Albert Einstein once said the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”. Why can’t you grow your business? Maybe it’s because you keep doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.
Ok, so maybe you’re not doing exactly the same thing over and over, but you’re probably close. For example, you need more revenue, so you bring on a salesperson to drive sales. Yet after three months, nothing has changed. As a result, you fire them and hire another person who tells you why the last hire failed and how he or she can make it work. But alas, three months later you’re still in the same spot. What happened?
All you did was change the team member and not the process. Your hire wasn’t supported. After all, you are too busy, which is why you brought that person in. When nothing changes, it’s time to look in the mirror because, as I like to say, “the horse stinks from the head”.
Growing your company isn’t always about working harder. It’s more about utilizing the tools and talent around you. How, you might ask? The first thing you can do is achieve consensus - get your people to buy-in and agree to a plan to grow the company and drive sales. Grow your people if you want to grow your company. I’m not just talking about sending them to school or training them. I’m talking about involving them, getting their input, and giving them a culture in which they feel confident to speak up, give ideas, and provide feedback. If you want them to feel appreciated, allow them to have a voice in the company.
A recent article from theladders.com (September 14, 2019) stated that, among other reasons, 79% of people that leave their jobs do so because they feel unappreciated. Remember, you can’t expand your business alone. You need help. It’s time to change your thinking and the way you look at your business and manage/treat your people. I am writing a series of blogs about what I believe are the ongoing principles that are critical for you, as a leader, to master. They are the key to breathing new life into your business and your people. A few of those topics are as follows:
It's time to “Pull the Chute”. Is your foot always on the gas pedal? Do you feel like you're always moving at 120 mph? Maybe it’s time to pause, assess, and re-focus.
Let's identify your “Leadership and business culture”. Here are some key questions to consider. What is your leadership style? Is it a dictatorship? A democracy? A combination of both? Then, how could you describe your work environment, company mission, values, ethics, expectations, and goals?
“It takes two, sometimes more...”. Most successful businesses have a visionary and an integrator. If the visionary sets the big-picture goal for the company, the integrator harmonizes the different aspects of the business to make that goal a reality. Walt Disney had his brother Roy, Apple’s Steve Jobs had Steve Wozniak, Microsoft’s Bill Gates had Paul Allen and the list goes on. Who is your integrator(s)?
When it's time to “Adjust the course, do it incrementally”. What’s the plan? How do you want your team to move forward together on this new course? Remember the definition of insanity and don’t get pulled back down the old rabbit hole again.
Small changes create less whiplash and less pushback from your people. Remember, you can’t do it alone, you need to bring them along and have them help if you want to a) implement your new plan, but more importantly, b) “Grow your People”. Be the leader that gives your people a healthy and rewarding work environment. As I stated earlier, 79% of people leave jobs because they feel unappreciated. It’s not always about the money.
Let's look at the concept of “Getting More, while retaining your people and clients”. In spite of what society often tells us, life isn’t actually about getting more while another person gets less. It is about how to communicate properly so both parties feel valued, appreciated, understood, and satisfied. How do you keep your people and clients happy? Spend time to understand the pictures in their heads. I promise this will allow you to build better relationships, retain your clients and people while growing your sales.
Eventually, you want every person to say "It's my company too!" You can’t be everywhere all the time. By empowering your people to believe in your vision, allowing them to have a voice, and showing them that they are appreciated, you are building a culture where they feel like it’s their company too. As a result, they will always be watching out for the company.
Too learn more about these processes, feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org We would be happy to jump on a call to discuss your needs further.
In the meantime, stay safe, be healthy Jeff