What Got You Here Won’t Get You There


Copyright Bonni Carson DiMatteo, Co-Founder Atlantic Consultants

As you recall from our last article, “10 Characteristics of a Successful Entrepreneur”, we discussed the essential traits that set successful entrepreneurs apart when founding a business.

But, what does it take to grow a business? There’s a fork in the road when it comes to starting a business and growing the business. That Ferrari mindset of the entrepreneur has to be fine-tuned and focused in order to grow the business. We call this journey–from being an entrepreneur to becoming a leader –LEADERPRENEURSM.

There is a reason why only 20% of those who start a business actually survive after five years. There’s also a reason why many successful business leaders, those who excel at outpacing their competitors by 22%, have the 7 LEADERPRENEURSM commitments.

For example, years ago we worked with the leader of a tech company who was regularly drawn into the technology of the company, instead of the business. She couldn’t get herself out of the door to meet and develop new opportunities for growth strategies. An Atlantic LEADERPRENEURSM journey begins by overcoming the first challenge: working on the business, not just in the business.

There are several areas we coached her on to enable her to grow the business. The first was hiring, developing, and empowering a strong management team. Letting go of the tactical was deeply embedded in the fear of failure, which is an undercurrent for entrepreneurs. There are no guarantees, but we do know that not letting go of control is one sure way to snuff out the light of the company.

Secondly, we created several strategic growth goals that were dependent on her working on the business: developing a larger line of credit, identifying strategic alliances or potential acquisitions, and looking into more vertical opportunities.
Thirdly, we helped her commit to taking some time out to recharge her batteries. Even Ferrari’s need tune-ups and a battery change. It brought her back reenergized and able to sustain the 20,000-foot perspective needed to take a hard look at the company and work on the business.

Have you ever wished you had a coach or peer or roundtable to serve as a board for your challenges?
If you have been openly focused on the tactical parts of the business or keep getting drawn into the firefighting, it may be time to hit neutral, assess the situation, and restart your engine. Like all high-performing cars, even Ferraris need an engine assessment and diagnostic to see what’s working well and what has to be fixed.

Would you like to take a five-minute growth barometer assessment to see where your strengths, roadblocks, or blind spots might be which may be hindering your journey?

Click here to take our Growth Barometer Assessment. http://atlanticconsultants.com/GrowthBarometer.htm

 The first 10 of our assessment respondents will receive the opportunity to receive a free pass to our next Atlantic LEADERPRENEURSM Panel event on April 4th. http://atlanticconsultants.com/Leaderpreneur.html

Tune in next month when we’ll provide tips on each of the key 7 challenges and LEADERPRENEURSM commitments necessary for the Atlantic LEADERPRENEURSM journey! Until then, keep growing your leadership and business!

Bonni Carson DiMatteo, Founder of Atlantic Consultants in Wellesley has been helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses for over 30 years. Through coaching; LEADERPRNEURSM roundtables; leadership training and strategic planning she helps entrepreneurs work ON the business, not just IN the business.


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Boston Area CEO’s Addie Swartz and Tim Hebert Inspire, Ignite Cultures

Surveys from Gallup find that 51% of managers in the U.S. are not engaged in their companies, costing an estimated U.S.$77 to $96 billion annually.

Join us as Atlantic LEADERPRENEUR(sm) panelists Addie Swartz, CEO, reacHIRE and Tim Hebert, CEO, Atrion Networking Corporation talk about their challenges for creating cultures of engagement and some of their other powerful leadership strategies.

reacHire CEO Addie Swartz

A serial entrepreneur, Addie Swartz is the founder of three companiesand will provide insight on changing traditional hiring practices, which she believes are broken.

A graduate of Stanford and Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, Swartz has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, NPR, MSNBC and Good Morning America.

Atrion CEO Tim Hebert

Tim Hebert has led Atrion for over 20 years and propelled the organization to the top 1% of companies in the IT services industry. Hebert will share his experiences in leading effectively through actions and building a highly successful organization by igniting its culture. Serving on several advisory councils for major corporations, including Cisco Systems, Hebert is a Director of the R.I. Commerce Corporation, and has just returned from the summit of Kilimanjaro.

What questions might you have that could help you as a leader? Join us on November 16th and get some answers! 

Are Your Employees Happy? In This Job Market, They Better Be

Credit: Quicken Loans/Ray Rushing

Have you made your employees happy today?

As more companies begin to ponder that question in an improving job market overshadowed by the imminent exodus of retiring baby boomers, human resource experts say the answer depends on more complex factors than salary and traditional benefits.

Studies indicate and experts agree that salary and traditional benefits are important but don’t top the employee wish list. What does?

Feeling appreciated and recognized as a valued contrib-utor to their company or organiza-tion is one of the top things employees want, experts say. Opportunities to advance, to learn and grow in their career and to keep up with the latest technology are also key employee priorities.Workers also want to feel included in the company’s visions and goals, to feel listened to and respected, to have good communication with their bosses and fellow workers and to be able to have a work/life balance that provides time to spend with their families. Renee Gilson, senior vice president and managing director for Lee Hecht Harrison LLC, with offices in Westboro, MA says employees’ job expectations have shifted, in part, in response to the changin corporate approach to their workforce. A version of this article was written by Micky Baca and originally appeared in the Worcester Business Journal, you can read the full article here.

Click here and find out how Atlantic Consultants can help you keep your employees happy.

What Got Them Here Won’t Get Them There: Transforming Founder Centric Companies to Maximize Their Value


Often motivated by business “burn out”, a strained business climate or the image of an endless vacation, founders begin to consider selling their business. It seems like a perfectly left brain solution to frustration, malaise or boredom.

Find out how Atlantic Consultants can help you transform your founder-centric culture

They may talk to their spouse about how they are burned out or want to extend their winter vacation in Naples, or have more time to visit the grandchildren, and before you know it they are talking to their accountant, lawyer, financial planner or a business broker about selling their business. Their business advisor helps them crunch some numbers, estimate how long it might take to sell the business in the current environment and to determine the value proposition.

Click here to sign up for the next Atlantic Leaderpreneur Panel on 11/16 

When all the signs point in the direction of “Sell”, why do some businesses fail to execute? Founder reluctance and a founder centric culture will derail the ability of many businesses to “close the deal”.

How can these companies change their mindset so that they can implement a successful exit strategy? Which advisors are best equipped to address the right brain thinking that can often instigate or derail the sale?

Find out how Atlantic Consultants can help you transform your founder-centric culture

Stalled at the Altar

The companies most likely to stall at the altar are those that have what we call a “founder centric culture”. These companies, often started by boomers 25-40 years ago, have been operating for more than a generation. If they do not have a succession plan they are looking for some way to capitalize on their biggest investment, their business. What obstacles are inhibiting these companies from successfully completing a sale?

Many attribute the failure to execute the sale to factors such as disagreement on price and market conditions. Buyers looking for a good investment may back away from companies that have an immature internal structure and a founder centric culture. Often, the emotional founder ambivalence and founder centric culture of the company are the biggest hurdles to overcome.

Symptoms of Founder Ambivalence:

  • Difficulty with following through on action plans suggested by advisors.
  • Being pre-occupied by a stream of company crisis that distracts from the big picture.
  • An over worked and stressed founder who has no reason to focus on the big picture.
  • Lack of a clear personal and family strategic plan to take them into the next 10-20 years
  • A clearly defined sense of purpose and mission beyond the businessSymptoms Of Founder Centric Companies: Signs This Sale Will Stall At The Altar:
  • Company leadership deficits
  • Process deficits
  • Culture deficits

The business is the founder and the founder is the business. Therein lies the challenge. Their greatest strengths are often their greatest weaknesses. In founder centric companies, you often find a Founder who is actively involved in working in the business, but not on the business. They are a key rain maker or customer evangelists. They are what we call a Founder Hero because they are often the only one who can serve customers right. There are frequent fire drills and often the founder is the one rescuing the day. Continue reading

Find out how Atlantic Consultants can help you transform your founder-centric culture

Atrion CEO Tim Hebert Inspires Leaders, Ignites Culture

Goal oriented and achievement-focused, Tim Hebert CEO of Providence-based Atrion Networking Corporation is a special leader. “With a personal mission to light the fire in the hearts and minds of those around him, Tim truly impacts lives.”

Tim Hebert at the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

For over 20 years, Tim has led Atrion to become a top 1% organization in the IT services industry  by infusing the company with its core purpose, “having a positive impact on the lives of others.” By doing this Tim has fostered a dynamic company culture that fosters effective leadership and unleashes the potential in all of Atrion’s employees.

In many ways Hebert fosters Atrion’s culture through leading by example. His drive and determination lay the foundation for his ability to inspire others. Hebert says he keeps three bucket lists:  Physical, Mental, and Spiritual. This year, Tim tackled his physical goal of hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak. Before that, it was running the Inca Trail in the Andes Mountains!

LEADERPRENEURS know that empowering those around you is one of a leaders most important jobs. This is one of the most important commitments that LEADERPRENEURS master.

Join us November 16th as we welcome Tim to share his vision on how to inspire your company’s leaders. Click here to register.

The Seven Pillars or Pitfalls of Family Business

familybisinessWhen only 30% of family businesses survive to the second generation and 10% to the third, it begs the question: Why do family businesses die so quickly? Since 92% of businesses are family-owned, they employ a vast majority of the country’s workers. The success of family-owned business affects everyone.There are several unique challenges in running a family business.

The most obvious is you can’t get away from coworkers at the end of the day because they are eternally tied to your personal life. The inverse of that is equally true. What falls out between you and your sibling at Thanksgiving dinner will ultimately impact your working relationship. It is this very merger of personal and business relationship which led corporations years ago to discourage romantic relationships and nepotism in the staff.

Read the full article here and learn how Atlantic Consultants can help your family business thrive.

Concord Start Up Supports Women Looking to Re-enter Workforce

reacHire CEO Addie Swartz

The USA is the Number 1 country for fostering entrepreneurship worldwide. Yet only 33% of businesses  are women-owned. However, research finds that fewer women owned business fail than their male counterparts, although women enterprises tend to not grow as fast or as big.

In Massachusetts there are more than 18,000 women owned businesses. Over 35% of our Atlantic LEADERPRENEURsm panelists have been Women founded companies.  On November 16, our Atlantic LEADERPRENEURsm Panel will highlight Addie Swartz, CEO of  reachHIRE, a Concord based startup that enables successful female professionals to re-enter the workforce through a six-week program to refresh their skills and help them connect with potential employers.

Swartz, a graduate Northwestern Kellogg School of Business was an entrepreneur by 12 starting her own apple pie baking business. She went on to start three other companies all while raising two daughters along with her husband Joel Rosen. ReacHIRE is her third.

Swartz will be joined by Tim Hebert, CEO of Atrion Networking Corporation to discuss their experiences as leaders and entrepreneurs. Watch for our next email which will highlight Tim’s unique and impressive leadership style as well as his recent ascend of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak!

Register now for our next Atlantic LEADERPRENEUR Panel on November 16th!