As a CEO, senior executive or business owner, you face a significant amount of pressure and stress every day to get the best performance out of your business. You’re on familiar terms with the challenges of diminishing margins, higher costs, increased competition and reduced profitability, not to mention the difficulty with attracting and retaining skilled people.
Today’s business environment is changing more rapidly than ever before, bringing with it a whole new set of complex issues and situations you may never have experienced, including the increased pressure on you to cope with all of the changes.
Traditional learning methods and training courses don’t teach CEOs, managers or owners how to handle this expanded level of stress. They don’t share the crucial mindset components of leadership and the skills required to keep teams and businesses moving forward, instead of falling behind.
So, if traditional methods aren’t very effective at solving problems, how are you supposed to keep your business on track for significant, long-term growth?
Before I answer that, let’s take just a moment to look at why organisations and their leaders wrestle with these challenges so much and what the impact is for not addressing the issues.
Under-Skilled And Under Pressure
In the past 10 years, the environment for business has changed dramatically. There are many more layers that leaders now have to peel back to get a good look at their business and their people, as well as how performance ties into everything.
As human beings, we have limits to what we can absorb, and it’s impossible to keep up with every item that generates influence on the market. Even the most committed leaders can’t keep up with all the advances in areas such as technology, human resources, and organisational culture—just to name a few—and be able to use them effectively to grow their bottom line.
Leaders are expected to have a vision for the business and know how to get there. But the truth is that the pressure on you as a leader just to understand what’s going on and respond quickly with a solid strategy is increasing at a greater rate than the traditional skills or ability you possess to cope with this pressure.
And this lack of skill, this lower level of ability, is not sufficient to meet the challenges of business today.
The other factor at play here is the difficulty in attracting and retaining good people. That, too, has changed significantly in the past decade. Larger companies which are doing well are the ones that have figured out how to attract, train and retain quality people.
This isn’t easy, given that the overall landscape of business is shifting before our eyes, with different expectations from employees and employers alike, especially around job responsibilities and benefits. Add to this scenario the simple fact that people aren’t as loyal as they used to be—it’s common practice to look for new opportunities—and you’ve got a recipe for decreased performance and profitability.
These conditions, these new “rules” in the game of business require a new way of looking at organisations and developing your people.
The Impact On Leadership
All of these conditions carry a significant impact to you, your leadership team and your business.
The number one impact is stress—there are huge risks and obstacles to overcome when trying to sustain profit and performance for any business. This happens everywhere, all the time, regardless of what business you’re in.
There’s also an incredible amount of pressure on leadership to keep shareholders happy. This also works in reverse, with the shareholders leaning on the management team to get great results or high returns. As a byproduct of this pressure, leaders get frustrated. This is by far the most common negative side effect of managing performance and profitability that I see—people saying, “I’ve had enough.”
I recently interviewed a leader for a large company. He was hiring new employees, and the majority of the people he hired were totally green, not ideal for the position the company needed to fill. On top of that, many of those he hired ended up leaving pretty quickly.
When I asked him about it, he told me, “I just can’t get and retain people.” My reply was, “Mate, maybe it’s more than that. Maybe it’s something about your leadership style that’s got to change for things to improve.” His answer was, “Well, maybe that’s true, but I’ve got pressure on me to fix the problem.”
I hear something similar from potential clients all the time—seven out of 10 calls I receive are from companies telling me that “they just can’t find and retain good people.”
That’s a significant number, and yet very few of these companies, and their leadership teams, are willing to address the issue head-on, which includes taking a good hard look at themselves and how they lead.
The profit performance of your business will only grow to the extent you do, whether that’s you as an individual leader or you as a leadership group.
Light At The End Of The Tunnel
So, what’s the solution?
The best way to unlock business profitability and performance is through a different approach to training and development of people. This is especially important for anyone who serves as a leader, whether you’re the CEO, a member of the executive team, or a division manager.
At Profit HQ, we advocate blended learning solutions through a leadership academy. This is a combination of coaching, mentoring and modern skills and techniques you won’t find through any university course or traditional delivery structure.
What’s different about this approach is that it’s comprehensive and delivers results now —it’s teaching people real skills to fix a current problem and then digging deeper into the heart of that problem, why it shows up and how it develops. It’s defining the core values, culture, actions, habits, and mindset of everyone involved, which includes you as a leader.
Albert Einstein once said, “We can’t solve problems with the same thinking that created them.” This especially holds true in business because, in order to get the best performance and profitability from your company, you must train your people differently. You can’t use yesterday’s solutions to take care of today’s problems.
If you want to grow your company successfully, your people have got to grow along with it—and this starts with you as the leader.
Philip Coombs, Australia’s leading coach for CEOs, business owners and senior managers, is the creator of The YOU! Factor, a revolutionary program that addresses the seven tenants necessary to make any business a success. With decades of experience as a business coach for small and large companies, he brings a unique perspective and proven results to the table.
As the owner of ProfitHQ (formerly Simply Business Australia), Philip works exclusively with businesses that are not reaching their full potential and teaches leaders the tools and techniques for success. Through The YOU! Factor, Coombs is able to target the areas of operating a business—both physical and mental—where his clients are dropping the ball.
If you’re interested in learning more about optimising your personal performance and that of your organisation, then sign up for a free consultation with Philip at email@example.com
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