At each stage of business growth, leaders face new challenges and complexity. The habits to grow your Business to £1m revenue is different for CEOs, entrepreneurs, founders, key staff members, and investors than when operating at £5m, £10m, etc. At each stage, you’ll experience a breakdown in the systems and processes that allowed you to make it to this point – to put it simply, what worked to get you here won’t work to get you there.
Along the way, you accumulated multiple systems, developed workarounds, and put a few plasters on any process that became strained with growth. At each stage of your business, you’ll experience stress on previous systems and processes. Whatever you did last year won’t get you to your next year plan, your 3-5 year targets, or your longer term BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal). To grow to the next level, you have to streamline your systems, processes, and reassess your team.
I’ve observed five specific habits demonstrated by successful CEOs as measured by consistent revenue and profit growth. Develop the following habits and you’ll be on your way to continued growth.
Team members will not work at their best when they feel isolated from important information. The outcome will, in fact, be the opposite, and you’ll see team morale disintegrate. It’s easy enough to communicate with only 5 team members. It’s exponentially harder as you grow to 10, 50, 100, 500 employees. Communicating clearly and often will help create a culture where your managers do the same.
When team’s are reactive, there is unneeded waste, frustration, and pressure. Use your team’s brainpower before taking action. Get them involved in long term planning, leverage their thinking on revenue-generating ideas, or product/service innovation.
You spend money daily on the best people. Your team putting in effort without clear direction is a fast path to decline. Invest your time up front to plan and account for obstacles. Have team members set milestones together and make sure the team knows how to work together.
A team dependent upon its leader for decisions will move slowly or even stall. The best leaders give power to the team members through information and expectations. Each person is given the authority to make critical decisions and the confidence to know whether they are right. You must teach others to make decisions on their own and then let them own the decision.
Motivate and Inspire
Money is not a sufficient motivator to attract and retain top talent. The effective CEO’s know that a clear vision, consistent examples and meaningful accomplishment are the key components for inspiration among the team. Begin with a clear company purpose, core values, and a BHAG to inspire.