As a business coach, I spend a lot of time in conversation with business leaders who are serious about growing their businesses and taking them to the next level. We discuss developing a vision for their businesses. We talk about business strategy. We cover managing money so that they won’t be hindered by a lack of cash. We also talk about personnel issues to ensure that they have the right people in place to achieve their goals. Of course we cover leadership—where to look if you want to grow your business.
Invariably, our conversation comes around to transformation because there are things that have to change in order for their businesses to grow. I tell them that real transformation begins with them and their leadersship. Then we work on those areas. Sometimes it’s hard for them to look at these things. They are often eager to work on their business and I remind them that they have to start by working on themselves. Let me give you a real-life example.
A Real-Life Example
I had been meeting with one client for quite a while. He was committed to growing his business. He was an aggressive go-getter. He had specific business goals. He was eager to develop business strategies to achieve his goals. But he felt stymied by his lack of progress.
We were talking about personnel and hiring issues when his frustration came to a head. I had been reminding him of how important it is to hire the right people when he finally couldn’t hold it in any longer. “The problem Chuck,” he said to me, “is that there just aren’t any good people out there!” I listened as he described his interactions with his current staff. Then he went on to talk about unsatisfactory interviews with candidates for new positions. I asked a few questions, but mostly I let him talk.
When he had finished venting, he looked at me and said, “So nowwhat do I do?” I told him that I was pretty sure I knew exactly what his course of action needed to be. I instructed him to walk out my office door and go to the end of the hall. Then he was to turn right and open the first door on his left. I told him he needed to go into the room and look at the wall directly in front of him—and then come back to my office.
Still rather angry, he looked at me as if I was crazy, but then did as I’d asked. A few minutes later he walked back into my office ashen-faced and quiet. I had given him directions to the men’s room where he had come face to face with his own reflection.
He stammered, “You mean that I’m the problem?”
I nodded my head gently and then we began working on what he needed to do.
Although the specific circumstances may change from person to person, his situation is pretty typical for many business leaders who aren’t seeing their businesses grow the way they want to. It’s what John Maxwell refers to as “The Law of the Lid.” A company can’t grow beyond its leader’s ability to lead.
What’s Your Next Step?
If you want to change the way your business operates you have to change the way that you think and act. If you want to grow your company you have to grow yourself. If your company isn’t growing you may need to take a look in the mirror to see if perhaps you are what’s holding your company back. I invite you to click on the orange button below to take a 5-minute assessment that will help you identify other areas that may be keeping you from the kind of growth you want to experience.