Leadership Tools: Is a Microscope or a Mirror a Better Tool for Growing Your Business?

Posted by Chuck Kocher
On March 5, 2017

If you’re serious about scaling up your business for dramatic growth you probably have your eyes open for any leadership tools that can help you do that. Business leaders often choose either a microscope or a mirror in attempts to grow. Is a microscope or a mirror a better tool for growing your business?

Microscope Leaders

Some business leaders take the approach that they have to understand (and control) every minor detail of their operation. They put everything under the microscope of their scrutiny in an attempt to weed out poor performance. Don’t misunderstand me: There are details that deservedly demand your attention. There are things that you should understand and measure. And you should have key performance indicators for those kinds of things. There is, however, more to your business than just the numbers (even the important ones). Leadership, after all, isn’t about managing—it’s about leading. That’s why a microscope—while a helpful tool—may not always be the best leadership tool for growing your business.

Mirror Leaders

Smart leaders understand that they can’t do everything on their own. They need a team of qualified, capable, and motivated people to accomplish what needs to be done. That’s particularly true if they are looking to grow their companies dramatically. It’s a big part of the scaling up process. The company can very easily become too large for you to manage. But you can (and must) still lead.

Successful leaders hold a mirror up to themselves. They know that if they want to significantly grow their businesses their leadership style needs to be one that creates the kind of environment that attracts, motivates, and enables the kind of employees who will make a real difference.

Yes, having poor systems, and metrics can cripple your business. You have to know what’s going on in your business—and it’s essential that you measure the right things so that you have the data to shape your decisions about the future. But if you don’t have the right people around you, you can only grow so much before you’re overwhelmed. That’s why it’s imperative that you know that your leadership style attracts and motivates the right people.

The fact is that you need both the microscope and the mirror if you’re going to take your business to the next level. But you may want to start with the mirror first.