One of the biggest reasons why some organizations can’t seem to grow and have hit the proverbial ceiling for scalability is because their leaders have stopped growing themselves.
I can remember the first time I heard one of my mentors share this with me and it hit me like a freight train to my chest:
The organization will not be able to grow past you as it’s leader.
The context of the conversation was my ability to balance the day-to-day needs of my organization and the time allotted for continuing education for myself so that I could be personally challenged, fed into, and led myself.
I asked my mentor how, after leading (and exiting) a few multi-million dollar enterprises, how he had learned to handle that delicate balance and he just looked at me and asked me whether my current business was growing – I told him that it was but I felt like we had hit a few roadblocks, that we had slowed down a bit, and that we may have lost a bit of momentum.
He just stared at me blankly and then asked when the last time I had intentionally been fed into and allowed someone else to challenge, inspire, and lead me in a serious way. I shook my head because I knew the answer already.
My business had stopped growing because I had stopped growing as an individual and leader. I had stopped asking the hard questions and pushing the boundaries so that my team could slot in behind me and fill the gap left in the inspirational wake.
I had created my own little “glass ceiling” which I couldn’t break through and that my business wouldn’t be able to break through until I did myself. I felt dejected and knew what had to be done.
What’s fascinating is since that time I’ve met many leaders who are struggling with the same exact thing and their organizations and teams are suffering because of it. Coaching them through our process (through executive coaching, 1-on-1, or team coaching) we have helped them break down those barriers and help them achieve even greater success.
But it starts with the leader(s) and it requires them to humble themselves, acknowledge their own limitations, and begin to invest in themselves so that they can make verifiable deposits in their teams and organizations.
You create the ceiling for your organization – This isn’t new news. It’s just hard when you realize it for yourself.