Maturing gracefully in business- Part 3

grow-with-your-companyExtended winning streaks in business are exciting. Everyone in your company is dialed into the game and full of energy. (I’m getting pumped up just writing these words!)

But these same winning streaks can also be exhausting. Think about professional athletes over the years. As their bodies slow down and they don’t have the physical stamina they once had their bodies tend to get soft through the middle. And as entrepreneurs if we’re not careful we can get “soft between the ears”! Here’s why…

As we settle into familiar ways (the rut) of doing things in our business it’s easy to blow off learning new things. We think we already know enough or maybe we just can’t face getting on one more airplane to travel someplace to sit through yet one more training program. Why? Because we forget how vital our early training was to the development of our company.

Remember how enthusiastically you would attend trade shows or conferences when you were getting started? How each event represented an opportunity to learn something new? Well, the number of new and better ideas in business hasn’t slowed down but just maybe your willingness to accept them has. Think about it…

Here’s the deal. If you plan to maintain market leadership with your company (or simply hold onto the things you fought so hard to achieve in your business) then maintaining your company’s training and development skills is a critical part of that—both for you personally and for your people.

Remember- it’s not just about learning something new. It’s about creating a culture in your company where learning and growing are part of everybody’s job. Just because you don’t want to get on another plane to fly to some distant city for one more seminar (even one as great as Jon-Don’s five day SFS seminar) doesn’t mean the people in your organization don’t want to “grow”. No one (and especially a great employee) wants to work for a company that’s losing its edge because the owner is tired/ bored/ burned out.

If you have the necessary technical training and certifications to stay ahead in the game then maybe the technical classes are what your front-line people should be taking. Maybe the programs you should be focused are on how to manage your people or how to lead your company better. The more mature your business becomes the more critically important it is for you to know how to LEAD your business. (Rather than just ho-hum RUN it.)

Business technology is expanding at an exponential pace. New and better tools are constantly being developed to help us run our companies more profitably. But, understand this: whether you’re “on the wand,” managing guys who are on the wand, or managing the managers who manage guys who are on the wand your challenge is the same…

Your ability to sustain business success as your company matures will depend on three things: 1)How well you develop yourself as a business leader and 2)how open you personally are to exploring new and better ways to do things plus 3)ow well you foster the culture of learning and growth within your company.

Chuck Violand (more about Chuck)
SFS Instructor
CEO Violand Management Associates

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