Leadership – the First Step to Growth
Leadership is the first step on the pathway of steady, consistent and profitable growth. The leadership of an organization is the most critical step. In my opinion, it is the starting point to attain a growth orientation. There are several ways leadership impacts the growth opportunities of an organization. Yet, the operative descriptor is Entrepreneurial Leadership.
There are leaders and then there are entrepreneurial leaders! The difference is significant in both actions and results. The mistake some people make when thinking about entrepreneurial leaders is limiting them to only small companies. An example would be Jack Welch when he was leading GE. He was an entrepreneurial leader of a top 10 organization. Let me explain what I mean…
First, the key action is the fearlessness of taking risks. The leaders that only protect what they inherited are not taking the risk needed to grow. Growth requires consistent new ideas, products, services, structure and resources. No-risk leaders will block any change to what has worked in the past. Think in terms of investments, higher risks equal higher potential returns, while no risk limits the potential of returns – even to the point of being guaranteed.
Second, these leaders have a vision regarding the future. Creating a vivid picture of direction, the commitment needed to get to a new level, and exactly what the organization should be, act like, sound like and perform. It is a time for reflection and creativity leading to innovation of thought and ideas. Coordinating all resources to focus on this vision of the future and get the buy-in necessary for “controlled” growth.
Third, real leaders take on the responsibility of creating a culture that leads to growth and maximizes the potential of everyone within the organization. Most leaders (of average to low performance) totally miss the boat on this important element. It’s the culture – those collective beliefs of how things really are – that drive an organization. It is not something to be left to chance. The real leaders recognize this fact and create and promote a culture of growth and abundance.
Finally, real leadership knows that it’s the People that get things done. Therefore, it becomes a priority to hire the right people, develop the existing talent for the future, give the people the resources and responsibility to make things happen, and to hold people accountable for their results – individually and functionally.
The leadership of a company sets the tone for the performance expectations and the execution to get the results. Strong leadership wins no matter if the economy is up or down – they are leading their group to the next level. Weak leadership cuts costs (and investment) which inhibits growth opportunities. It is interesting to observe that the first things cut are training and marketing! Two factors that can create growth – they eliminate.
Leadership development is a key factor for overall success of every organization. If you are have concerns about succession of leaders or improving the quality of potential leaders within your organization, contact us. We have been developing leaders and getting managers promoted into leadership roles for over 2 decades. Call us at 901-757-4434.
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