Change

A Leap of Faith

The phrase leap of faith came to mind recently on my walk along the canal path, a canal boat called leap of faith gently passed me by as I headed for my train to work. I’ve heard this phrase used frequently in business and often about start-ups, e.g. when someone takes that first step from whatever work they had before into founding a business; this is right, it is a leap of faith. However, I’m interested in this post to consider the future ‘leaps of faith’ we make as business leaders.

In our company we get to talk one-to-one with business leaders and these sessions often reveal fears, worries or concerns that leaders have. Our role is to work with that leader and leave them in a place where they have a plan to move beyond the concerns and can see the steps to success. One frequent fear for founders is that their company is getting too successful and as a consequence they worry about keeping pace with the business.

One young tech-entrepreneur shared this week that they realised after a few years that running a company they founded that had grown to nearly 200 people was boring. They did not want to develop it, they wanted to start another; so, they made a leap of faith and handed over to a CEO and developed a spin-off company from scratch once again. That was brave, leaving financial security yes but also recognising their limits and then pursuing their passion accordingly before they damaged their first business.

Another entrepreneur shared in the middle of a leadership course that she realised she must change to be the right type of leader her company now needed. She was nervous, uncertain and worried she could not do it in that moment but she saw that her business had changed and so she needed to stop being the ‘start-up’ leader and be a leader who had the skills to build a business and a management team around her.

Running a business is rarely a destination, it is a constantly evolving journey. Humans are a species that likes habit and routine; therefore, a leader can find it comfortable to rely on the skill-set that got them to where  they are now and no more. The thinking that a business needs to stay successful next year, is not necessarily what it needed last year. A courageous leader frequently re-assesses their strengths and weaknesses and how they set new goals to evolve. By definition the leader will have to initiate this change for themselves – no grown up is going to drop by and order it!

So, my takeaway question is:

When was the last time you took an objective look at your skills, knowledge, experience or influence on your business and set yourself the target to change once more?

If you want an idea on how to do this give me a call and I will share some tools we’d recommend. Supporting leaders to change is something my colleagues and I enjoy doing and sharing ways to achieve success if part of our reason for operating.

Have fun in your leap of faith and enjoy setting yourself a new challenge today!

How Scale-Up Leaders Can Flourish

I attended an event to promote the support of scale-up businesses, those that are experiences year-on-year high growth. The speakers were leaders from local businesses that are managing rapid growth and it was fascinating to hear about their respective journeys, challenges and mind-set. As they spoke they shared four key qualities they’ve needed by fast-growth leaders.

Two Ways to Plan for Success

Project planning is not the most headline-grabbing business function; that is until the project in question goes wrong! But every business must plan projects, whatever the sector or its scale of operation. And projects involve doing something new or different and therefore create a change. This highlights for me the two critical success factors that ALL projects must consider, the human participation in a project, and the purpose of the project.

I Don't Want To Change

A change was forced upon me this week. As I walked into my local train station I was confronted with a seasonal change: the Christmas shopper. As a commuter into a large City, I suffer the inconvenience of this breed of traveller every year. What this all means for me is change. So, when I wrote the term ‘suffer’ above, it is an exaggerated divergence. What I really meant is that my habits have been disrupted and I had to cope with a change in my routine.

How You Can Be A Problem Solver

A workplace leader needs to move people through a process so that progress can be made and change can be implemented. If not, a team focused on a problem can stay stuck in awareness of the issue, rather than moving through it into a productive pattern of solutions. The simple, but practical process, I have seen utilised is to move the sharing and response to a problem through 3 stages of questioning: