The number one question asked by prospective clients interested in working with us is: What do you estimate will be your greatest challenge in achieving results with us? The answer is always the same.
The truth: the CEO, Owner and/or Chairman is the greatest obstacle to growth.
We can build infrastructure all day long, improve processes, build new systems, coach, train and develop leadership, staff and culture. If the top leadership is not ready to change at the same rate, depth and pace as we shift the company, to accomplish the set outcomes, the house of cards will come crashing down; if we get it built at all.
It takes courage, vulnerability, and a deep desire to succeed at all odds, to look deep within and own that if one could lead the company to the new state of growth it would have been there already. That doesn't mean the leadership isn't capable, it just means they have some growth, change and shifting to do as well. Ownership is equal, or it's not authentic ownership. I've found in my 23 years, it tends to be the greatest challenge in the change and growth process - a leader's willingness and ability to dig deep and own their part.
There is some block that is currently preventing growth, or we would not be contacted. It is often perceived to be about process improvement, development of some new division, system, or infrastructure, developing leadership and staff, and/or shifting culture. Likely, it's a combination of all. However, to assume that it wouldn't include growth with the person at the top, from within that leadership team or person, would be to mistake the necessity of the Foundation of Change and how organizations operate.
They operate as a famous book states, at the Speed of the Leader. The leadership at the top must be ready, willing and able to not only take a deep look within themselves, but also be ideally excited to change, grow and shift, as well. They must embrace and own their own part in the organization's current state and ongoing growth; a part that is much larger than most tend to think. The greatest challenge we have, in our projects, is a CEO, Chairman or Owner underestimating their part in the challenges, or lack of growth in their company.
When that leader takes equal accountability, in action, for the state of the situation, and the desired outcome, our projects flow with greater ease. Where a primary leader is not willing to dig deep within, take ownership or see what their part is, the project is slower, gets stalled, or grows only as far as that leader can go.