Mighty Midsized Companies

Robert Sher

Most midsized company leaders want their businesses to become mighty growth machines. Unfortunately, sometimes that growth slows, stops, or goes the other way, and their leaders don’t know why. Is it the market? Is it the product? Is it the leadership team? Is it something he or she has done wrong – an ill-conceived deal; an unrealistic strategy?

Because business consultants focus on big companies that can afford big consulting fees, and because the problems of the Fortune 500 are very different than those of midsized businesses, there have been very few books that provide relevant growth advice for midsized company leaders, or can point out where the growth-killing potholes hide.

But not anymore.

Robert Sher focuses exclusively on midsized companies. He has long been an advisor to CEOs and their teams at many midsized businesses. His new book Mighty Midsized Companies: How Leaders Overcome 7 Silent Growth Killers gives readers the inside story on many highly-successful midsized companies and describes the critical factors that have powered their success. Sher has spoken to (and advised) many of the leaders of these companies, and he understands what drives midsize company growth as well as the issues can creep up to kill it.

Sher’s book is devoted to the executives who run America’s 200,000 midsized companies as well as those 370,000 businesses with 20 or more employees who are on the verge of becoming midsized. It explains how CEOs and their management teams have overcome the growth killers and instituted mechanisms for avoiding them in the future.

For leaders of midsized companies, and for people who would like to turn their smaller businesses into bigger ones, Mighty Midsized Companies is a unique and essential read.

About the Author

Robert Sher is founding principal of CEO to CEO, a consulting firm of former chief executives that improves the leadership infrastructure of midsized companies seeking to accelerate their performance. He was chief executive of Bentley Publishing Group from 1984 to 2006 and steered the firm to become a leading player in its industry (decorative art publishing).

From 1984 to 2006, Robert was CEO and co-founder of Bentley, a privately held firm based in Walnut Creek, Calif. Early in the business, he and his partners identified a gap in the fast-growing market for framed artwork: high-quality yet affordable prints perfect for the decorative market. Sher and his partners bootstrapped the business, but key successes breathed new life and cash flow into the business. He led the acquisitions of four competitors between 1999 and 2004 and left Bentley two years later. The firm merged with Global Arts in 2011 to form Bentley Global Art Group.

He is involved in three Northern California associations as a Director of the Alliance of Chief Executives since 2007, President and Board member of the Association for Corporate Growth San Francisco, and an Advisory Board member of the California Israeli Chamber of Commerce.

Robert speaks frequently, and has published extensively on the successful leadership traits and skills of CEOs of midsized companies. He is a regular columnist on Forbes.com as well as CFO.com, authored his first book, The Feel of the Deal; How I Built a Company through Acquisitions (1toPonder, 2007) numerous posts for Harvard Business Review online, and articles for many other publications. He also publishes his own newsletter, The CEO Insomnia Factor.  His newest book, Mighty Midsized Companies; How Leaders Overcome 7 Silent Growth Killers, (Boston: Bibliomotion, 2014) to be released September 16, 2014.

Robert received a B.S. degree in business administration from Hayward State University in 1986 (during which he ran a small business), and an MBA degree from St. Mary’s College in 1988, where he was the recipient of the Jack Saloma Award for student citizenship. From 1995 to 2000, he taught MBA and executive MBA courses at St. Mary’s on growing entrepreneurial businesses.

Robert and his wife Renee have two children, Ben and Jessie, and live in Northern California. They love sailing and travel.

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