Strategy

25th May 2017

Sustainable Growth

I have never yet encountered a business whose sustainable growth exceeded the personal growth of the leaders of that business. For businesses to grow, the person or people at the top of that business have to grow too. Indeed they have to grow in advance of the growth of the business.

Should the opposite happen, and were the business to grow faster than the people, the business would become out of control and businesses that are out of control are ruthless. They will tear your life up.

From those statements it is obvious that if you want to grow your business, or remain safe as your business grows then your major focus needs to be on personal growth.

To an extent this is a statement of the obvious. If you want to become good at anything, whether it be playing the piano, poker, running or gardening you will need to learn, practice and develop your skills in that particular discipline. It won’t happen by accident. Yet so many people seem to believe that they already have what it takes.

In business the range of skills and knowledge is so diverse and so complex that it is inconceivable that anyone can have any sustainable success without devoting themselves to the act of learning and practicing the art.

By and large business is a team sport. Rarely does a solo-preneur create anything of real significance and if business is a team sport can you think of any other team sport where the team do not train together to develop, not only the skills, but the cohesion, strategy and the game plan to succeed together?

Think of your favourite team and ask yourself how pleased you would be if you knew that after each game, they would go their own separate ways and only come back together again just in time for their next game? No post match analysis, no debrief, no physio, no modification, improvement or learning and definitely no training. How would you feel about giving them your loyalty and support if you knew that?

Now think about your work team, whether you are the leader or not. Ask yourself how often do you carry out a post match analysis? How often do you debrief, discuss and modify your approach? How often do you train and strategize together? Chances are you are playing a high stakes, high intensity game every day. You should be debriefing, learning, strategizing and training everyday too. Are you?

I have never yet encountered a business whose sustainable growth exceeded the personal growth of the leaders of that business.