Written By: Dr. Shawn Haywood, Lifestyle coach
Effective leaders, managers and teams understand the risks, challenges and opportunities that accompany rapid growth. Below are four key questions which can guide and bolster leadership and team collaboration during periods of rapid growth.
1. Who is focused on the future, both strategic focus and daily strategic alignment?
Someone, usually the CEO or president of an organization, needs to be engaged and accountable for looking beyond the daily to dos, chronic busyness and even high intensity work place and toward strategic focus and alignment. Seeing from a vantage point of multiple future scenarios from all points of business development and ensuring the entire management team is strategically aligned on a daily basis is the most important role of the CEO or president.
ESPECIALLY when rapid growth takes hold.
The senior leader needs to be spending focused, deliberate and relaxed time each week: Ideally a block of three to five hours every week. He or she holds senior managers accountable for upholding business strategy and vision, usually in the form of weekly strategic meetings. This affords all leaders the ability to see ahead and curb many possible problems.
2. Who is focused on the day-to-day operations?
It is of extreme importance to have a senior manager or vice president hold the responsibility and accountability for the business operations: specifically, systems, processes, quality, problem solving, conflict resolution, infrastructure and quality. While it is counterintuitive to ignore these issues, the constant firefighting mode in rapid growth environments tends to deemphasize making operational improvements and investments. Fight this inertia and cultivate a culture of continuous improvement for streamlining processes, eliminating bottlenecks, improving transparency and ensuring that system design and investment is done in the context of future needs. A dedicated operations owner will make addressing all of these issues a part of the regular work of all employees.
3. Who is focused on recruiting and developing talent?
The tendency is to hire and promote fast and sort things out later. Effective leaders understand the cost of sacrificing quality in talent identification, hiring and development processes. You MUST resist the urge to move too fast. Usually, in a small business, one senior leader would be primarily responsible for employee development and mentoring, as well as active recruiting, vetting and onboarding new team members. This is a time commitment, but a time commitment that is essential for cultural integrity, talent and leadership development, staff fulfillment and retention.
This role changes and expands into a team as a company grows. So be looking for how to duplicate yourself as you mentor.
4. Who is focused on intentional cultural development?
Clear, meaningful and actionable values are never more important in an organization than during expansion, acquisition, crisis or rapid growth. Effective rapid growth leaders understand the power of the organizational values. (Values consist of two to three specific and UNIQUE to YOUR organization. Values are not a long impersonal list of “canned” values written on your website, but not utilized EVERY day in every decision.) And, the cultural development and adherence leader draws upon values daily as a reference point or guiding light for key strategic decisions, as do all company leaders. If you are not clear about YOUR specific personal company values, do not use them daily for decision making, meeting leading, etc. or you begin compromising on the values, you simultaneously send a signal to the organization that they are just words on the wall. Instead, you want to lead with values at the center of everything you do, say and think. This leadership quality signals, “We take our values seriously.” Values orientation IS a profit-driving leadership practice. Use your values in every aspect of the business - from hiring to firing to mentoring to serving employees and clients to growing the business.
Take the time to be a CARETAKER of your business, don’t just be BUSY!
SCHEDULE an appointment with me if you’d like support with HOW to handle these four initiatives so your business can grow with flow!