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Elevating Your Team to Scale Your Business

Elevating Your Team to Scale Your Business

After 10 years serving as the sole decision-maker for his software company, HCSS CEO Mike Rydin knew something had to change if he were to scale beyond $1 million. He couldn’t remain “in the weeds,” answering all the questions, all the time. He needed to build up the leaders around him, developing employees who would be aligned with his vision and ready to execute.

This is a common challenge for CEOs. Nine out of 10 CEO members ranked employee development as “important” or “very important,” in the latest Vistage CEO Confidence Index survey.

Today, Rydin and many CEO members are solving this challenge by leveraging Vistage Leadership Development Programs to develop the leaders they depend on. Each program adapts the Vistage model of learning and meets leaders where they are. It’s a customized approach to align your leaders with your goals.

The result? The company that started with a mere $8k in annual revenue surpassed $100 million in annual revenue in 2020. HCSS now has 400 full-time employees and about 4,000 contractors across North America, and it continues to thrive. Rydin utilizes a combination of Vistage programs to achieve his goals.

Case Study: Mike Rydin focused on building up his people
Name: Mike Rydin
Title: Founder and CEO
Company: HCSS, computer software for construction industry
Location: Sugar Land, Texas
Industry: Computer Systems Design and Related Services
Member since: 1996
Challenge: Scaling

In 1986, with no business education, “or ever having read a business book,” Mike Rydin founded a software company for the construction industry out of his bedroom in Sugar Land, Texas. Total revenue for that first year was $8,000.

After 10 years of running HCSS, Rydin built his company to 12 employees and $1 million in revenue. But Rydin found himself stymied — with every staff member coming to him for everything all the time.

“I was up to my eyeballs, constantly working out the day-to-day problems of the business,” he says. He knew he had to get out of the weeds and learn how to start delegating in order to scale — that’s when he decided that joining Vistage could help. Through Vistage, Rydin gained insight and perspectives from peers on how to better manage and empower his team, allowing him to focus more on long-term growth opportunities.

As the company grew, Rydin decided to take it a step further in developing his staff. “I needed to build up the people around me,” he says.

Understanding the value he found in Vistage, Rydin put three of his executives in the Vistage Key Executive Program, where, for more than10 years, they’ve been working on issues and learning how other executives deal with their respective CEOs. And due to their longevity, they’ve become leaders in their own Key groups.

More recently, he signed up 26 high-potential employees for the two-year Emerging Leader Program. “At this stage, I’m trying to develop them as leaders, and I was thrilled that Vistage had a program for that — and that I didn’t have to figure out how to do it on my own,” Rydin says.

Rydin says he’s already seen better alignment and communication among his team leaders, allowing him to focus even more on strategy. The heightened collaboration should help Rydin and his team continue to grow — they hit $100 million in revenue last year — and scale well into the future.

“The fact that during the first 10 years we went from $10,000 to $1 million — and in the next 25 years we went from $1 million to $100 million — I’m absolutely certain that we couldn’t have done all the clever things we did, or have grown to that size, without Vistage,” says Rydin.

HCSS CEO Mike Rydin (left) goes over a project with his team leaders. Photo courtesy of HCSS.
Here is the full range of Vistage Leadership Development Programs available — including the new Advancing Leader Program.
Program Leadership Roles Outcomes Value to CEO
Chief Executive
Small Business
CEO, President, Owner Making great decisions to benefit company, family and community
Key Executive C-level Executives Improving effectiveness of C-level executives to support strategy and drive results for CEO Supporting the executives who help develop and execute strategy
Advancing Leader Experienced and Advancing Managers Develop strategic thinking and more effective execution skills to deliver results Building leadership at all levels responsible for helping CEO deliver better results
Emerging Leader Managers and Individual Contributors Building foundational competencies for effective leadership Building foundational knowledge to prepare the next generation of leaders
Vistage Inside Teams and functional leaders within the same organization Improving the effectiveness of teams to achieve specific results High-performing team through improved alignment, collaboration and communication
Leadership Role
CEO, President, Owner
Outcomes
Making great decisions to benefit company, family and community
Program
Leadership Role
C-level Executives
Outcomes
Improving effectiveness of C-level executives to support strategy and drive results for CEO
Value to CEO
Supporting the executives who help develop and execute strategy
Leadership Role
Experienced and Advancing Managers
Outcomes
Develop strategic thinking and more effective execution skills to deliver results
Value to CEO
Building leadership at all levels responsible for helping CEO deliver better results
Program
Leadership Role
Managers and Individual Contributors
Outcomes
Building foundational competencies for effective leadership
Value to CEO
Building foundational knowledge to prepare the next generation of leaders
Program
Leadership Role
Teams and functional leaders within the same organization
Outcomes
Improving the effectiveness of teams to achieve specific results
Value to CEO
High-performing team through improved alignment, collaboration and communication
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