One of the questions I consistently hear is, “What is the key to a growing organization?” In sports, we live in a “copy cat” world. If you are a winner, every team and organization wants to know your formula for success.
The question above feels like it should be complicated, but it’s not. It is really very simple. We want it to be a magic formula, silver bullet, new strategy, or some secret. Sorry, but there are no formulas, strategies, or secrets. There is a key … a key that unlocks growth at every level.
Here it is … growing organizations are led by growing leaders.
I know what you are thinking. “It can’t be that easy.” Actually, it can. However, while it is that easy, it is also very difficult. Just as a healthy relationship needs constant attention, so does growth. Yesterday’s growth will never accomplish tomorrow’s results.
If you examine companies, teams, universities, or even families that are vibrant and growing, you will find they are being led by people who are growing. On the flip side, when a group of people on a mission is stuck, it is because their leaders are bogged down in busyness and aloof to developing a culture of growing leaders. Remember, the goal is growth NOT perfection.
The question is, how does a leader establish and maintain a culture of growing leaders?
The following are a five action steps to consider…
Define: If you want your people to prioritize growth, tell them your expectation, and define what you mean by growth. You cannot hold them accountable unless you define your expectations. Unless you say it, model it, and inspect it, growth will never become the norm. Why? Because in general people are lazy. You must make it crystal clear that if people want to be a part of your team, they’d better be growing and moving in the right direction.
Read: Growing leaders are consistent readers. A culture of growth is made up of a team who reads together. Consider spending a month or two on a selected resource (a book) designed to address an area that needs improvement. Have everyone on your team read the same chapters each week and build in a planned “growth meeting” each month for discussion and to identify best practices.
Visit: One of the most powerful things a team can do is go somewhere together. Travel causes ideas to flow, ramps up creativity, and causes teams to look in the mirror at their systems and structures.
Discuss: Great teams have great meetings, and great meetings consist of great discussions, healthy discussions. If you want to speed up growth, take time every week to discuss what you are learning, reading on your own, or takeaways from a place you have visited together. If you can’t meet weekly, meet monthly. However the goal is to meet and discuss. Remember, Iron sharpens Iron.
Budget: It should go without saying, but if growing teams and organizations are led by growing leaders, then budgets should reflect a commitment to resourcing your leaders.
Are you a part of a growing organization or are you stuck in neutral? The answer to that question reveals one thing – whether you and your leaders are truly growing or not.
The next level is available, but only if you keep your focus on nurturing a group of growing leaders.
Have a great week!
What other things can a leader do to establish a culture of growth?