Your business is not a sprint, and it’s not a marathon. It’s a relay.
The people who got you here, are unlikely to be the ones to get you there. In order to continue to break through plateaus, growing businesses need different sets of leaders along the way.
Founders who sell as evangelists, (the vision of what could be) can rarely sustain a business model that needs to be run by metrics (gross margin, sustainable profits, cost controls). Loyal managers who have never worked for another business, but have moved up through dedication and drive alone are also the most likely suspects to need replacement.
Without additional perspective from working at other companies, professional coaching or continuing education, it’s impossible to expect them to grow the company by intuition.
A tell-tale sign that shows need for management change is “Flavor of the Month” initiatives that come from the latest business book, TED Talk, or even LinkedIn rants (Yes, I’m pointing the finger at me). Creating change that lasts takes time and patience. When the initiatives change constantly, no one will take them seriously.
This includes all leadership.
Management that drives a “do anything and everything for everyone” attitude, will confuse people who were hired later and are expecting structure and boundaries.
If you sit on a board of directors and the company’s sales have gone flat; margins are compressed, and you have watched key producers walk out the door…you know it’s time for a handoff in your leadership relay.
* Find people that have had multiple company experiences and successes.
* Look for people that have grown consistently in their duties.
* Search for people that are Life-Long Learners.
* Welcome people who have a natural sense of curiosity.
* Look for leaders that are happy standing backstage and clapping for their team while they take front stage for a Victory Lap after success. These managers do not need the spotlight to shine on them.
* Be OK with someone who has not yet risen to this rank, but maybe just below it and exhibits the characteristics above.
* AVOID: Leaning on people with single industry experience. It will look like baggage after the 3-6 month Honeymoon period is over. In my experience, these people are less likely to be innovators and more likely to support the status quo.
* AVOID: Hiring someone from more than a level or two above what you need in the next 18 months. They are often seen as a savior with the hopes that they will build out the entire division. They are typically used to more resources, less responsibility and tend to be less collaborative.
* AVOID: People that come with a “Rolodex.” (An old term for a list of contacts) they parade out and claim will do business with you. This never works. People change jobs, relationships change and people fall out of favor. Look for people who come with a process in mind. A good process is repeatable and produces predictably positive results.
At Dynasty Leadership, clients use a combination of the Hiring Filter, Delegation Filter, and Blockbuster Process Improvement to put a better team on the field and break through the plateaus in their business.