Growing a successful business requires the right vision, structure, people, money and a true leadership team.
How do you build this true leadership team?
One of the first requirements is for the owner to be able to let go and empower the team to lead. If you have been holding all of the pieces together as you grow, you will eventually hit a wall and realize that you cannot keep your hand in all of these pieces. This is when you need to let go and decide who will take control of which areas (i.e. sales, marketing, accounting, etc.) and empower them to do so.
Each of these leaders (department heads) need to be eventually better than you in his or her respective position. Then you need to assign them clear goals and instill effective monitoring systems of accountability and communications. This leadership team (including you) need to present a united front to the rest of your organization.
As you grow your business with this team you will experience frustrating levels of growing pains and it is critical to have a strong team to survive these levels. In his book, Traction: Get A Grip On Your Business, Gino Wickman talks about the leadership team having the following 5 core leadership priorities to survive and grow:
Simplify – simplify your company’s vision, rules, communications, processes, systems, etc. As Dan Sullivan (Strategic Coach) states; “no further progress and growth is possible for an organization until a new state of simplicity is created”
Delegate – as an owner you have to delegate some of your responsibilities and “elevate yourself to operate at your highest level and best use”. This will empower your leaders to elevate themselves, and it will also prevent constricting the company growth.
Predict – be able to predict long term (90 days and beyond) business needs and short term (daily and weekly issues). Leaders need to prevent getting buried in day to day grind and rise above it to find long term solutions.
Systemize – the leadership team needs to identify the company’s core processes and automate them to reduce redundancy, prevent mistakes, and increase efficiencies and profits.
Structure – you and your leadership team need to structure your organization to reduce complexity and create accountably. The structure must also accommodate next level growth
An effective leadership team is open minded, growth-oriented and risk aware.