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Companies come in all shapes and sizes, and leaders must adjust their unique skills to meet the needs of the organizations they serve. There are a variety of differences between leading a small company and a large one. Large organizations will have both more bureaucracy and structure than smaller ones. The atmosphere will be different depending on how many of your coworkers you know. Small and large organizations also offer different opportunities for learning about your role. 

 

Bureaucracy 

One of the largest differences is the amount of bureaucracy a leader needs to jump through in order to get things done. Sure, a large organization may have much more hoops to jump through, but this may not necessarily be a bad thing, either. Smaller businesses tend to be less organized and their structure is not as conducive of efficiency and accomplishments. Routines and patterns can be helpful if the time calls for them. 

 

Who You Know

If you’re the leader of a major organization, chances are you only know the people you need to speak to on a regular basis. Sure, the company may have a few hundred employees, but you likely only know a small handful of them by name. At a smaller group, however, you will get to know everyone, from your second-in-command to the receptionist. While some people enjoy family-type atmosphere, others enjoy the distance a larger company allows. 

 

Specialization vs. Exposure

Another difference between leading large and small companies are the tasks you perform every day. Large businesses give you a chance to specialize in a specific area or job function. You can explore your interests and devote time to further developing your role. At smaller companies, you have a much wider exposure to all the job functions. A leader in a small company may be responsible for budgeting, scheduling, and leading trainings, while a leader in a large company may explore only one or two areas. 

 

There are several advantages and disadvantages of working at large and small companies. You’ll need to take all the differences into consideration when deciding which type is the best workplace for you. Do you value structure over lack of bureaucracy? Friendships or distance? Are you more excited by the opportunity to develop a specialization or exposure to variety of tasks?  Consider all these factors when choosing your next role.