Readers are invited to submit a question which we will then pose to one of our Forbes Councils members. This group is full of knowledge and experience — we’re eager to share their insights with you.
Question: How can I keep goals for my leadership team current as my business grows?
My biggest recent struggle is navigating misaligned leadership team goals as our company grows and meets its stretch goals. I built a team that was a great fit for the phase of business growth and the life-conditions of key leadership team members. Then lives changed, and the business grew.
Meet our Executive: Maureen Metcalf, CEO/Founder, Innovative Leadership Institute
Forbes Coaches Council member Maureen Metcalf is the founder and CEO of the Innovative Leadership Institute. She helps her clients innovate the quality of their leadership to deliver the results they want to create. Results such as increased profitability, increased efficiency, improved quality, and increased employee engagement. Metcalf is also the author of a series of books on innovative leadership.
Answer: Make a clear plan for what is needed, and identify team members whose expertise will make it happen.
Business success is a good problem to have, but even good problems need to be solved. Here are some steps to take to keep goals and roles on target.
- Outline what is needed for the business to succeed. As we delineated the next level of our business goals, it became clear that what we had done in the past was insufficient to meet them. We needed to take on additional activities we had not previously done. While most people talk about this, doing it ourselves was quite a personal challenge.
- Identify gaps in the team and look for creative ways to get the work done. We looked at new ideas as well ROI of current activities to identify and clarify the gaps between our current status and where we wanted to be.
- Clarify individual leader and team member goals and limitations. After we had a clear picture of the work to be done, it was time to talk to key leaders and team members to align their go-forward goals with the work to be done. We created a clear picture of who would do which work over the next year and where we still had gaps.
- Realign the work to ensure the business doesn’t lose ground during the transition. We implemented interim solutions to keep things moving while we pursued longer-term solutions like hiring and building the team and a board.
- Identify the key players who will support long-term business growth goals. Once we recalibrated and had short-term solutions, we began the process of identifying the “go-forward team” — a combination of employees and consultants who were interested in taking a larger role within the company we were becoming.
Building the right team is a necessity for organizational growth. My team was no exception, and while it has been exceedingly difficult to re-negotiate roles for people and consultants I worked with and trust, I also realize we will continue to grow and that I will balance compassion for my colleagues with the wisdom required to run and scale a growing, successful organization.