by Jon Isaacson
At the beginning of a new year every company has the same dream — this is the year we are going to blow the doors off of this thing with growth! Everyone is working on their six pack and so are companies. Yet, like most individuals, the likelihood that most organization will reach their growth goals is directly tied to whether their habits change from last year.
Will you continue to join the cadre of growth bloviateors or will you make some real changes to put some walk to that catchphrase-business-talk? If status quo and annual mediocre cycles are no longer acceptable, what must we do?
Admit That Growth Is Scary
Everyone talks about growth, but the reality is that growth cannot be detached from getting your hands dirty in improving your processes.
Growth cannot be treated as a noun. As a refresher, a noun is a person, place or thing. If growth is a thing for you, then you likely will not grow. Growth is a verb, it requires action. Growth is a reflection of your actions.
That’s right folks, growth is you. Growth is not something that you just talk about, its something that you do. Lack of growth is a reflection, it tells us that something we are doing is not working.
Leaders Exemplify Growth
Growth happens because of people. If you are a leader and you are investing in our own personal improvement than you will more naturally be an active demonstration of professional development. Conversely, if you do not exemplify growth, regardless of how much you speak about it, their is a correlation to how growth will be impeded within your organization.
If you want your company to grow, be a person that is growing. If you want your team to develop, be an example of how growth happens.
Leaders Create Opportunities For Growth
Your organization is made up of living components. Companies are made up of people, organizations need nourishment, need opportunities and need challenges or they will stagnate. Quotes on the wall and status quo training sessions are great for keeping pace with mediocrity. When growth is reduced to a noun it removes our teams from the necessity for action. Growth as a noun is a desolate wasteland where most organizations are grazing, rather than growth as a verb that is propelling teams to tackle their mission.
Stagnate People = Stagnant Organizations.
When you are hungry to grown and evolve, you will become an agent propelling the organization forward. You will be practicing growth as a verb. re moving with the organization as they propel it forward. New opportunities for persons up the ladder should be utilized as opportunities to create growth paths for those climbing from lower rungs on the ladder. Leaders need to create their own personal pressure as well as embrace positive pressure generated from eager team members who have a vision to move upward with the organization.
If you are more concerned with tenure and keeping things the way they are. When leadership is scared to make too many changes and does not embrace internal momentum it should be no shock that growth is choked by itself.
If there is little opportunity created for movement within an organization, the river is not flowing, the waters are stale.
Leaders Need to Mentor
If you are not working yourself out of a job, then you are not doing yourself or your organization any favors. This is not to say that an organization should turn an burn its people, or that you should leave an organization, but that as you work up the ladder you are mentoring others to take your place. I believe this is called a win-win situation, perhaps a win (for you) — win (for those you are mentoring) — win (for your organization). Every successful team needs leaders who are helping to mentor the next generations of leaders from within the team.
One of the most rewarding cycles as a leader is to be able to train someone from no experience in your industry to climbing the ladder in your organization. When you hire good people, it becomes your challenge to develop them to their full potential.
Develop Your Internal Resources
In business they talk about the Peter Principle, recognizing a business trend to promote employees until they reach a point of failure. Another way to understand this cycle is to observe the lack of mentor ship within most organizations. If you throw people into positions that they haven’t been prepared for there is a greater probability of failure. Whereas if you invest in hiring good people and mentor eating them through the process then The individual and the organization benefit.
As a leader it should should burn you up if you cannot keep or create progressive opportunities for your faithful performers. On a practical level of impact towards the goal of growth, when the dynamics of your organization enable your individuals to develop and grow internally, the company will externally grow more naturally. Grow produces growth.
Your performers will be enlivened by opportunities, your employees will be prepared through mentoring and your organization will reproduce its capabilities in the market place expansion will be a product of the internal combustion.
Don’t be scared of growth-ing, grow with your people, for your people and by your people. If you need a friendly kick in the pants, let us know.
Jon Isaacson is the director for Local Facilities Manager's Connection (LFMC - localfacilities.com) which is a peer-to-peer networking group started in Eugene, Oregon. Jon has been working in business development, systems optimization and team building with organizations large and small for nearly 15 years. He has been writing, speaking and assisting teams with creative business solutions, helping those organizations bring their vision into reality.
Jon Isaacson. Green belt in the puzzle art of business. Helping people clarify their vision, optimize productivity & follow through w/ creative solutions #MTWSL
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