The biggest winners who reach their goals credit more than talent; they acknowledge the process demands discipline and diligence with an unwavering commitment to success. Look at world class athletes and gold medalists. They are exceptional at what they do and make ultimate sacrifices to reach the pinnacle of their fields.
Perhaps not quite at the Olympic level, but the staffing industry is certainly competitive. What does it take to succeed? Why do some companies grow, and others do not?
The short answer is you. That is, your leadership.
Barriers to Growth
There are specific phases and barriers to growth that organizations must break through in order to reach the next stage of development. In order to get through every phase of growth and break down those barriers, the organization’s leadership – and the development of its leadership team – is the most critical factor to either moving forward or staying stuck.
“The speed of the leader determines the pace of the pack.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
The first phase is whether the organization is owner/operator dependent, or production revolves around the capabilities of the owner. If the owner leaves the organization for any extended period of time, production suffers because they’re directly involved.
The challenge at this phase is delegation. Owners want to build leaders, coach those with potential, and release hands-on, day-to-day activities to those capable of managing them.
After breaking through those initial barriers to growth, the organization moves to its second phase and becomes independent. At this point, perhaps it’s a comfortable, lifestyle business – the owner can leave, and the business runs well. The challenge here is the need to replicate that independent operation, making sure standards are met and leadership is consistent (perhaps throughout multiple locations). Maintaining those standards and scalability is the leading obstacle to growth at this phase.
The following phases, while specifically growth-centric, come with their own set of barriers. Whether through organic growth or strategic expansion, you now have to potentially take on other service offerings to continue to grow. This often is unchartered territory for staffing firm leaders, and navigating the unknown brings a breadth of obstacles.
Yet again, the singular thread through all phases is leadership. To focus your leadership where it will be most effective in growing your business, focus on five key disciplines.
Five Key Leadership Disciplines
- Commitment: Growth is a priority for the leadership team; be sure it’s clear and unwavering
- Direction: Have an established strategy with allocated resources and know that you can adapt in times of change
- Culture: Be intentional in developing and driving high performance; nurture an environment where principles and improvements are embraced
- Talent Development: Be dedicated to finding, hiring, training, and developing leaders
- Execution: Equip sales and recruiting teams with scalable, competitive practices, best processes, and the right tools
Take note that these disciplines are interrelated and impact each other, and cumulatively, your organization overall.
Want to take a deeper dive into applying these disciplines in your organization? Read on in Part 2…