In the beginning, all bets are off. A business owner’s sheer will and determination is enough.
This works when you reach four or five employees. Then comes an epiphany. Fatigue and plateau set in. And you realize that if you keep doing the same things, you will get the same results. Clearly, this is not a formula for scaling up.
Muse author Kathryn Minshew wrote: “You know, as most entrepreneurs do, that a company is only as good its people. The hard part is actually building the team that will embody your company culture and propel you forward.”
The fact is our role as a leader changes over time. The sheer courage and hard work we put into the business morphs into leading an organization with collective strength. A true leader creates other leaders. They do what is necessary to build an infrastructure at a much higher level than when the business started.
Leadership transition guarantees growing pains. But these pains are good because they accelerate growth.
Let’s take an example. A business owner who is a high-powered salesperson, but who doesn’t necessarily have the skill to perform the actual services, may have to deliver those services early on. The goal, however, is to deliberately move someone in that spot as soon as possible. Maybe it’s a “gig” employee at first. Maybe it’s a full-time position. It may be risky and even scary for the business owner, but it’s critical if you want to grow. Why is this?
A business owner needs to gravitate toward their strengths — so their team can gravitate toward theirs.
As you grow, identify your team’s individual strengths. Then capitalize on them. The goal is to get people doing things they are good at while encouraging them to stretch a bit. Feeling a little discomfort means people are growing as individuals — a good thing for them and your company.
The balance of the two leads to greater employee engagement, job satisfaction and a result that comes organically when people contribute to the company in meaningful ways: greater profitability.
An article by FurstPerson cites that organizations with high employee engagement outperform those with low employee engagement by 202 percent. This is important as we look at the rise of alternative work arrangements in the gig economy and an absolute demand for a clear career path by millennial workers.
What does it take to create the ideal environment where everyone loves their work, a place where they feel truly empowered?
Inclusion — oftentimes associated with diversity but very different from it — is critical for empowering your team. Inclusion means people feel like they belong, like they are a valued member of your team. In a Salesforce study entitled “The Impact of Equality and Values Driven Business,” 1,500 business professionals were surveyed. One of the findings: Employees who feel their voice is heard at work are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work.
Imagine the impact of empowering your team 4.6 times across your entire organization! Here are ideas to make it a reality. Build a culture where employees:
We’ll close with this question: What if each person at your company felt empowered to lead?
The answer — and the results — could be profound.
If you’re looking to empower your team and grow your company from the inside out, check out Kairos, a program Apex offers for business owners poised for extraordinary growth. It speaks to business ownership and the leadership journey. Many business owners in this program are scaling up and adopting business models that rally their people to drive year-over-year growth.