Have you had the privilege of leading a team while your company was experiencing rapid growth? What about the challenge of leading when growth has stalled? If you’ve experienced both, you know that maintaining perspective and staying focused on your vision is critical.
But if you’re faced with the challenge of leading a team through stalled growth you need deeper insights. Fortunately, Steve Woodruff and I will be welcoming Steve McKee as our Guest Host this week at Leadership Chat. Steve is President and Co-Founder of McKee Wallwork Cleveland, a company that was recognized by Inc. 500 back in 2003 as one of the fastest growing private companies in America based on its five-year growth results, only to find itself in decline the following year.
Yes, they went straight from five years of rapid growth to decline, and didn’t know what to do.
Steve’s difficult experience turned out to be a boon for all of us. His company decided to research two important questions:
1. Which companies experience stalled growth? (virtually all at some point, including those who’ve experienced lofty growth)
2. What are the factors that cause stalled growth?
As Steve summarized, “Our research has turned our understanding of stalled growth—and our approach to turning it around—literally inside out. We have found that regardless of what’s happening outside an enterprise, it’s what’s inside that counts.”
Steve and his company identified seven factors that lead to stalled growth:
Changing industry dynamics
What Steve and his company found most surprising about external forces through their research is how often these forces actually catch company leaders off-guard.
Lack of consensus among the management team
Loss of focus
Loss of nerve
Steve describes these internal factors as “subtle and highly destructive” and says, “All four are psychological, all are capable of ruining companies from the inside out, and all are preventable—if you know what to look for.”
McKee went on to write, “When Growth Stalls: How It Happens, Why You’re Stuck and What to Do About It” and is a BusinessWeek.com columnist. He will be sharing his insights on the How? Why? and What to do about it? at #LeadershipChat tomorrow evening at 8:00 pm Eastern Time on Twitter. Join me and my Co-Host Steve Woodruff as we dive into this critical and timely business issue!
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Being an introvert is truly an advantage in business and leadership if you know how to leverage it, and if you remain true to yourself.
Photo credit andyarthur.