I have personally experienced the highs of the dotcom boom and the lows of the deep recession that has affected global business. Years of flat sales, dramatic losses, and a never-ending stream of negative press can take a toll on the psyche of businesses and their leaders. So, what separates the companies that are energized for growth versus those paralyzed by fear or their past successes?
- Lofty goals – whether the goals are changing the way something works in the world, achieving great financial success, or making a difference in the community, companies that have their employee base fired up are giving them something more to shoot for than just surviving. Creating that goal achievement mindset is critical – a feeling that you can conquer anything that comes at you.
- Everyone is engaged – in growth businesses there is such a buzz and sense of urgency that is infectious. Everyone feels the need to pull their weight or they prevent the whole team for achieving those lofty goals. It is important to get cross-functional teams involved in breaking through challenging roadblocks or thinking about ways to refine your strategies to reach your goals.
- Enjoying the Ride – while slaying dragons and achieving goals is intoxicating, even the best heroes need a refresh from time to time and companies that want to sustain the growth need to find ways to have fun along the way. Team outings, hosting a company picnic, taking time out to give back to the community as a team. Often these small investments pay big dividends and show the employees that it isn’t just about the work, but about the family of people you work with.
- Improving everyday – I always like the fly-wheel concept in Jim Collins book, Good to Great. Companies that grow do so by creating momentum. Momentum comes from many employees making improvements on a daily basis. These improvements need to be encouraged, celebrated, and rewarded constantly. You never know which small improvement might be the thing that pushes your business into a spiral of growth.
The common thread of these items is culture. If your culture is in retrenchment mode, it is hard to generate growth. Energy flows where attention goes. To lead for growth, focus your attention on creating a culture that celebrates it!
Kevin Steffey is President of Naviga Recruiting & Executive Search, a national Sales and Marketing Recruitment firm. Kevin and Naviga have a passion for sales and marketing positions due to their direct impact on the growth of their customers. Check out www.navigarecruiting.com to engage a partner in growing and developing your team.