We’ve all heard some form of the adage, what got you to where you are won’t get you to where you are going. And it’s true in every facet of our lives and of our businesses.
While, on the surface, this little catch phrase encourages us to know where we want to go and to make the changes that will allow us to get there, most of us don’t think through what that really means, practically, in our businesses – how it shows up in the day to day.
When we keep on doing what’s always worked for us and we don’t change, develop, evolve, grow, we will stay stuck.
Stuck on the nauseating merry-go-round of employee churn.
Stuck in the infuriating grasp of profit-burning, revenue ceilings.
Stuck repeating the same problems under different circumstances over and over and over.
It doesn’t matter how big or how small your business is. If you are not growing in a specific dimension, you are staying right where you are in that aspect of your business. Now, when you don’t aspire to grow your business, increase your revenue, improve your market share, positioning, or profit, staying in the same place isn’t necessarily an issue, but if you do want to impact any or all of those areas, growth is vital.
And there are 5 core moments in your business growth and development where change is mandatory and where the support of a seasoned professional to guide you through that process helps you go further faster with far less burn, churn and repetition.
#1 – Scaling
When you have built a firm foundation for your business and want to grow into the next tier of revenue (and profit) generation, it stands to reason that you have to build off what you have done, but not build the same thing again.
Think about your business like building a house. You don’t pour a foundation and then, once it has cured, pour another foundation right on top of it. You shift from preparing and pouring foundations to structural framework. It’s no longer time for concrete, it’s time for studs.
While this seems (and is) logical and obvious, it’s not so easy in practice because, unlike, the systematic process of building a house, building a business feels a lot less step-by-step and a lot more organic. Just as it’s hard for a parent to pinpoint the moment that a child goes from newborn to infant to toddler to preschooler, it can be hard for founders and owners to spot the moment when the business goes from foundations to studs.
#2 – Expanding Your Leadership Team
Bringing in new leaders into your business can be a tricky thing to do. Most founders and owners and plenty of CEOs aren’t very good at letting things go, delegating effectively, and sharing the load. There is a plethora of reasons why that’s true and tons of advice on how to get better at it, but the fact remains that it is tricky.
There’s the matter of authority and organizational change, transference of duties, recalibration of reporting structures, not to mention the rumor mill that will be chattering and the feathers that will inevitably be ruffled along the way.
It’s disheartening to pour your effort (and money) into bringing in new management or into elevating a high potential person into a leadership role only to be met with backlash and disapproval from the rank and file.
Expanding your leadership team is clunky and inefficient unless you take the right preparatory steps and follow through with a cohesive onboarding plan.
You cannot manage by abdication, and you cannot continue to hold all of the reins in your one set of hands.
#3 – Dealing with Dissatisfaction
It sometimes happens that we build businesses that we don’t love, or that we lose the love and the passion for our work that once sustained us during those long wakeful nights and the stress-filled coffee-fueled days.
We are not alone in this. It happens to us, to our best people and sometimes to our organization as a whole.
While I have certainly watched a tiny handful of individuals build businesses that they weren’t terribly passionate about, those are the rare exceptions. It takes passion to ignite a fire within people, to enflame a will to do more, to stretch, to go the extra mile, to sweat the small stuff in service of the customer experience.
You cannot pass what you do not have.
If you do not have passion for your team, your business, your brand, your product, your customers – for something – if there is no passion anymore, there will be no flame to pass.
So what do you do when the passion has died? What do you do when you no longer feel in love? What do you do when your work has become a repetitive cycle of obligation and responsibility?
Throw it all away? Start something new? Sell it and get out?
You have to reignite the flame.
Sometimes the pilot light goes out on the heater but that doesn’t mean it can’t be relit.
#4 – Feeling Invisible
Every single one of us deals with some version of a hidden wound – not being seen, not being heard, not being understood, not being good enough, feeling unworthy or fraudulent.
These wounds have long and varied lineages, but they show up in some way, shape or form within the hidden recesses of nearly every heart.
And every single leader has felt their effect.
Every. Single. One.
The private conversations behind the locked door of the zoom room with CEOs and founders, with owners and leaders and managers and supervisors and even the newest trainees have revealed these wounds over and over again.
They are far more common than you think.
Look at the most successful person you know, the most secure, confident leader that you admire. Yes. Even she or he may be feeling like a fraud or feeling insufficient, not up to the task, not good enough or even in some form invisible at this very moment.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying and have felt the reality of it, that it’s lonely at the top.
A big piece of that loneliness comes from positional authority. Because it’s your responsibility to hold it together, to know what to do, to be the leader, you can’t share with your team that you feel shaky, unseen, unheard.
And when it’s happening at work, it’s probably happening at home too.
Have you ever talked to your family and felt that sense of insufficenty reinforced? Even stood by as you child had a meltdown after you had a tough day at the office and felt the full weight and force of your sense of powerlessness.
It happens to the best of us.
But it doesn’t have to happen alone, and it no longer needs to keep on happening at all.
A good coach can intercept those targeted passes from the cerebellum to the amygdala and can teach you how to spot them before they grab the ball and run.
#5 – Promoting yourself from Owner to Chairman
When you’ve been running a business and you’re ready to step back, there are a whole host of preparatory steps to take. Not only to prepare your business to be run by someone else and to familiarize yourself with an advisory-only position, but also to fill your next stage with purpose.
Most owners and high-level leaders identify themselves by or with their work and it’s an unrealistic expectation that you’ll be able to step way and embrace a life of leisure as a long-term strategy.
It will work for a while an then that creeping dissatisfaction will start to rear its ugly head.
You can take the CEO out of the business, but you can’t take the business out of the CEO.
Driven, ambitious, business-builders will need something to do.
You will need something to do beyond golf and good bourbon or grandbabies.
So as you consider passing the business down to the next generation or building up a leader to take over for you or even simply selling the business, you’ll need to be preparing on more levels than just the business.
Every single one of these five core moments are surrounded by what we, at Legacy Leadership Institute, call Bridgepoints, specific, predictable moments of growth where, when a new action is taken and an old behavior is forsaken, you will not just move towards your goal, you will transect it as you bridge right over it into a whole new level.
Bridgepoints are blindly obvious once you know what they look like. They are like the hidden picture inside of a picture. You might not know it’s there, you might look 100 times and never see it, but once you finally do see it, you can never miss it again.
At a Bridgepoint, an owner, a leader, a CEO, has a choice to make and if they just keep on pouring that new foundation again and again, they will find that they climb the mountain to a set height and then either fall off the side of a cliff or backslide to the moment just prior to that critical juncture.
The Bridgepoint is the necessary moment of new action.
The moment of dynamic growth.
The moment where you can finally break free of the limitations that have held you and kept you stuck.
Don’t you want to know how to spot them?
Let us teach you how!
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