Michelle Diamond of Elevate Diamond Strategy: “Have the right leader in place”

I think what makes my company stand out is that the recommendations and roadmaps provided are holistic. Regardless of the engagement, I want to ensure that the company has a sound, comprehensive, and implementable growth strategy in place, that its plan is clear, and that all activities and initiatives flow from that strategy and plan. […]

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I think what makes my company stand out is that the recommendations and roadmaps provided are holistic. Regardless of the engagement, I want to ensure that the company has a sound, comprehensive, and implementable growth strategy in place, that its plan is clear, and that all activities and initiatives flow from that strategy and plan. I also focus on ensuring that a company’s business model is profitable.

Many consultants and advisors only focus on growing the top line, others focus only on process and operations, finance, etc. to increase the bottom line. I help companies do both, in a way that is tailored to them and gives them the best competitive advantage.

As part of my series about the “How To Take Your Company From Good To Great”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Michelle Diamond, CEO of Elevate Diamond Strategy, a growth strategy and execution advisory and interim executive firm has 25+ years’ strategy, general management, marketing, finance, go-to-market, audit, M&A, and operations experience.

Michelle has strong expertise helping high growth companies scale, developing, evaluating, and implementing diverse, yet innovative growth strategies, strategic plans, and go-to-market initiatives for acceleration and long-term value creation, leading mergers and acquisitions (pre and post), creating competitive advantage and differentiation, and in turnarounds/ restructuring to optimize profitability.

Michelle is an expert, operational executive, and entrepreneur who worked with 50+ organizations from startup, early/growth stage, small/middle market, private equity/venture capital, to Fortune 50 companies in 25+ industries including CIGNA, Colgate-Palmolive, Elsevier, MetLife, NRG, Constellation Energy, DEKRA, and Daimler — just to name a few.

Prior to Elevate Diamond Strategy, Michelle was the creator and Head, Competitive Intelligence for the 1B dollars+ Group Insurance Division at CIGNA. Prior to that role, she oversaw CIGNA’s 20M dollars Printing & Distribution business, was Manager of Strategy at Accenture, and in Mergers & Acquisitions and Assurance and Business Advisory Services at Ernst & Young. She also held financial roles at Colgate-Palmolive and Citibank, and was selected for Goldman Sachs and Proctor & Gamble camps.

Michelle holds an MBA from Duke University, a BS from Morgan State University (Summa Cum Laude), and attended Wharton Executive Education. She is also a nonpracticing Certified Public Accountant.

Michelle is a former Board President of the INROADS Philadelphia Alumni Association, a member of Extraordinary Women on Boards (EWOB), and has led efforts and volunteered for the United Way, March of Dimes, Boys & Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Habitat for Humanity. She was a speaker and facilitator for the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW), and a growth expert on radio shows Accelerating Your Business™ (creator and host), Executive Leaders Radio, and The Marketing of Business.

She is also the author of the book, How to Grow & Expand Your Business in Times of Feast or Famine.

Michelle currently resides in Beverly Hills and enjoys sports, dance, entertaining, and travel.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

I grew up in Queens, New York and started my career in Accounting & Finance. I worked at several corporations and then at a large accounting firm, Ernst & Young. After getting my CPA and then my MBA from Duke, I worked in strategy consulting and at large organizations, where I began to focus on growth and expansion strategies, marketing, new market entry, competitive intelligence, and general management.

After building the Competitive Intelligence function for one of the key divisions at CIGNA, I realized I missed the variety of working with multiple companies and decided to go back into consulting. However, at the time, I did not want to ‘live out of a suitcase’. I told myself if I could not find a firm that provided the balance I wanted, I would start one myself. When I didn’t find what I needed, I started my own firm.

In addition, I wanted to serve clients of all sizes, especially small to midsize companies who didn’t typically retain growth strategy consulting services for their companies as well as provide innovate, yet implementable strategies to companies both small and large, that would drive top and bottom line growth.

I then came up with a business name and registered the business. I also reached out to individuals I knew (‘my informal advisors’), that created and ran successful consulting and other high-end services and advisory firms to gain a better understanding of how they were able to achieve their success. Their advice was invaluable because it helped me to better plan, recognize timing, and overcome obstacles.

After several months of networking, I got my first client. That was more than 15 years ago.

Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

When I first started, I knew I had the background, pedigree, and track record of results needed to be a great growth and business expansion strategy consultant and advisor, who could help companies achieve their goals. However, I did not account for the fact that my not being from the city where I first started my business, would have an impact. I lived in a city that had a protective ‘small town mentality’. Most business owners and decision makers cared more about my connection to the city and whether or not I was going to stay vs. the fact that I could help solve their growth problems and help them achieve their growth goals.

It was frustrating for me at first. I thought it was one thing if a potential client did not think I was a fit for their needs. It was something completely different when they would not even give me a chance because I was new to the city and did not have any real roots yet.

However, I never thought of giving up. I just saw it as a problem that I needed to solve.

(Ironically, during some of the ups and downs over the years, I thought of giving up. But not when I first started out).

I had the drive to continue because I already knew there would be a certain level of difficulty because consulting and advisory work is a relationship-based business. I knew that it would take time for me to introduce myself and what I could provide to a new business community, as well as for others to get to know me. The individuals I reached out to for advice told me it might take me six months to a year before I got my first client. Knowing this gave me a reason to continue to press forward.

To solve the problem of me not being ‘a local’, I decided to make alliances with other local, but complementary companies (i.e. accounting firm, venture capital firm, other local small consulting firm) that I knew had great brands and were well respected in the marketplace. My value proposition was cross promoting the value add of the option of providing consulting services to their clients and when I gained traction, referring to them as well. In exchange, I could use their brand names as an alliance partner in my marketing efforts (website, presentations, marketing materials, etc.).

I also focused on ‘influencing the influencer.’ After attending multiple networking events, I started to see the same people. I have a habit of paying attention to dynamics and how people interact with each other. There were a few individuals who other people tended to gravitate towards or followed. I introduced myself to those individuals and focused on making a connection. Then I shared what I did and my firm’s value proposition. A few of them became my champions, introduced me to others, and gave me more ‘local’ and overall credibility.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?

When I was told by my informal advisors that it may take between 6–12 months to get my first client, since in essence, I was starting from scratch, I decided to create a resume business. I knew that I could easily start one and generate revenue quickly. I had been writing and reviewing resumes for years, achieving a 100% placement rate. I never mentioned the resume business during networking for the growth strategy business, as I looked at them as two separate businesses, with two different types of customers.

However, at one networking event, I was approached by a woman who asked me if I knew how to write. I was thrown off at first, because I had no idea why she was asking me this. She said she saw that I have a resume business. At first, I was bothered because I was working so hard at that time to build up my reputation and personal brand as a high-end growth strategy advisor and consultant. I told her yes, I know how to write. She then asked me if I could write an advertorial for one of her firm’s clients.

I had never heard of the term, advertorial. I told her I did not know what it was or how to do it and then walked away. I always want to ensure that I am honest and upfront with people about what I can and cannot do.

That was a mistake. Fortunately, for me, I mentioned what happened to someone else and they told me to go back to her. I did and told her even though I had not done one previously, I would give it a shot. She said ok. I then called a good friend at the time who was a marketing expert. She gave me insight on what it was and the format to do it. I had seen advertorials all the time, I just did not know the terminology.

That ended up being my first client engagement. It turns out the woman worked for a small consulting firm that was always looking to partner with other like-minded or complimentary skilled consultants. Their process is to give independent consultants small engagements first, and see how they do, before providing the option to put them on larger engagements. I got 1,000 dollars for writing the advertorial. I also got a partnership with that firm for the next two and a half years, where we worked on multiple clients together.

My takeaway from that experience is that sometimes you never know where business will come from or what form opportunities may take. It is important to stay open. A lot of running a consulting and advisory practice is that you are constantly planting a lot of seeds. You don’t always know when those seeds will turn into opportunities, but many inevitably will.

If I did not go back, I would have not only walked away from 1,000 dollars, but a multi-year relationship that ended up generating significant revenue for my business.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

I think what makes my company stand out is that the recommendations and roadmaps provided are holistic. Regardless of the engagement, I want to ensure that the company has a sound, comprehensive, and implementable growth strategy in place, that its plan is clear, and that all activities and initiatives flow from that strategy and plan. I also focus on ensuring that a company’s business model is profitable.

Many consultants and advisors only focus on growing the top line, others focus only on process and operations, finance, etc. to increase the bottom line. I help companies do both, in a way that is tailored to them and gives them the best competitive advantage.

A story I can share was when I worked with a 2M dollars Software Company that was seeking to grow to 100M dollars in five years. Like many high growth software companies, they had a great product that could serve multiple industry verticals in both B2B and B2C. They also had a hybrid model where they sold their software on a transaction and subscription basis, depending on the target customer segment.

As part of their expansion strategy, I was brought in primarily to help the Company create their financial plan and a roadmap on how to get them to 100M dollars. Market research conducted gave the Company a better understanding of the overall market opportunity.

However, I did not focus purely on market opportunity. I challenged the assumptions on how much share the Company could reasonably capture, especially in the initial years, given their capabilities and what it would take for them to ramp up their organization to properly scale and handle their desired level of business to achieve their revenue goals. In addition, I ensured that their model and projections accounted for competitive response (especially as they got larger), and provided scenario analyses based on both conservative and upside estimates. Each scenario was profitable, and enabled the Company to have a solid plan to reach their goals.

The roadmap and plan also gave the Company insight into how to rank and prioritize the order of market entry for their top five industry verticals. Prioritization was based on profitability, not just market opportunity. This is a pitfall many other companies make when only focused on market opportunity alone.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

To thrive in this industry and not burn out, you must be disciplined. Discipline in the form of focusing on providing great work for your clients, continuously doing business development, keeping up to date with innovations and trends, and ensuring you take time to take care of yourself mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

However, there is a balance. There were a couple of times over the course of my business when I was “burnt out”. Both times were after long, intense client engagements that left me exhausted. After I finished the initial and sometimes follow up engagements, I was asked to continue and do more.

However, I chose both times to say no, and regretted it, because some of those opportunities rather did not come around again or came back several years later. Timing is especially important in a service- based business.

What I’ve learned is to have a better balance of ‘striking while the iron it hot’ and being creative in how to still take the time I need to take care of myself, instead of saying no to something that was doable.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

Steve Beezer. When I first started out in my career, I was a part of a finance and accounting rotational program at a large company. I met Steve because he was the executive who oversaw my first department. He was very down to earth and funny, often playing practical jokes on people. I related to him instantly because I like to laugh and joke a lot as well.

I have a tendency to learn things quickly. I figured out and mastered my role in my department in a few weeks and became bored. I told him how I felt and after confirming with my supervisor that I was doing an excellent job, he put me on a challenging, special assignment, where I worked with executives on a high visibility project. After that time, he became my both my mentor and champion. He knew I always worked best when I was challenged, and rather supported or ensured I received those types of opportunities.

I remember a time when I wasn’t given the opportunity to work in the global/ international division. I was told there was no opportunity available, but then found out that certain positions were being held for people who came from certain schools. The undergraduate school I attended was not well known, so I did not qualify. However, Steve ensured I had an opportunity to compete and I ended up getting the role.

That 3+ year rotation in the company’s US and International divisions gave me a solid business foundation that was well beyond my years and put me at a competitive advantage above my peers.

Don Porter. When I was only 26 years old, I got the opportunity to oversee a 20M dollars Business that was housed inside a Business Unit of a large Fortune 100 company. Don was the Head of the Business Unit. When I first came in, we met briefly and talked about his family and other things. He then told me that the Business was stagnant and that there were certain members of the Board and C-Suite of the Parent Company that wanted to get rid of it. He also said the existing management team of the Business had made a recommendation to keep the Business ‘as-is’. It was rejected, as the Board and C-Suite felt it was biased. On top of that, he told me that same management team would be reporting into me.

I listened and knew I could handle it. Even though the existing management team were all a lot older, all male, and thought I was there to make them lose their jobs, I saw it as a challenge. Prior to that, I worked at a consulting firm, and thought getting things done within a company would be a great opportunity, as I had not worked directly for a company for a few years. However, the interesting thing was that I did not have to go into detail or provide Don with a pitch. I simply said, ok. Then Don, said ok. And that was it.

He believed in me. I was not thrown off by his response because I had worked with and been exposed to many high-level executives in my career. I understood that most successful ones know how to operate with both intellect and instinct.

He gave me free reign, yet always let me know that if I needed him, he was there. He showed me how to communicate to a Board in one page or less and pushed me on increasing my executive presence and confidence level. I ended up streamlining and turning the business around, saving 2.5M dollars in six months and repositioning it for future growth. Others told me later on, that many people in the Parent organization did not believe that I could successfully handle that role. That turned out to be my most challenging ‘people’ role to date. However, I am grateful, because it better prepared me to handle other challenging ‘people’ dynamics going forward.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. The title of this series is “How to take your company from good to great”. Let’s start with defining our terms. How would you define a “good” company, what does that look like? How would you define a “great” company, what does that look like?

A “good” company has increasing top line revenue, is profitable, consistently does well, is relatively predictable, and makes good use of its resources.

A “great” company has exponential revenue from diverse revenue streams, is consistently profitable, constantly innovating, is a leader in the marketplace, makes huge gains, and takes risks.

Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things one should know in order to lead a company from Good to Great? Please share a story or an example for each.

  1. Have the right leader in place

Many people know there is a difference between strategy and execution. I worked with a small 35M dollars Business Unit of a 2B+ dollars publishing company that had recently acquired another company. A new president was brought in to lead the newly combined company. A corporate level strategy was provided to him when he first arrived, to give him insight into the rationale for the acquisition.

However, the strategy provided did not easily translate to what was needed at the Business Unit level. The president was aware that most mergers and acquisitions fail to accomplish the synergies they set out to achieve prior to the transaction taking place. As a result, before he went full speed ahead with certain aspects of the integration, he took a step back, and bought me in to evaluate their existing growth strategy, identify any gaps, and provide recommendations to close them.

After I developed and flushed out their post-merger acquisition growth strategy for the newly combined entity, the President asked me to lead a senior management team workshop, where I identified his team was working on over 40 different initiatives. We used that session to streamline the initiatives to eight and prioritize the top two to three over the next four years, to enable them to have a roadmap to double their revenue in that timeframe.

Only a true leader knows when to take a step back, when to move forward, how to ensure the right strategy and foundation is in place, and how to make sure their entire team is on the same page and have specific responsibilities to ensure initiatives are carried out in alignment with the overall strategy and plan.

It’s one of the best ways to make huge gains and go from good to great.

2. Have a strong business and operating model

A pre-IPO high growth 10M dollars Software Company was seeking to go public and grow to 100M dollars in two years. From a business model perspective, the Company was already doing well in its existing verticals and wanted to expand into others in the future. However, they also wanted to ensure they could handle their future growth, as their organization was already ‘busting at the seams.’

I worked with the Company to design an internal infrastructure growth plan and benchmarking tool to give them a step by step guide on what their organization needed to look like from an operational perspective, to properly scale and achieve and sustain both their revenue and profitability goals.

The Company also wanted insight into how a larger competitor was able to achieve success, to see if there were any gaps they could take advantage of or at least anticipate ‘moves’, so they could adjust their business model (if necessary), and win beforehand. I helped them with that as well.

The Company successfully went public with a strong business and operating model.

That is one of the key factors that enabled them to go from good to great.

3. Know where and where not to play

I previously oversaw a 20M dollars in-house printing and distribution (P&D) business that was in danger of being shut down. The parent company was a Fortune 100 insurance company that had members of the Board who did not believe they should keep the company as it was not in strategic alignment with their primary business of Insurance and was in a shrinking industry (Paper).

My first priority was to evaluate the business and provide a recommendation on what they should do.

After the evaluation, I determined that the P&D business only needed one location on the East coast instead of two (there was a West Coast location). I consolidated the business and shut down the West Coast location, sold off its assets, brought over some of its business and people to the East Coast location and outsourced the rest.

In addition, the P&D business had too many product lines and was trying to compete in the color printing market, even though they were not competitive and did not have the future business to sustain the investment required to win in this market. I then focused the P&D business on only providing products and services where they had a competitive advantage, which was black and white printing products, and spun off the color printing business.

I also led vendor consolidation and negotiation and streamlined the organization by reducing staff, eliminating redundancies, shoring up accounting and financial reporting, and improving processes throughout the plant.

I then improved Marketing and Communications as P&D’s primary customer, its Parent Company, had a majority of employees that purchased its printing and card products from outside vendors as many did not know the P&D business existed.

As a result of these actions, I saved the P&D business 2.5M dollars in six months and created the foundation for future growth.

That would not have happened, had the business continued to try and compete where they were not competitive. Part of going from good to great is knowing where and where not to play.

4. Achieve & Sustain Competitive Advantage — Anticipate & Win Against Threats

An 800M dollars Middle Market Global Medical Device Technology Company was a market leader in the products they provided. Some of the reasons they achieved success, was that they were constantly innovating, expanding into new global markets, and heavily defended their key patents.

However, the Company’s key patents were set to expire within a couple of years.

The Company knew they needed to be proactive, as the competitive landscape would greatly change once their patents expired. They were also getting tips that some of their competitors were already creating new products, to attempt to achieve a competitive advantage once expiration occurred.

Since the Company had spent so much time on expansion and defending its patents, the Board and C-Suite realized that they did not know much about their competitors or how to compete against them.

I was brought in to create a comprehensive global competitive landscape (where I identified over 100+ competitors vs. the 10 the Company was aware of), and provided the Company with a five-fold strategy on not only how to defend, but win against all of their competitors, including those who were emerging.

A good company weathers the storm. A great company anticipates the storm and rises higher, so the potential storm does not affect them. Learning how to compete and win took them from good to great.

5. Know When to Pivot

A Fortune 1000 Chemical Company was #1 in the Pulp and Paper market and had been in operation for almost a hundred years. As the paper market shrunk (since people and companies do more online now and do not use as much paper), so did their profits. They initially did what most companies do, which was layoff employees and cut costs, until they could not cut them anymore.

After getting pressure from their Board and investors (the stock price was falling) to grow the top line, the Company decided to pivot and look outside of their primary product line.

It was difficult for them at first, because all they knew and were experts in was Pulp and Paper. However, I was able to help them leverage their existing capabilities and identify a new market and industry to target, Biofuels. It turned out that some of their chemicals could be used in both the existing and next generation Biofuels market in both the US and other key countries around the world.

I helped the Business Unit successfully enter the new market, adding 300M dollars in long term revenue.

Great companies not only know when to innovate, but when to pivot. As the world changes, so must companies. It is the only way to not only stay great, but survive and thrive, and not get left behind.

Extensive research suggests that “purpose driven businesses” are more successful in many areas. Can you help articulate for our readers a few reasons why a business should consider becoming a purpose driven business, or consider having a social impact angle?

Being a ‘purpose driven business’ is great for companies from both an offensive and defensive perspective.

From an offensive perspective, being a ‘purpose driven business’ has benefits including increased customer loyalty, employee retention (especially from millennials who care about a business’ social impact), investors (who are increasingly focusing on where a company is from an ESG perspective), and other stakeholders who will often look favorably on a business that is ‘purpose driven’.

From a defensive perspective, being a ‘purpose driven business’ may prevent or minimize bad publicity from not having a social impact (which can affect your bottom line), loss of investment, customers, employees, and others.

What would you advise to a business leader who initially went through years of successive growth, but has now reached a standstill. From your experience do you have any general advice about how to boost growth and “restart their engines”?

When a company experiences stagnation, to boost and restart growth, a business leader should:

  1. Take an assessment and pinpoint the exact time or timeframe when the business became stagnant. Then try to get an understanding of what caused the stagnation.
  2. Check to see if there are opportunities in your target markets that you are not taking advantage of, if your market has changed and you have not, if your existing markets are stagnant or shrinking, or if the competitive landscape changed and your business is no longer competitive.
  3. Also, check to see if you have the right management team and organizational structure in place to take your business to the next level.
  4. After doing steps 1–3, determine if you need to shift into new markets, better compete in your existing ones, and/or revamp or refocus your organization to win and boost growth going forward.

Generating new business, increasing your profits, or at least maintaining your financial stability can be challenging during good times, even more so during turbulent times. Can you share some of the strategies you use to keep forging ahead and not lose growth traction during a difficult economy?

The strategies I recommend using include first doing an assessment to ensure your company is fundamentally sound. Things that you can get away with not having updated or in place during good times, will not work during turbulent times or a difficult economy. When was the last time you updated your strategy? When was the last time you checked in or your customers to find out what they wanted, needed, or whether or not they were satisfied? Are your costs and processes optimized? Use a difficult economic period to get these areas of your business in order.

Next, look at what markets or industries are thriving during a difficult economy. For example, dollar stores and low-cost items might be more in demand, whereas higher end retailers may not. Online may be thriving more than brick and mortar operations, so if you have a weak or nonexistent online presence, now is the time to create one. There are always opportunities. It is just a matter of keeping your eyes and mind open to both see and capitalize on them.

In your experience, which aspect of running a company tends to be most underestimated? Can you explain or give an example?

Maintaining the right balance. Running a company requires a lot of time, motivation, focus, energy, and vision. Depending on the size, it also requires strong people skills to deal with your Board, management team, and employees, as well as customers, vendors, and other stakeholders. While it is important to hire well, you also to have to stay on top of what is going on in your company as at the end of the day, as a business leader, you are responsible for what takes place. Also, ensuring you find time to take care of yourself and have a social life are also equally important to balance your emotional and physical health.

As you know, “conversion” means to convert a visit into a sale. In your experience what are the best strategies a business should use to increase conversion rates?

To increase conversation rates, business and salespeople should be prepared and think about how to anticipate the needs of a potential client. When you can solve a client’s problem, answer their questions, and clearly articulate how you can help them achieve their goals, you put yourself in a better position to close the sale and increase conversion rates.

That requires the you know your target customer, understand your competitors and leverage your competitive advantage to show why you are better than the competition or whatever is currently being used by your target customers, know your numbers, know your products and services, and most importantly, be confident and straightforward.

For service-based businesses or businesses that require a client visit for a sale, the customer is buying you as much as they are buying the product or service. They need to feel comfortable that you can and will deliver for them in a way that will satisfy them. Someone who lacks confidence will not instill that.

Of course, the main way to increase conversion rates is to create a trusted and beloved brand. Can you share a few ways that a business can earn a reputation as a trusted and beloved brand?

Through consistency of high-quality service, products, and achieving results. People need to know your brand, like your brand, and trust your brand before they choose you or your products. Then when you deliver on that consistently, it strengthens your brand. That goes for businesses both large and small.

Great customer service and great customer experience are essential to build a beloved brand and essential to be successful in general. In your experience what are a few of the most important things a business leader should know in order to create a Wow! Customer Experience?

  • The first thing is to find out what customers want (realized/ unrealized needs). The best way to do that is to ask them! You would be surprised how many companies simply do not ask their customers what they want or whether or not they are satisfied.
  • The next thing is to deliver what they want and need and overdeliver when possible. We all have a wonderful feeling when we know we are taken care of and can get what we want as a customer, without a lot of effort.
  • The last thing is to surprise them with an experience that they could not have anticipated. It may be large or small, but it is most important to make them have a great memory or feel valued.

What are your thoughts about how a company should be engaged on Social Media? For example, the advisory firm EisnerAmper conducted 6 yearly surveys of United States corporate boards, and directors reported that one of their most pressing concerns was reputational risk as a result of social media. Do you share this concern? We’d love to hear your thoughts about this.

A company should be engaged on Social Media in a way that is consistent with their brand and gets the viewpoints of multiple users (ideally diverse) to gain continual feedback that their engagement is not only appropriate, but not offensive.

Reputational risk online via social media must be managed. Otherwise, it can be detrimental and costly for an organization from both a PR and financial perspective.

What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?

  1. Not having a clear strategy and plan in place
  2. Not hiring or aligning themselves with the right people
  3. Trying to do too much themselves
  4. Not knowing how to handle rapid growth (scaling)
  5. Not communicating well (Oftentimes CEOs & Founders have a lot of information and great ideas in their heads. It is a shift to focus on now communicating with others).

Thank you for all of that. We are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would outlaw homelessness. It is a crime for anyone to be on the street. If we can figure out where to put refugees and others who enter the country, we should be able to figure this out.

This is not only a moral and ethical Issue, but a sanitary and safety issue as well. Whether an individual just needs an opportunity to work, has mental issues, substance abuse issues, or other issues, our country and our world is vast and rich enough to handle it.

This is also a business issue as well — Studies have shown that businesses will not have enough workers in the future. This population is an untapped resource. Any time we have even one unproductive citizen or individual, businesses lose money in the form of lost employees and customers, and our country as a whole loses out. We are the greatest country in the world. We can do better.

How can our readers further follow you online?

They can go to my company’s website — www.elevatediamondstrategy.com or via LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/michelle-diamond-51693aa

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!

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