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Several years ago I was preparing for a trip to a large conference and decided it was a good time to update and order new business cards. At the time, I owned and operated two businesses. The first (Core Ventures) was new, exciting, and consumed most of my time and energy. I had big plans to disrupt the recruiting world and build something special, but we hadn’t even landed our first client or made our first hire. On paper it was real, but it was early. The second business was an outfitter my wife and I had opened up together several years prior. It had grown slowly and steadily but it wasn’t long before we realized we were not likely to make any real money so we both exited day to day operations.

I owned the majority of both entities, so I thought it would be a good idea to make a business card with one company on one side and the other on the flip side. Co-founder on one side and CEO on the other! How cool! At the conference, I handed out business cards like candy canes at Christmas eager to confirm that yes indeed, I was a really big deal.

by Matt Thomas

Every leader with a modicum of self-awareness has been there. The wheels aren’t coming off, yet, but things are not going nearly as smooth as you’d like. You walk into the office and there is a nervous energy, eye contact is fleeting, and in your one-on-ones with your managers you can hear it in their voice. Is everything going to be okay?

When revenue goals are getting shattered and customer satisfaction is through the roof they call you a hero, and rightly, it feels pretty good. There’s nothing quite like an idea getting legs and transforming into a living, breathing, profitable organism. It’s the rush that every entrepreneur I know lives for. But what about the 90% of organizations out there struggling to make payroll and staring down another pivot or die scenario? Most organizations have to consistently reinvent themselves in order to keep up with a new influx of competition, market constraints, and more.

Even the healthiest organizations experience this scenario at one point or another. Call it a dip, a stall, a bump in the road, whatever–it’s coming. And when it comes, there will be people in your organization who question your leadership. So begin the whispers.