By Nina Patel. Tim Pleune (Big 50 1990) has reached what he calls the fourth stage of remodeling, the point where he must graduate from being the founder of Boa Construction to being the CEO. To improve current systems and set the stage for a future where he is less involved in day-to-day operations, Pleune created a program he calls "Better Tomorrow."
As part of this program, he is working with a long-time consultant to change the structure of the company so employees are authorized to make decisions. The consultant is working with Pleune and his partner, Dave Farmer, to implement systems that involve the rest of the company in strategic thinking.
Boa Construction, Denver, grew from $4 million in sales in 1989 to over $8 million in 2001. The number of employees increased from 35 to 50. "We've done some great things here and it's a shame for it to fold just because I'm not around," Pleune says. Planning is new territory for him. "I'm looking forward to the challenge. I have to do this," he says.
He recommends a book called Leading at the Speed of Growth: Journey from Entrepreneur to CEO, by Katherine Catlin and Jana Matthews, which he says sets a road map on the stages of a typical company as it grows. The book specifically tracks the changing role of the CEO from a doer and decision-maker to a delegator and direction setter.
Pleune also finds great value in having a consultant. "You need that feedback. People around you working with you are not going to give it to you," he says. "Consultants identify things that you don't even see for yourself and put it into words for you." The consulting company he hired specializes in large commercial contracting firms, which has been an added bonus. "If you survive long enough, you go through the same stages as a larger company," Pleune says.