Schedule a Free Consultation

The Four Horsemen

The Four Horsemen

By: Ross Paterson



Recognize these names? These are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in the Christian New Testament. Their arrival signals the end of times.


There are also four horsemen in our SMBs that are keeping our teams from breaking through.

  1. The Technical Genius: He/she was critical to the startup. But now we are asking or expecting this person, of broad technical wisdom, to lead and manage people and teams. Chances are they don’t want to lead and/or don’t know how to lead. Organizational symptoms: High conflict and drama, low respect and trust, regular departures of quality performers.
  2. The Empty Chair: No one has time to work on strategic priorities because you are short-handed. Administrative and repetitive process work is bogging down leaders and managers. Organizational symptoms: stagnation, missed opportunities, owner works every weekend to catch up.
  3. The Underperformer: You are already working around this person. Everyone on the team sees what is happening and they are waiting for you (the owner) to show the courage to turn them around or turn them loose. Organizational symptoms: Low morale and engagement, cash flow is tight, the owner doing the wrong work.
  4. I’m-the-only-one-who-can-Man: Usually this is us, business owners. Holding on to too many tasks, processes stuck in our heads, ineffective leadership, and delegation of work. Organizational symptoms: Frazzled leader, the bottleneck of every process is the owner’s desk and inbox, team-wide frustration, limited forward progress.


How many do you have on your team? If you recognize some of these riders click HERE for #XtraMile prescriptions on each of these challenges.