainable growth, and optimal valuation.  

Are your talent strategies aligned with your business strategy and exit plans?   

Research has repeatedly demonstrated that companies that prioritize ensuring their leaders’ behaviors and competencies align with the organization’s strategic plan and culture are more likely to execute their business strategy and achieve sustainable growth successfully. To accurately assess the alignment between leadership and strategy, using an objective, data-driven approach rather than relying on guesswork is essential.    

To assess the leadership alignment, begin by analyzing your business strategy and identifying the critical initiatives that support it. Next, consider the essential competencies and behaviors that leaders must possess to execute the strategy effectively.  

Through this activity, you can create a comprehensive list of leadership competencies and behaviors essential for confidently executing your business strategy. For instance, if your strategic plan involves increasing revenue quickly, the required skills and behaviors may include results orientation, collaboration and team building, strategic thinking, agility, and adaptability. Your leaders must focus on achieving measurable results, driving your organization toward growth goals, and building strong, collaborative teams. They must also be flexible, adaptable, and open to change to navigate the fast-paced and ever-changing landscape. Additionally, aligning leadership competencies requires considering the specific work environment. In the pharmaceutical industry, leaders must embody skills and behaviors such as ethical decision making, quality focus, innovation and adaptability, risk management, and regulatory compliance. Precision, protocol compliance, and quality are crucial to business operations in this field.  

After identifying the necessary leadership competencies and behaviors, the next step is to evaluate your leadership team’s alignment with the company’s strategic goals.  

At RVR, we recognize the significance of aligning talent strategies and business strategies to achieve maximum results. To assist our clients in achieving their strategic objectives, we utilize the Predictive Index (PI) platform assessment tools to assess our clients’ leadership teams and individual leaders’ behaviors and competencies to ensure alignment. The scientifically validated behavioral assessment tool provides insight into an individual’s natural drives and motivators, approach to relationship-building and connecting with others, communication style, decision-making tendencies, attitudes toward change, and risk tolerance in the workplace.  

After thoroughly assessing the leadership teams’ competencies and behaviors against the company’s strategic objectives, identify any gaps or misalignments and their impact on the company’s ability to achieve its goals. Then, take proactive steps to address these issues by developing a thorough talent learning and development plan to address leadership competency or behavior gaps. Consider implementing formal and informal training and professional leadership development programs that include communication, coaching, accountability, and change management. Other components of your leadership development program may include self-paced online micro-learning, such as LinkedIn Learning, technical skills training, job rotation programs, immersive executive leader or C-Suite in-person training programs, or executive coaching and peer advisory groups.   

Restructuring of roles and responsibilities on the leadership team may also be an option. If misalignment can’t be resolved internally, you will need to recruit new leadership talent with the required competencies and behaviors. Hiring a fractional leader with the required competencies and behaviors could be advantageous in bridging crucial gaps, maintaining focus, and helping you move closer to achieving your objectives.  

Developing an effective hiring strategy for leadership roles  

To build effective teams, it’s important to identify the necessary leadership competencies and behaviors for your leadership positions. This helps you hire the right people and support the execution of your company’s business strategy. Here are some valuable suggestions to enhance your hiring approach:  

Define the position and develop the ideal candidate profile 

First, identify your stakeholders, including the hiring manager and any team members familiar with the role, and consider soliciting input from a high performer who is currently or formerly in the position. Meet with the stakeholders to understand position requirements — the key responsibilities, accountabilities, qualities, and behaviors. Pose questions to distinguish the must-haves and the nice-to-haves. Gain consensus.     

At RVR, all stakeholders complete the PI job assessment to identify the behavioral traits and cognitive abilities needed for job success. The system synthesizes the stakeholder responses into a job target. Just like we do when we are evaluating existing leadership teams for alignment with company objectives, we have the candidate complete the PI behavioral assessment and use the data insights to assess the candidate’s fit to the leadership role and their fit with the existing team and ensure they align with the business strategy.  

Design candidate marketing messaging  

With a thorough understanding of the necessary competencies and behaviors of the specific leadership role, craft compelling candidate outreach messaging and talking points that align precisely with the unique candidate profile the job requires. For example, if the ideal candidate profile includes being people-oriented, proactive, and comfortable with risk, consider including some of the following terms: 

  • “Our People Are Our Business”  
  • “Fast-Paced Environment”  
  • “Leadership Development Plan to Acquire New Skills and Advance”  
  • “Lead and Grow the Department” 
  • “Incentives and Rewards for Performance Results”  

It’s important to also highlight your employer value proposition (EVP), which explains the benefits for the potential candidate to join your company and become a part of your team. Candidates have many choices when it comes to employment, so it’s crucial to show them your company culture and what makes it an exceptional place to work.    

Target and sell  

Armed with the job target and ideal candidate profile, create compelling and profile-aligned candidate marketing messaging. Then, design a targeted research-based talent search strategy to identify best-fit candidates and proactively connect one-on-one with them to promote the job, your company culture, and your value proposition. As part of your candidate attraction strategy, consider using various media, including specialized job boards, industry forums, professional networks, and social media platforms, using your compelling messaging. Remember to position the job as a valuable opportunity and sell the company’s benefits to potential candidates.  

Assess and interview for fit  

Creating a structured interview process focusing on efficiency, objectiveness, and the candidate experience is essential. To achieve this, clearly define the topics and specific interview questions your team will use to screen and assess for fit. Design behavioral-based and situational interview questions, and at least one or two cultural questions, all tailored to probe for potential misalignment and confirm fit. To maintain objectivity, consider using candidate scoring rubrics for all interviewers to use as part of the process. If you work with RVR to utilize the Predictive Index tool, use the data insights to aid in making your hiring decision, reducing the risk of relying solely on experience, resume, and gut feeling.  

Engaging and retaining your leadership team  

Employee retention is paramount for organizations as it directly impacts their success and growth. Retaining talented employees ensures stability within the workforce, fosters a positive work environment, and minimizes the costs and disruptions associated with high turnover. Engaged and loyal employees are likely to contribute their best efforts, exhibit higher productivity, and actively contribute to the organization’s goals and objectives. By prioritizing employee retention, organizations can build a strong and committed workforce, enhance employee morale, and create a positive employer brand that attracts and retains top talent.  

Having retention strategies specifically designed at the leadership team and individual team member level is vital for business continuity, preserving institutional knowledge, boosting employee morale, facilitating succession planning, and improving organizational performance. It ensures stability, fosters growth, and positions the company for long-term success in a competitive business landscape. Companies can employ several strategies to keep leadership teams engaged and retained, including:  

  • Provide meaningful work   
  • Foster a positive culture   
  • Offer growth and development opportunities   
  • Competitive compensation and benefits   
  • Succession planning programs   
  • Recognition and reward   
  • Work-life balance  
  • Regular feedback and communication     

By implementing these strategies, companies can foster a culture of engagement, support, and growth for their leadership teams.    

Aligning leadership, exit planning, and sustainable growth for enhanced business value  

It’s essential to have both an exit plan and a business plan strategy to guide the overall direction and success of the company. Although these strategic plans can help guide companies and overcome obstacles more effectively, they cannot always prevent disruptions. Economic downturns, industry disruptions, and changes in consumer preferences can impact any business. At RVR, we assist clients in building solid business, exit and talent strategies aligned to achieve sustainable growth and maximum valuation.  

Developing an aligned leadership team and placing people in the right roles is critical for business success and achieving organizational goals. It provides reputational value and fuels the talent pipeline. The combination of these factors contributes to a smooth transition during the exit process and ensures the continued growth and sustainability of the business.  

Are you interested in finding out how RVR helps clients build strong leadership teams? Reach out to us at 407-677-0400 or email 

See other articles in this series, including How to Build Your Business For a Successful Exit Strategy and How Exit Planning Can Minimize the Impact on Your Business in an Economic Downturn.   

By: Joe Raymond and Karen Turner


RVR Consulting Group provides your company with resources to support your vision and generate faster returns. By operating from both a strategic and tactical position, we protect clients during critical periods of uncertainty. Our services include advising, talent acquisition, sourcing fractional employees, exit planning, and selling your business. Regardless of your challenges, our firm’s experience is structured to make the road to your objectives faster, simpler, and more profitable. Our goal is simple: help you maximize the value of your business.

We are motivated to foster growth and develop opportunities for companies and their internal staff. Those economic impacts transcend into communities when our clients succeed and have invaluable, lasting effects.

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