Often businesses reach a plateau after a period of steady or rapid growth, which prompts the question “Why isn’t the approach that got us here working anymore? How can we continue to grow?”
After driving themselves and their teams even harder, they struggle to get better results and job satisfaction suffers for everyone. Doing more of the same isn’t the answer. If what you are doing is becoming less effective, doing more of it is not going to work. It is a frustrating and exhausting place to be. So what’s the answer? What shift is required?
The key to moving beyond the plateau is to take a higher perspective and see the whole picture of the business. Connecting with ‘why’ the business exists, clarifying the desired culture, establishing a vision of where the company is going, and building a roadmap to get there will provide the foundation that allows leaders to engage people in the journey. In other words, owners need to step into the role of leading the company. Performance plateaus may occur when leaders take a low-level perspective, focused on the operational detail in one part of the business. Without the higher level, it is all too easy to grind away and become stuck rather than soar to new heights.
Stepping into the leadership role involves a shift in mindset that can best be achieved working the a coach who can help build leadership capabilities and support the leader to mobilize people according to clearly defined and communicated goals. Letting go and delegating responsibilities that were previously tightly under the leader’s control is a big part of engaging the team.
Provided everyone is truly committed and supported, reaching another level of performance becomes possible and the inertia of the plateau is overcome. Achieving new levels of success together will enable the team to go forward with confidence and tackle the hard work of realizing the vision – breathing life into what had previously seemed an unachievable dream.
It is exciting stuff. It releases passion. It evokes vision. It reminds people why they do what they do. It gives meaning to work. It reconnects organizations to their purpose.