Julia Langkraehr’s Blog

A sports whistle is a symbol of a coach - and just as sportspeople have coaches throughout their career, so should business leaders

Five leadership abilities for business growth

Growing any business entails strong leadership skills.

A good leader helps maintain and enhance the employee motivation and creativity required to increase levels of service or the products you are offering.

Signs your business growth is slowing

Businesses never grow in a straight line, they generally thrive and grow then “hit a ceiling” when they reach a period of slowdown or growing pains.

When this happens, business leaders often feel they’re stuck in a rut or overwhelmed and frustrated with daily operations.

Five leadership abilities for business growth

These five essential leadership abilities will help you break through the ceiling and get back on track:

  1. The ability to simplify matters and situations

As your business department or company structure expands, the amount of information generated can become increasingly complex – and sometimes chaotic.

You can often find yourself drowning in a sea of data, units, details and documentation.

My advice is to tackle this mass of information by simplifying your messages, processes and structures as much as possible, so communication is basic and to the point: use the KISS principle – Keep It Simple Silly.

  1. Delegation and elevation

Wherever possible, delegate tasks and projects to other team members, so you can elevate your own skill-set to meet the demands being posed.

Delegation and elevation are signs of true growth, helping you shrug off the constant demands which slow business growth. This gives you the opportunity to develop strategies that will help the company expand, and provides key team members with the chance to grow their own roles.

The Accountability Chart which we use in the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) is an excellent tool to help you delegate and elevate.

After all, you only have 100% of your daily work time available to carry out jobs.

If the tasks you need to complete will take 120% of your time to carry out well, delegating 20% of your workload frees up the time you have available.

Ensure those you delegate tasks to are the best team members for the job, who share your core values and the company vision.

In EOS, we believe these team members “must Get it, Want it, and have the Capacity to do the job” (GWC). If they don’t understand the requirements of the role, don’t want to take it on or can’t handle the required tasks, then they are not the right person for the job.

  1. Ability to predict and forecast ahead

Another key leadership skill is the ability to forecast long and short term.

With long term predicting, you should be able to plan and predict business operations up to 90 days ahead.

This way you can “climb the tree” and “work on the business”, identifying issues likely to arise and putting plans in place to cope with them.

When it comes down to short term predictions, you should be versatile enough to solve problems and issues arising on a daily or weekly basis in line with company values and for the greater good of the company.

These can be raised and resolved in regular meetings, such as the weekly L10 meetings held by companies running on EOS.

If you fail to predict accurately, your organisation or department won’t have the direction or abilities required to prioritise jobs which arise, and it becomes difficult to achieve your vision.  

  1. Systemisation

The ability to systemise merely means documenting and simplifying regular tasks and procedures so all team members can follow the six to ten core procedures required to meet your “way” of doing business.

If you follow the Three-Step Process, you should initially document the 20% of tasks or procedures which provide at least 80% of the results needed by your business or department.

Including checklists into your processes makes it easier for team members to follow your guidelines, and remove redundant steps or processes that are not really relevant to the task in hand.

These procedures need to be “followed by all” so you may need to provide training or management for some of your team.

Documenting these essential procedures creates consistency throughout your business structure and enhance company performance considerably.

This also ensures greater transparency and simplicity and better efficiency and predictability company-wide. We’ve found that team members enjoy their work more as they know they are performing to acceptable standards.

And, of course, bottom line profits will ultimately be positively impacted.

  1. The ability to structure

Having the ability to step back from organisational requirements and the existing company ethos helps you see the big picture.

Kurt Gödel, the renowned Austrian logician, said: “You can’t be in a system, while at the same time understanding the system you’re in”.

Taking that step back allows you to make decisions on the best way forward and understand how the organisation can be re-structured to bump start growth and move on to the next level.

It’s vital that you cut out thoughts of people, personalities or egos at this stage.

Ultimately, getting people in “the right seats” will be crucial to your ongoing success.

If you want advice and support developing these leadership abilities, contact us today on +44 (0)7795 667480 to find out how we can help.

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