16 Oct When Your Business Is Stuck, Unstick It!
Through my journey as an entrepreneur I have experienced plenty of pride and joy when my business reached new milestones. Hiring my first employee. Expanding our office. Landing our first six and then seven figure contracts. Being recognized as a Best Place to Work and a Fastest Growing Company… All highlights in my entrepreneurial journey for sure.
At times I also felt that my business was stuck. We were in a funk. Growth slowed. Things had become super complicated. We were not achieving our goals. I recall scratching my head, asking myself “what the heck just happened?”
What I could not articulate then, was a phenomenon that all businesses go through, and it is called “Hitting the Ceiling.” What I know now is that all businesses go through a series of hitting ceilings. It is a normal part of growing a company. If what I have described sounds familiar, you are not alone.
Hitting the Ceiling
There was a study published in the 1970’s titled “Evolution and Revolution as Businesses Grow”, which found that businesses do not grow in a perfectly straight line. Businesses experience periods of evolution and periods of revolution. Actual growth is more akin to climbing a series of progressively taller mountains with peaks and valleys than it is a smooth diagonal line.
The unfortunate statistic is that 50% of businesses that hit the ceiling close their doors or their growth remains flat. Some businesses maintain a stagnant life, while most others struggle to survive until their leaders burnout and call it quits. Only a select few break through the revolutionary period (i.e., the ceiling) and elevate their organization to the next level. Of those that break through the ceiling and grow to the next level, this cycle repeats roughly every 5 years.
So, if I have not totally depressed you, there is hope.
Breaking Through the Ceiling Every Time
As a strong and cohesive leadership team it is your job to parent your organization to greatness. By learning, mastering, and embracing five simple leadership abilities you and your team will be prepared break through the ceiling every time. The Five Leadership Abilities™ are:
- Simplify – growing businesses quickly become complex. It is your job to apply the “Less is More” principle in everything you do and keep things simple.
- Delegate – you and your people must become masters at “Delegating and Elevating” to your “Unique Ability”. If you can not learn to let go and distribute work you will be forever stuck.
- Predict – you must become great predictors of what is to come and prepare for the ride ahead. Decision making is much more effective with confidence in what the future will bring.
- Systemize – scaling your organization requires standardizing and implementing repeatable processes to deliver a consistent experience or product.
- Structure – your people structure needs to address the growing needs of your organization. Structure first, people second. Structure your organization for the greater good of the business and then determine the right people to fill the structure. Creating seats to accommodate the needs of specific people is not in your or your employee’s best interest.
When your organization hits that ceiling, practicing these five leadership abilities will get you to the next level and minimize the disruption.
When my organization learned and embraced these abilities we broke through the ceiling time after time and ultimately grew ten times from where we started. Not only did we successfully sell the organization to a publicly traded IT services firm, but the feedback from that organization was that we were one of the best run businesses they had ever acquired.
In upcoming articles I will expand on The Five Leadership Abilities™ and share actionable tools and disciplines that will help you break through the ceiling every time. These tools and disciplines make up the foundation of the EOS Model and enable business leaders like you to get what they want from their organization.
- Download a free electronic copy of the first Chapter of Traction
- Purchase a Copy of the book “Traction“
- Request a Free 30 Minute Discovery Meeting from Josh Holtzman
About Josh Holtzman
Josh founded and grew a leading professional services firm, which he then sold to a national player, and together grew and sold the firm a second time to a global publicly traded IT services company.
Adopting EOS was a key turning point in Josh’s career as an entrepreneur. He is passionate about giving back to the entrepreneurial community by helping other entrepreneurial leaders strengthen their businesses using EOS.
If you would like to learn more about implementing EOS within your organization, contact Josh for a free discovery session.