Category: Leadership Blog

Blog posts about leadership

right team

3 Guaranteed Ways to Create the Right Team

The right team will set the foundation of success for your company. If you want to win big in sales and marketing, you need the right mix of team members to get the job done. Anything less may result in not just failure but complete loss.

Ensure You Have the Right People and Plan (Part 1)

Ensure You Have the Right People and Plan (Part 2)

Did you know that there is a hidden opportunity in creating the right team that frequently goes overlooked? 

If you identify the strengths and empower your team to use them, there is no stopping the inertia that builds from that momentum. The Growability™ Strength Finder 2.0 Tool helps you identify each person’s given strength. Our tool simplifies the complex and allows you to best understand the strengths of you and your team so you can perform at your absolute best.

Here are 3 ways you can identify strengths and build the right team right now. 

1) Find the fountains

A fountain is an individual in an organization that is an idea factory. They come up with workarounds, fixes, and solutions to problems or opportunities.

I met a guy named Warner Butters who eventually became one of my mentors. He was a hospital administrator and was hired to take on a hospital that was in an 8-year decline and made almost no money. Frankly, It was a hot mess.

What Warner found out when he entered this hospital is that the fountains were being shut down by the system. Every time there was a good idea, it was knocked down so good ideas weren’t circulating in the hospital. 

“I have to figure out how to empower fountains to bring their best ideas to the table and then establish a good system with effective processes.”

Fountains are great to have in your organization. These people are your idea generators. They have insight into how things should be done and can generate ideas, concepts, and workflows. But, fountains alone can be dangerous.

2) Find the Builders

You get a builder who can come in, analyze the ideas, and build structures around the ideas. They create containers for the concepts. The water flows into the buckets so we can contain it, replicate, and profit from it. 

Without builders, fountains tend to make a mess. Builders give places for the fountain’s ideas to go. You may have someone in your organization who is great at coming up with good marketing ideas and campaigns. The builder would be the person who can put use the ideas. They understand the technology and mechanisms needed to get 

3) Find the Pourers

Pourers are the people that will show up every day to do the work. These are the physicians, nurses, administrators, and task masters who go to the bucket and pour it out. Pourers put the ideas to work. 

Think about the trilogy Lord of the Rings. J.R.R. Tolkien is an incredible fountain able to write this trilogy as a solo entrepreneur. Another fountain named Peter Jackson comes along and decides this should be made into a movie. “The technology is here. This book series can be turned into a film series.”

Peter Jackson recruits other fountains- artists that create the art, storyboard, and visuals. Builders come along to scout locations, recruit the right talent, design the screenplays, and edit the process along the way. 

The pourers are the actors, camera, audio, and lighting people who invest a significant portion of their time and resources to create this work of art. At the end of the film, you don’t see a single person’s name. You see hundreds and hundreds of names, each contributing to their end something to the masterpiece. 

Summary

If you find the strengths in your organization, you’ll grow in ways beyond your expectations. Find who your Fountains, Builders, and Pourers are. Your ideas will flourish because their capacity isn’t capped. The work formed from those ideas will be meaningful. Everyone wins.

Contact Us

Let a Growability coach help you with your organization. Let us help you raise your organization to its fullest potential.

Resiliency

2 Things Resilient Organizations Do

Bad experiences will happen. Poor reviews, dissatisfied customers, and broken processes are just a few of the problems you can expect to happen in your organization. Although trouble is inevitable, disaster isn’t.

Our response to adversity dictates the damage. Leaders and organizations will only grow and flourish if they are resilient and adapt through inevitable pitfalls.

Resilience is the ability to recover from adversity, trauma, and general setbacks. Resilient organizations thrive amidst bad experiences and use negative outcomes to generate positive change.

Being resilient, however, is not intuitive nor innate. Resilience is gained through experience but the learning curve can be lessened with just a few slight changes.

Comfort in Discomfort

Change is uncomfortable and often difficult to manage. Resilient leaders adapt and flex to deal with change. In order to be flexible and able to adapt, you must first recognize your comfort zone and do things to move away from it.

Often, we don’t understand our own comfort zones. We move day-to-day with the same rituals going with the ebb and flow wherever it takes us. When something does happen that jars that rhythm, we meet it with fight or flight…freeze or flee actions. These actions can often lead to worse outcomes than the situation that caused it. We freeze or make hasty, irrational decisions without thinking it through.

This is automatic. Our brains are literally wired to react like that. But, it doesn’t have to be this way.

One way you can practice resiliency is to practice being uncomfortable. I’m not saying you need to take ice baths or do ultra-marathons but you can do or learn something that stands outside your comfort zone.

As a leader, you’re going to be exposed to situations, events, and people that make you uncomfortable. If you place yourself outside comfort zones before you are required to do so, you’ll be in a much better place to deal with stress when it eventually comes.

Fix the Plumbing

The thing you decide that puts you out of your comfort zone may have nothing to do with work, at all. One example might be tackling a small project at your house you would never consider doing like plumbing. You’ve got a leak but rather than finding a local plumber, YouTube it and attempt the repair yourself.

I’ve found that learning something outside my training and experience forces me to expose my own ignorance but also helps me understand how I can learn something.

If your weakness is connecting with people, find ways to connect with people. Confronting unhappy customers is both an art and skill. You must have people skills and you’ll not get those skills staying cooped up in an office or surrounded by the same people.

Volunteer. There are many organizations and churches desperate for volunteers of all stripes. Talk to people…everyone. Get to know people and connect in meaningful ways. This practice will pay off in dividends when you have personnel problems.

If you want a proven script and question set to use with every interaction, you need to reach out to a Growability Coach

Maintain their composure and avoid destructive behavior. Any stress or anxiety experienced by the leader isn’t spread through the ranks. Understands bad experiences and only dwells long enough to squeeze out the lesson. Emotional overload reservoir.

Respect Murphy’s Law

Murphy’s Law dictates that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. One practice that may ward off Murphy’s impact is capping your losses through planning. No plan is a plan to fail. Analyze gaps and weaknesses in your organization or processes.

Audit your organization from time-to-time. Look at the processes in place and see what happens when stress is applied. You can have someone act like a dissatisfied customer and see how your team handles the situation. Call your organization and audit the experience. Did the call flow well? Did they handle your requests like you expected?

Create flow charts and processes for negative experience. Anticipate the bad and plan around it. This added training exposes gaps and gives your team more confidence when bad things do happen.

If you want to know how to audit your organization or want a third-party analysis of your organization, make sure to contact a Growability Coach.

Post Traumatic Growth

Negative experiences can stimulate positive change. Organizations and leaders have an opportunity explore opportunities, recognize personal strengths, and improve relationships after a bad outcome.

This type of growth that occurs after trauma is known as PTG (post traumatic growth). This phenomenon is gaining in research popularity but its existence has been long established. When the smoke clears and you’ve surveyed the damage, you’re able to rebuild or repair. What emerges should be stronger than it was previously. This is the foundation of PTG.

The elements of post traumatic growth include knowledge and emotional regulation.

Know Who You Are

Knowledge includes knowing who you are as an organization. You can have a great mission, vision, and value statement but when the going gets tough, you’ll see it in action. Your organization and team can use bad experiences to innovate in new, emerging circumstances. You also get the opportunity to grow and learn as a team. This is often termed “growing pains.”

It may be painful but it doesn’t have to be debilitating.

Stop the Train

Stop the train of a bad experience, poor outcomes, or devastating loss begins with recognizing negative emotions. When you’re going through valleys, it’s hard to see the other side. You need to change your perspective.

Recall your past successes and conjure best-case scenarios rather than obsessing over the fleeting anxiety, anger, or guilt. If you allow these emotions to make decisions, they can lead to consequences further reaching than the occasion that caused it in the first place.

Resiliency is a Process

Resilient organizations don’t just bounce back; they improve. In the midst of a devastation, they rebuild and reform better than before. Their teams are stronger, communication is streamlined, and processes are improved.

This takes time and best practices. If you want to learn what it takes to be a resilient organization, reach out to a Growability Coach so they can provide you the resources you need.

big hairy audacious goals

Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals

People who have big, hairy, audacious goals are inspiring. They can see well into the future and are able to create compelling, long-term goals that inspire action. When you look at a big, hair, audacious goal, you want to know what impact it will have on society 20 years from now.  

Big, hairy, audacious goals are compelling, long-term goals that inspire employees to take action. They are meant to energize people to implement big picture plans that could take a long time to complete.

30 Years and $10 Billion

Look at the James Webb telescope. Grand in scope and tremendous in vision, this piece of technological marvel took well over 30 years and $10 billion to develop. It is now heralded as one of the grand scientific endeavors of the 21st century.

Now, that’s a BHAG of epic proportions. To think, there are professionals who worked on the project who were not employed when the telescope made its maiden voyage. As of this writing, we are still awaiting images that will peer back 13.5 billion years. A BHAG, indeed.

Steve Job’s BHAG

Steve Jobs was giving a talk to his team. He told them about a study he found in Scientific America where they discovered the fastest and most energy-efficient animal was the condor. Condors are able to use their wingspan and adjust accordingly to make the most efficient use of wind currents. He then used this study of condors and compared it to a person on a bicycle. 

He discovered that a person on a bicycle could generate more energy than a condor. The bicycle allowed the human to travel much faster and much farther than condors all while using significantly less energy. Technology made this possible. How else could technology be used to amplify and empower human ability? 

Steve Jobs was a computer expert, not a bicycle guy. And, what he knew about computers is that they were so complex, untrained people really couldn’t access them. But, computers were great.

They had such potential to expand human ingenuity and accomplishment, yet, only a small number of people could really understand them enough to use them. This is the impulse that seeded Jobs’s big, hairy audacious goal to make computers available to everyone. 

A Steep Learning Curve

The challenge with technology is learning curves. That is a bit of a foreign concept today since most of us live in a hyperconnected world where everyone we know has a computer either as a phone, tablet, laptop, or other device.

Computers are a ubiquitous experience in our world but it wasn’t always this way. They used to be large, complex machines that required a subset of expertise to understand them. 

Steve Jobs made a big, hair audacious goal to eliminate the problem of pre-education needed to use the device. Fast forward several years later and now my 2-year-old son can turn on Paw Patrol.

3 Important Questions to Ask

Big, hair audacious goals are inspiring goals. These aren’t your typical quantitative goals you may see in department meetings. These goals address important questions like,

Why are we setting this goal?

How is it going to create abundance?

What can we do to simplify complexity?

If I can’t, as the leader of an organization, create a big, hairy, audacious goal, why do I expect anybody on my team to want to be at my organization? We don’t know where we’re going.

beyond reason

The entire point of a BHAG is creating something that doesn’t exist or fails to exist at its fullest potential. But, in order to do it, you first have to establish why it needs to be created in the first place.

The why is the foundation for the what. Your WHY has to be compelling enough to motivate your team to join you through the hills and valleys you’ll inevitably encounter.

Fundamentally, a BHAG is a goal. There is no spend endless hours and emails wordsmithing the details into a “mission statement.” The BHAG itself is the destination.

Everyone will know what the destination is; however, your job as the leader is to motivate them with the why.

President Kennedy offered little more guidance for the NASA mission to the moon other than committing to land a man on the moon and bring him safely back to earth before the end of the decade.

That was it.

There was no other grand standing or need for follow-up press conferences. The United States was going to the moon…we just had to get there. This was as audacious as it gets.

Create Abundance

A BHAG must have value. One of the ways you’ll create value is through a goal that generates abundance for others.

Steve Jobs’ vision was set on making technology so accessible a 3-year-old could pick up any of his devices and immediately use it. He created abundance in a market that previously had none.

One way to enhance your goal is to think of what you can offer that will create abundance for others. Consider something that you offer that will enhance lives.

Your creation goes beyond leaders at the helm and instead focuses highly on the process and subsequent product. In fact, you may experience multiple iterations of business before the goal is seen.

Leaders will come and go.

Your output may change in quantity or quality but the goal remains and that should be to enhance others’ lives. You’ll not go wrong focusing outward on what you can offer to help everyone else.

Simplify the Complex

Setting large goals actually helps you clarify your position.

     –>If you know where you’re going in 20 years, it is easier to plot out what steps you need to take. You can then sit down and write out a plan on what you want to accomplish in the next 5 years.

     –>If you don’t have that data, you can create a one-year goal and break those down into quarterly goals.

Once momentum starts, that inertia generates more movement toward that goal. If you go against it or refuse to start, you’re not sowing in the right direction. 

By creating small goals, you’ll also have better forecast project creep and modify the process to put the project back between the lines.

This part of the process is the quantitative data you’ll need to succeed. The timelines, goals, and milestones you set here will predict the what, how and when your BHAG succeeds.

The Growability Big, Hair Audacious Goal (BHAG)

Our big, hairy audacious goal at Growability is to see thousands of leadership coaches located throughout the world, equipping leaders to cultivate vision, rhythm and community.

By 2040, we want to operate in a hundred cities globally and have served a hundred thousand leaders.

If you impact a hundred thousand leaders by helping those leaders cultivate vision, rhythm and community, you’re going to impact millions upon millions of lives.

There is thousands of relief programs and cities and teams, and so many people are going to be impacted if we impact a hundred thousand leaders. So that’s a big, hairy, audacious goal.

The Growability Difference

If you want help defining and reaching big, hairy, audacious goals, reach out to us. Speak with a Growability coach on how you can raise the bar for your organization and forecast amazing things into the future.

reasons why businesses fail

2 Huge Reasons Businesses Fail

There are two huge reasons that businesses fail. They either measure the wrong things or fail to measure at all. 

Metrics are critical to businesses but oftentimes the wrong things are measured or things are measured inappropriately. This is why every business owner must know two critical measure terms: Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and Key Performance Drivers (KPDs).

KPIs and KPDs

Simply put, KPIs are the result of what actually happened while KPDs affirm the action that brought about the KPI. 

Now, it’s critical to recognize that KPIs are things you measure, not goals. It’s just data. In fact, many may have heard the term KPI and stray as far from it as possible but when you realize it’s just data, it’s not only less scary…it’s incredible. 

The more you understand about measurement the more you’ll love it. The things I measure improve and the things I don’t decline. So, if I want to improve anything at my business or anything in my life, I need to measure. 

All About the Honey

Let’s look at honey, as an example. Honey would be the KPI and bees the KPD. KPIs are quantitative values that demonstrate how effectively a company is achieving its objectives . We can see how much honey was produced and within what timeframe. KPDs are the activities necessary to produce the KPI results. Bees are the KPDs because they produce honey. 

Now, it’s nice to know that these measurements exist but you need to understand them both more fully so they’re practical and applicable to your business. KPIs and KPDs are not only helpful pieces of data, they are critical ingredients to your success. 

There are three KPIs that should be measured: purpose, production, and profitability.

Purpose, Productivity, and Profitability

There are three Purpose KPIs. The first Purpose KPIs look directly at the customer base. They tell you how many customers you serve and how well your product or service improves the life of the customer. The second purpose KPI is about human investment and this deals more with the charitable opportunity the organization has. The third Purpose KPI measures the impact the company has on your family. 

There is a simpler way to understand the Purpose KPIs and that is by answering each of these questions for your organization: 

What do I want to measure in terms of the quality of life I bring to my customers? (customer)

What do I want to measure in terms of charity I can bring into the world? (charity)

What do I want to measure in terms of the impact that this will make on my family and future generations? (family)

Productivity KPIs measure reality. If I walk into my garden and don’t see any vegetables, it could be that I have the wrong soil, it didn’t rain, or I neglected to plant seeds. When you look at productivity there are three things that typically end up on the KPI sheet. 

Cash flow, profit-loss statements, and customer volume makeup profitability KPIs. Cash flow concerns the amount of money that came in while profit-loss statements track both income and expenses and are composed of 3 factors:

Money

New Jobs

Current Customers

Once you’ve established how much money you have coming in as well as the quantity of new jobs compared to your existing customer base, you can better understand the dynamics of your organization.

Bread and Butter

The bread and butter of your company are your customers that keep your business in existence. If I have 12 different product lines but six of those produce 80% of the income, these are my bread and butter customers. These bread and butter customers for your line of profitability, the activity that yields actual gain. 

Once you establish profitability, you want to look at profit margins. Profit margins is income divided by revenue. So, if I want to get a full picture of profitability, I need to examine all of my product or service lines. This makes more sense if we go back to the example of 12 product lines. 

Profit Margins

Each product or service line will have a profit margin so I sell let’s say a shoe on 1 and make a 10% profit margin, I keep 10 cents on every dollar but on product two I have a 40% profit margin, I’ll get to keep 40 cents for every dollar.

But, this data only tells a one-sided view. We need another view of the numbers and this is where overhead comes in. Overhead is the amount of resources associated with running a business. If overhead was 50% last year that means for every dollar spent, I kept 50 cents. My next thought would be how can I get my overhead from 50% to 49% so I can keep 51 cents for every dollar spent. 

All of this makes more sense within the context of a business model. Listen to the 12 Step Growability Model and invest some time listening to that series. You will walk away with practical steps you can take to improve the systems in your organization. 

Participation Trophies and Score Cards

Imagine playing basketball except we decided to not keep score. Everyone is going to get an award no matter the outcome. By taking away the score, you’ve deflated the motivation. If I don’t have a score, what’s the point? I mean we can play for fun, certainly but when it comes to business no one should go to work for a participation trophy but that’s exactly the culture we breed when we decide to not measure KPDs. 

Excellence isn’t an accident. Excellence is built on processes and performance. Companies can’t win using participation trophies; they need excellence and to build excellence they need to be able to measure everyone on the team. For myself and everyone in the organization to see what it takes to win, I have to build a scorecard wherein I answer at minimum these three questions:

What was the expected result?

What was the actual result? 

How does this connect to my KPIs?

Keeping Score

Score cards provide valuable feedback for everyone on the team. They can use the data to edit their flow and productivity. Your team can look at the data from projects, quarterly earnings, productivity output, or any other set of metrics to help determine the best path forward. It also helps incentivize the work. People can actually see what impact their work has on the whole.

Organizations win based on their processes and feedback. Score cards combined with dashboards give everyone the upper hand. If you want to grow your business so you can reach points of excellence, learn what to measure, and how to communicate that in the best way, you need to contact our team.