Growing Pain #1 – Leadership

As we discussed last time, the three most common Growing Pains for Businesses are Leadership, Structure and Systems/processes. All three need to keep evolving as the Business grows. The leadership skills, structure and processes required for a Business turning over $3 million is different to a $20 m Business, and different again to a $100 m Business.

Today’s topic is Leadership

Ever noticed a group of kids playing in a park and how complete strangers can play games all with various roles (the goodies, the baddies, the law, the princess, the superhero) or how, people wait for others to get off a train before getting on, if a queue is formed you join the queue at the back of the line, or if out running on a shared path you stick to the left?

Now, we don’t ALWAYS do these things but they occur more often than not, and yet there aren’t many laws to police it. So how does this occur over and over every day?

We can look to the social and sport sciences for some clues. As humans we are good at self-organising to get an outcome. This is achieved through a constraints-led approach. That is, any environment where there are clearly identified limitations that we must operate within, we’re usually pretty good at determining the best way to get an outcome.

As a leader we can use this constraints-led approach and self-organising response to achieve favourable outcomes within our organisation. To do this a leader must effectively do 3 things really well.

Firstly, a leader must be able to Create Meaning – the why? Why this strategy, why this process or structure? Secondly, they must Manage Energy of the people, here a leader must read the energy of the team and understand what gives and takes energy from the team, know when to challenge and when to support the team. Finally, a leader will need to Engage Action. This is the accountability part.

A leader who can effectively implement these 3 pillars of leadership will be able to provide the constraints by which their team or people will be able to self-organise and achieve great outcomes for themselves and the organisation.

Tune in next time to read about our second key Business Growing Pain…..Structure.

Focus: Getting leaders out of the trenches. Leaders who don’t have time to lead are a common feature of growing businesses. Ivan can fix that.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.