Want to Scale Up Your Business? Scale Back Your Ego!

Posted by Chuck Kocher
On November 23, 2018

Scale up your businessWhy Humility Is Needed To Help Scale Up Your Business

Entrepreneurs who are looking to scale up their businesses and push things to a whole new level usually aren’t the first individuals that come to mind when you think about humility. They tend to be driven and self-confident. Hubris comes to mind much more than humility. And yet, if you want to scale up your business, you may need to scale back your ego!

As a business coach working with high-growth companies, I interact with leaders all the time. I can tell you that leadership (and leadership style) is one of the most critical things for affecting the kind of transformational change businesses need in order to take things to the next level. But what kind of leader do you need to be to successfully scale up your business?

Humble People Might Yield Better Results

WallStreetJournal.com recently posted an article that kind of turned the conventional business wisdom on its head. In The Best Bosses Are Humble Bosses, Sue Shellenbarger wrote:

After decades of screening potential leaders for charm and charisma, some employers are realizing they’ve been missing one of the most important traits of all: humility. In an era when hubris is rewarded on social media and in business and politics, researchers and employment experts say turning the limelight on humble people might yield better results.

Another Reason Humility Matters

A big reason that humility is so important for leadership is that leaders today have to be learning all the time. The thing is, it’s hard to keep learning if you think you know it all or if you continually see yourself as the smartest person in the room.  The reality is that the business world is in a constant state of change. What worked yesterday isn’t guaranteed to work today.

Here’s another reason that humility (and being willing to learn) is so important. You may be a wizard at vision. Or you might be particularly gifted at strategy. Perhaps you’re world-class when it comes to execution or cash flow. The thing is that all of those things (and more) are important. You have to be great at all of them—or at least recognize that you’re not and get some help.

I ran into exactly this situation with one of my clients not long ago. He was a smart, confident guy who had already successfully run businesses. But he was in a new situation and he was facing things he hadn’t encountered before. He had to learn new approaches. In his own words he said:

I underestimated a few things when I bought the company. For one thing, I didn’t understand business culture. I just didn’t get it. [And] It’s really hard for a lot of leaders to humble themselves enough to say, “I need to self-reflect heavy here.”  Now we’re seeing a great alignment within the team. (Click here to see his comments for yourself and to hear from other clients about having to relearn how they do business)

Humility is Essential for Business Transformation

Humility is essential for learning. Learning is essential for personal growth—and for growing your company. If you don’t grow (transform) the way your company thinks and acts, you’re not going to be able to scale it up and achieve new levels of success.

That doesn’t mean you become a wallflower or that you completely change the things that make you an entrepreneur, to begin with. But it does mean scaling back your ego so that you can admit that you’re not getting where you want to go and that you may need a little help fulfilling your business dreams.

And that is what I’m here for. It’s my purpose and passion. I’d love to chat and find out if we’d be a good fit for one another!