Thursday, August 25, 2011

5 Impediments to Turnaround and Growth

Mark Fuast believes that we need to adopt an attitude of “growth regardless of current success.” In the very practical Growth or Bust, he asks, “How much untapped potential lies within your business?”

In his experience as a growth and turnaround consultant, Faust has found that improving sales and profits has little to do with sales training, consulting, or other quick fixes. We already know what to do. “Fostering new growth is more about innovation than marketing angles, sales productivity, or skills; growth is more about a culture of continuous improvement than marketing blitz; growth is more about possibility-thinking than fear-fostering quotas.”

Growth or Bust shows leaders how to create a growth revolution. And it starts at the top. The first person to turnaround is you. “There is no virtue in leadership as important to accelerated growth and turnaround as that of humility.” He lists five impediments to turnaround and growth that any leader should look at:

1. Pride. Unhealthy levels of pride contribute to a leader’s failure to give credit to others, an unwillingness to listen to others, an inability to share emotional ownership of ideas or company success, and prevent a leader from admitting that they may be a contributor to any problem.
2. Abusive Relationships. Inappropriate relationships an abusive behavior intended to demean or control others creates a ripple effect throughout the company.
3. Gossiping. Repeating any report that is not positive about others to those who have no responsibility in the matter is poison. Even when a bad report is 100% factual, it is still gossip.

4. Greed. Unfair pay and entitlement at the top often becomes obvious to the employees and growth is constrained as a result.

5. Any of the Five Dysfunctions in the Principle of Authority:

• Lack of a clear authority structure. Especially in partnerships, when the chain of command is not clearly defined, chaos, dysfunction, and frustration will ultimately ensue.

• Lack of respect for the chain of command. A proper lack of respect for the chain of command creates conflict. At the same time, it shouldn’t inhibit open communication.

• The inability to communicate up the ladder without fear of retribution with legitimate appeals and a clear appeal process. Without it, bitterness and resentment will quickly grow.

• The lack of checks and balances. A titular leader with no checks and balances is bound to get into situations in which the lack thereof will stagnate growth in the team. Being a top leader requires you to constantly check your actions. Even if you feel your integrity is flawless, you’re a=subordinates might think otherwise.

• Megalomania and rebellion. A autonomous leader that is not willing to submit to anyone or anything will eventually endanger the existence of the organization. As a leader, you must show that you are truly willing to submit to some higher authority on at least some issues.

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