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Grow Beyond Your Barriers: 5 Leadership Disciplines to Master (Pt. 2)

In Part 1, we addressed the question: Why do some companies grow, and others do not?

The answer introduced the importance of leadership and five key disciplines that a leader must foster in order to achieve business growth. Here we delve a bit deeper into those disciplines for greater understanding and actionable insights.



Barriers to GrowthThis discipline is the foundation from which you build all other efforts when breaking through barriers to growth. Are you truly committed to building an exceptional company? Are you willing to make the necessary personal and professional sacrifices required for the business to achieve its long-term objectives?

To dig out the answers within you, ask yourself:

  • Why is it important for employees to see a commitment to growth from leadership?
  • How do we as leaders instill and reinforce a commitment to growth to our employees?



This is your company’s clear vision and compelling strategy of where it’s headed and the well-aligned operation supporting that path. Also, include the ability to adapt as the organization grows to take advantage of opportunities while outmaneuvering threats.

Questions to address at this stage include:

  • How does a growth strategy provide clarity to both the leadership team and producers?
  • What events have forced you to reevaluate your strategy over the history of your company? How did you respond and why?

“If you don’t grow, you’re likely to shrink.” ~ Barry Asin, SIA



Without a clear culture, your organization will not spark the enthusiasm and dedication required for lasting growth. It’s necessary to develop an environment that fosters high performance and reflects the core values of the organization, which are embraced by everyone.

To build up this discipline, consider:

  • How does your culture drive company performance?
  • What values are essential to your culture, and how do those values influence behavior?


Talent Development

In this area, you focus on assessing, hiring, coaching, and promoting the internal talent needed to drive growth. Do not underestimate this discipline! Growth in staffing is highly dependent on ensuring that the right people are in the right roles.

Questions to help evolve this leadership discipline:

  • What practices have you adopted that have had the biggest impact on the hiring and development of your team?
  • What do you look for in a leader, and what are you doing to develop new leaders within your organization?



Don’t relax yet. Breaking through barriers for staffing firm growth is not possible without relentless execution by leadership and the sales and recruiting teams.

Questions to break through:

  • How do your competitive practices enable you to take market share?
  • What is more important – ensuring that competitive practices are consistently adhered to or driving innovation in your organization?
  • How does technology strengthen your competitive practices, and how do you ensure your technology is used to its fullest potential?


Assess Honestly

After some reflection on the questions outlined and taking an objective view of your business, think about each discipline to determine which needs attention:

  • Are your current efforts a catalyst to growth?
  • Are they holding you back?
  • Are you not sure, or do they have no specific impact either way?

With a concerted effort and applying the principles of breaking through barriers to growth, you’ll not only be a better leader, but you will be doing what it takes to be counted among the top performing staffing firms.

Staffing Industry Analysts, Executive Forum North America, 2018. Presentations: “Breaking Through the Barriers to Growth,” and “Putting the Principles of Breaking Through into Action,” presented by Mike Cleland & Barry Asin, based on their book, “Leadership Disciplines From Top Performing Staffing Firms.”