Develop the right mindset
What’s the right mindset? The answer may come as a surprise. Being personally ready for growth isn’t just about having enough ambition, determination and readiness to take on risk.
The growing companies that are most likely to succeed are those in which a professional management team and an entrepreneurial spirit are working together.
It’s about finding managers to perform key functions in your company, while you shift into a leadership role. You have to become the company’s visionary, motivator, strategist, dealmaker and ambassador.
Lack skills and time
At a certain point in a company’s expansion, most entrepreneurs lack the skills and time for day-to-day operational tasks, such as troubleshooting production issues, handling HR duties and managing the finances.
In such a situation, your company’s growth will likely force you to make the decision to delegate—or your business is at risk of floundering. If you don’t delegate, you are likely to become the bottleneck in your business, and your best employees will leave if they don’t see stability and a future in your company.
At a certain point in your growth, you will have to make the decision to step back and turn over responsibilities to a professional management team—or your company will decline.
Clash over roles
Experts often cite the example of Apple, which famously ran into difficulties after founder Steve Jobs refused to cede control over the company to a professional manager, clashed with his board, then quit the business.
Microsoft’s Bill Gates, on the other hand, willingly relinquished daily operations to one of his trusted managers, Steve Ballmer, while Gates took on a role as a company visionary and ambassador. The company continued to grow rapidly thanks both to Ballmer’s expertise and Gates’ continued leadership.
When entrepreneurs realize that their vision should be combined with professional management, they and their company are ready for growth.
Work on personal skills
Here are other ways to prepare yourself to lead your company’s growth.
- Decide why—You should be clear about why you want to grow. Be sure growth is part of a long-term strategy, not a spur-of-the-moment decision. The more thought you put into growing, the better your chances of success.
- Work on your leadership skills—As the company’s leader and visionary, your personal skills will get a solid work-out and could play a big role in the success or failure of your growth plan. Work especially on communications skills, time management and physical fitness.
- Get everyone on-board—Growth can be taxing on your employees and family. Is everyone on board with the plan? Talking it through ahead of time will help your team and family get through the challenges you’re bound to face.