What’s on the Minds of the Leaders Running the Fastest-Growing Companies in the U.S.


How Inc. 5000 Companies Have Funded Their Growth

79% funded mostly internally (revenue).
13% funded 50-50 internally and externally.
8% funded mostly externally (loans or fundraising).

Percentage of Inc. 5000 Companies That Expect to End 2021 Profitably

43: Percentage of companies that jumped on new opportunities and target markets during the pandemic
31: Percentage of companies whose growth will exceed expectations. Over a quarter of those businesses will blow past their projections by more than 100 percent.

Exit Plans

7% want to IPO.
64% want to sell.
12% want to pass their companies to family.
17% haven’t yet thought about an exit strategy.


Top 5 Biggest Challenges Now

Hiring and retaining employees: 60%
Managing fast growth: 58%
Staying focused: 30%
Improving risk management: 29%
Communicating with consumers via social media: 26%

Taking Care Of People

27% of CEOs are not the highest-paid people at their own companies.
33% plan to lead differently post-pandemic by being more visible and communicating more with employees.
15% plan to do more leadership development and succession planning.

During the recession, Inc. 5000 CEOs were more likely to make cuts elsewhere than head count:

59% cut expenses unrelated to salaries or hours.
42% delayed or cut executive pay.
17% reduced head count.
14% delayed payments to vendors or lenders.


Biggest Workforce Challenge Now

42% Burnout
23% Employee churn
22% Lost social capital
49% plan to increase employees’ ability to work from home.

Inc. 5000 companies are actively working to diversify their teams:

51% are expanding their talent sources.
34% are identifying and developing diverse high performers already in the company.
30% have created a formal strategy to boost diversity.
28% are contacting schools and social organizations to build a new talent pipeline.
20% have reworked job descriptions to eliminate bias.
5% have added more diversity to their boards.

What’s it like running one of the fastest-growing businesses in the U.S.? Inc. 5000 honorees reveal their biggest insights and struggles.

My hardest challenge during the pandemic: “Loneliness.” –David Regn, Stream Companies (No. 3,869)

The biggest myth about being an entrepreneur: “That you don’t report to anyone. You still report to clients, your board, your colleagues, your family.” –Jaymie A. Scotto Cutaia, Jaymie Scotto & Associates (No. 3,810)

The recurring nightmare I have about my company: “Missing payroll.” –Yoshio Osaki, IDG Consulting (No. 4,421)

The “most overrated leadership skill” repeatedly cited by Inc. 5000 CEOs: Charisma.

The most difficult thing to explain to employees about my business: “It is OK to make a mistake, and we need to push as close to failure as possible so we can know our bandwidth and boundaries for success.” –LaShondra Mercurius, JLM Strategic Talent Partners (No. 4,750)

The craziest tactic I’ve used to grow, win business, or defend my company against competitors: “I worked as a 4:30-to-9 a.m. shelf stocker at the retailer I wanted to get into so I could learn the products and see what was selling.” –Lauren Greenwood, YouCopia (No. 3,594)

My best moment coming out of the pandemic: “Learning to trust my leaders and people to do great work and seeing people step up and lead this company without needing me nearly as often.” –Jacob Baadsgaard, Disruptive Advertising (No. 2,926)

Source : https://www.inc.com/magazine/202109/lindsay-blakely/ceo-survey-people-management-inc-5000-2021.html

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