A lot has been written on the key qualities of a successful entrepreneur. Quick, name three or four of your own....
Andrew Griffiths at Inc.com compiled a list of 12 characteristics that I like…here are the top 6:
Now that you’re past the startup phase and you’re a growth-stage company rocketing up the growth curve, are these the key qualities that will enable your continued success?
Well, some definitely are, such as the ability to focus on the most important things first. But as the company grows in scale and complexity, so do the key qualities in a successful CEO and leadership team. Here is what it looks like:
The most challenging transition the growth-stage company may face is the recognition that the leader-centric model which was so helpful in the startup phase is now possibly blocking successful scaling.
The Delegation Dilemma
This pernicious obstacle for many startup leaders is transitioning from “doers” to “managers.” I get the dilemma. The company is your baby, and you understand and have nurtured every aspect of the business. How can someone else possibly fill those shoes as well as you do? But in order to make that Growth Leap, you have to build and retain a high-performing team to take the company to the next level of growth…a team where everyone understands and believes in the business just like the leaders do.
It means allowing others to make key decisions. As Steve Jobs once said, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”
The inability to embrace this is the Delegation Dilemma. And it comes with a heavy cost, such as…
The logical, and relatively easy, places to start are in areas that don’t require high-level strategic decisions, such as established processes and tasks in areas of routine accounting, execution of agreed-upon marketing plans, or oversight of basic administrative tasks. Train your people well, be really clear with them on what success looks like, let them do their job, and hold your teams to the results with which you’ve entrusted them.
This is a big topic – one that deserves time and attention, and we’ll be coming back to it in future articles. In the meanwhile, if you’d like to chat about the Delegation Dilemma, give Andrew a call.