Most businesses operate in constant under achievement. Not that quotas are not met but a situation whereby growth is not maximised. Especially when in sub € 1M in revenues, companies focus on delivering upon their existing client projects, and focusing energy on referrals. Although this can work, it is based on the principle of constant under-performing growth.
The reason for such under-performing growth is often based upon the following two principles:
- The uncomfortable comfort zone
- The delegation of drive
The uncomfortable comfort zone is typical of businesses that live in a state of indecisiveness. The question is, a business that scales at 10% per annum could be scaling at a higher percentage. However, that would require a lot of questioning and possibly an increase in risk undertaken. The problem is that growing at 10% is comfortable.
“Yes, I could grow at a faster rate, compete in a larger game, but I fear the uncomfortable or unknown.”
That said, the opportunity is there, for everyone to see. The uncomfortable part in all this comes out when your comfort level’s allow you to question the sustainability of remaining in that comfort zone, and more worryingly, what is the opportunity cost of this comfort.
The delegation of drive is a eureka moment when the top boss realises that he cannot be the strategist, tactical manager, and action man at the same time. He needs to delegate.
Most often, the technical director cannot let go of his day to day control in order to focus on the future and the potential, while the commercial director is typically focused on sales, rather than customer channels, new products and new markets.
The delegation of who is driving growth is a tricky one in that it requires several pieces of a puzzle to be in place. For example, the psyche needs to be just right. If I am the best sales guy in the team, and I happen to also be the commercial director, shall I risk sales and delegate? The challenge in reality is, how can my sales team, or next best in line, get as good as me in the shortest period of time for me to move on to do bigger and greater things? How can my top techie become the technical product or solution manager in order for me to focus on the next version of the product, or the next technical leap.
Coaching has often been an excellent manner of tackling these two challenges. Yes, several coaches go on about personal development for the leader though, at Tain and Able, we take a more hands-on approach and focus on the impact.
Through the understanding of opportunity cost, understanding the real market opportunity being ignored or lost, as well as the laying of the land on how the market is to be achieved, makes the uncomfortable worth understanding and the delegation a lot more rewarding.