- Recognize strengths as well as weaknesses
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it — upgrade it. Elizabeth Harz became CEO of babysitting service Sittercity in 2017, but the company was founded way back in 2001 by Genevieve Thiers, who was a student at Boston College at the time. When Elizabeth took over, she had to figure out which parts of someone else’s vision to keep and which to discard.
“Leveraging technology to make it easier for parents to take care of their kids, and sitters to find the work that they love — all of that was rock solid and I didn’t want to disturb that at all, just build upon it,” Elizabeth said. “You don’t want to lose the passion of that founder-led startup, what makes the company great, and its core values. But at the same time, we have global ambitions. You cannot scale significantly if you run things the same way.”
In addition to relying on the team she inherited, Elizabeth introduced new hires: “we brought in a lot of complementary talent from other organizations that had also scaled.”
→ Bringing a company into a new phase of its life doesn’t have to mean abandoning everything that came before: examine the talent you have and hire people who can fill the gaps.