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If you're the founder or CEO of a rapidly growing organisation, you'll know that managing and leading is a balancing act. The early days of growing the company are exciting and momentous. You feel present, purposeful and driven and like you, everyone is working together toward a common vision. Then if you’re lucky, your business needs to start scaling and all at once, you find yourself busier than ever before, pulled in a million different directions - trying to keep your fingers on the pulse of finances, ops, your people, marketing, business development, R&D and client satisfaction.
For those of you running a business, you know that growth is a good thing. The challenge arises when you struggle to keep up with all your priorities and your once connected organisation, starts feeling disengaged. So how does one take a step back to recalibrate?
The leadership myth dispelled
Leaders don't have it easy. Any position of great power comes with responsibility and pressure to perform and deliver results. The journey for leaders - from senior executives to middle management - can be a steep and often unforgiving one.
A leader of an organisation can feel alone facing issues no one else may understand. So many of the CEOs I have met in fast-growing companies are struggling under the weight of commitments, pressures from their board, family and continuous human resource challenges. They are behind with endless emails and meetings while they miss a greater connection to their internal teams and often, purpose. Leaders are human. And like all humans; have the capacity for the vulnerability and lack of self-confidence heightened by the pressure and expectation to have all the answers when the going gets tough.
It’s one thing to admit you relate to these tendencies - it’s another to act with intention. The truth of all great leadership is that you cannot do it all on your own. The path to success is to recognize when you need help - and then to ask for it. This is why continuous learning in the form of coaching and people management training is crucial to a strong leadership culture and ‘Best Place to Work’ organisation. It sets you up with the tools and support - both practical and emotional - to thrive during turbulent times. It is also the surest way to encourage, retain and grow your high potential employees so that they are equipped to support you.
The wheel of success
When you become a leader, success is all about growing others” Jack Welch
The principle of leadership development is by personal example and this doesn’t apply just to CEOs. It applies to all levels of management. The reality is, you can’t know the truth about someone else without knowing it about yourself, first. The trick to good leadership is making time for the hard work that continual learning requires. If you can do that, you give your company on the pinnacle of explosive growth the first-class results that it deserves.
Are you aware of your leadership style and how it's affecting your teams?
"What's the real story with Ken, the seldom-seen CEO?" she said "Ken is checked out, but nobody wants to call him on it. I don't blame him. He has a lot of ideas. He's probably bored with this business. He should just come out and say so. He should let the Board choose a new CEO if he's not going to do his job."