Lead Your Business Through the Next Growth Stage with These 5 Personal Changes

by | Sep 8, 2020

I’ve been following a colleague of mine on LinkedIn.

After years of success as an employee, then manager, then director, then area director, he recently landed the role of CEO at a fast-growing video marketing company.

He seems to be settling in well. And he’s building great relationships with his team. But yesterday, when he posted, he mentioned the changes that need to be made in the company if they’re going to scale as planned.

It’s interesting to see his perspective. Because he’s experiencing something you never will. He’s coming in from the outside. He’s bringing new beliefs, experiences, and ideas with him.

You have been through thick and thin to get where you are. You became an elite entrepreneur through a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. You built your business from the ground up and it’s a solid reflection (and tribute) to who you are: your dreams, your vision, your goals. It’s a huge accomplishment. One you should be really proud of.

But in many ways, my colleague, the new CEO, has a few advantages over you.

In not starting and growing the business himself:

  • He’s far more objective. If something’s not working, he won’t hesitate to eliminate it. Because he didn’t see all the thought and hard work that went into its creation.
  • His instinct won’t be to put out the fires. Because his payroll was never dependent upon taking care of even the tiny details. He’ll stay high level (because that’s what his role demands) and in doing so his vision will be more clear.
  • He’s been prepped for growth. When you started your business, your first concern was creating a valuable product or service that met the needs of your target market. Growing your business came a little later. But that means you likely haven’t studied business growth. You haven’t been groomed for the position you now find yourself in.
Of course, he doesn’t love his company the way you love yours. He doesn’t love his team with the same appreciation and devotion you have for yours. And he’s not, yet, as committed to succeeding as you are driven to be.

But if you want to continue seeing growth in your business, you are going to need a few of the skills and beliefs my colleague has.

Here are 5 steps you’ll want to take to move your business into the next stage of growth.

Step 1: Commit to Learning New Skills

You know I’m constantly repeating the famous Marshall Goldsmith quote, “What got you here won’t get you there.” (And I’m going to highly recommend his book with that very title.)

Where you are, right now, is the stage where many entrepreneurs choose to leave it all behind. They carry their companies as far as they can and then, recognizing a deficiency in their own skill set, will choose to sell.

You have chosen to push forward. And that’s amazing! You deserve to see your business move forward with you at the helm. But…it takes a big commitment from you. A commitment to work on yourself. To change the way you view your business, your community, your team, and your goals.

It was hard work getting your business to this point. But mentally, it may be even more difficult to push forward. Because your role changes. You’ll have to think differently. Your belief in yourself will be tested. And there’s probably some skills you’ll need to learn – fast.

However, if you’re up for it, learning those new skills and making those changes can be a lot of fun.

Step 2: Regularly Step Out of the Business

This may come as a shock, but you are no longer an employee. It’s not your job to help your sales team close more sales. It’s not your job to cultivate new vendor relationships. It’s not your job to design the website. Don’t step in and fulfill roles that you’ve hired incredible team members to do.

Certainly your input is important. But the moment you revert to day-to-day work is the moment you slow the growth of your business.

Your job now is to be the visionary. To make sure your business and your people are aligned to the Vision (your Purpose, Values and Mission). To help your team see the direction the company is headed in. To make sure customers are happy and prospects are anxious to buy.

And you can only do that when you step away from it all.

My colleague? He shadowed one of his videographers for a day. But it only took an hour or two before he realized his employees were headed for rapid burnout. Their days were too busy. There was no time for lunch. And hardly enough time to drive from one appointment to another.

How many years had these employees been expected to keep up the pace?

Get out of your business to dig into it further. Off sites, planning meetings, etc. are your opportunity to do that. Commit to getting away and looking in.

Step 3: Give Others a Chance to Lead

For a lot of business owners, this is the toughest one. Which makes sense. You grew a highly profitable business by doing things your way. But the more you grow, the less you can manage. That’s why you hire a management team.

However, once you hire them, give them the freedom to lead in their way. Because unless you have a twin, no one is going to do it exactly like you.

How do you overcome that need to hold the management reins rightly?

First, hire the right people. There’s nothing worse than handing responsibility to someone else and having them alienate the employees you’ve grown to love.

Once you’ve got the right people, make sure you communicate (even over communicate) the Vision (Purpose, Values and Mission) to your management team. If everyone is shooting for the same end result, then everyone’s journey can be slightly different.

The truth is, while most of your employees would consider you an awesome boss, there might be some people who perform better under a different management style. That’s what you’re hiring people to do…reach your employees and motivate them in the way that works best.

But give them the freedom to lead their teams.

Step 4: Turn Your Attention to People and Systems

If the first stage of growth is about survival and hurdling obstacles in order to grow, stage two is about people and systems.

The right team is always important. To any business. No matter their size. But once you’ve reached a certain threshold, you’ve got to have team members who are driven to achieve your Vision. Because with growth comes new challenges. If you don’t have a team with the skills and drive to make things happen, you’re going to plateau.

As for systems…the bigger the business, the more challenges you face. Fortunately, systems can be implemented to eliminate waste, redundancy, and errors. If you can automate and systemize a solid chunk of the business, you’re not spending time putting out fires. You can focus your energies on incredible experiences for your customers and understanding for your prospects.

A greater focus on people and systems is the key to freeing up your time and improving your business.

Step 5: Be Accountable

You are extraordinary. Do you know that? Because you built something out of nothing. And you had enough motivation to make things happen when technically, you didn’t have to. No one would ever question your willingness to “get it done”.

But have you always focused on the right things? Do you force yourself to work on more meaningful activities rather than the immediate “crisis”?

To be successful in this next stage, you need someone holding you accountable for your actions. Could be a board or a partner or your mastermind group. But find someone to help you make the above changes hold you accountable for doing the right things in your business.

Speaking of which…

When you connect with Elite Entrepreneurs, we teach you how to focus on systems and people. We teach you how to effectively step out of your business to work on your business. We help you develop the skills that will move your business through the next stage of growth.

And we’ll hold you accountable for the activities you’ll need to stay focused on.

If you’re ready for some new skills and some serious help, then it’s time to sign up for a free consultation. Take the time to discover how we help you get from here to there.

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