We Could be Heroes: Leading for Growth

Leaders need to do different things, in different companies, at different times. For the last few years, leaders have been mostly focused on the survival of their businesses. With such a powerful and deep recession, simply treading water was seen as being successful!

Now that the economic tide has changed, there’s a need for a different type of leadership. Success will now be measured in how much growth and profit the company can once again generate. So, what’s required of leaders in these new times?

New leadership style
photo credit: Atos

Growth strategy

The first, and arguably most important thing to get right, is the strategy. Without the right plans, objectives and directions, the chance of success is very limited. Leaders need to invest their time and thoughts into identifying how much growth to aim for and where the biggest opportunities (and threats) come from. They then need to set optimistic and aggressive growth plans that the business can implement.

Motivate your people

Over the last few years, there was good reason for leaders to unite their people against troubled times. The job now is different. Leaders need to generate enthusiasm and belief in success. They need to cultivate and encourage an entrepreneurial sprit in all.

Leaders should champion people who take risks when looking for growth and who embrace creativity to search out new opportunities.

New products and services

Linked to this should be a strong drive to broaden and deepen the company’s product and service range. This is the time to bring your new offerings to the market. Your existing customers are, themselves, looking for business improvement and growth, and now have budgets to spend. And if your customers are consumers, you’ll have noticed a welcome return to their desire to acquire.

It’s the perfect time to develop and promote those new products that you were too cautious to launch during the recession.

Invest in Sales and Marketing

Your competitors are also likely to be implementing growth strategies and will want to take your customers. So, invest hard in your sales and marketing teams. You need to show your customers why you’re the best.

Keep customers happy

There’s a strong temptation to focus on winning more new customers. This is great as long as you don’t ignore your existing customers. Your existing customer are not only a great source of more business, they are also likely to be your strongest marketing advantage as they could recommend your services to other future customers.

Leadership quote from Seth Godin
photo credit: George Couros

It’s an exciting time to be a leader. It’s a time for growing your business, and enjoying the rewards that, you hope, will follow. It’s also a time when leaders could, once again, be seen as heroes(!). Embrace it!