sky scraper, marcia zidle, voiceamerica


In Grow or Die – a classic by George Ainsworth-Land – it describes the predictable growth of a business is three phases. Each phase is unique with its own set of challenges and cannot be skipped over. Each requires leadership skills and perspective that can both boost or deter your company’s growth.

Which Phase Are You In?

 Phase 1: Invention or Getting Off the Ground
The company is highly entrepreneurial. It’s born out of a desire to meet a need – whether it’s a nonprofit to deal with a social or community issue or a start-up to bring a new product or idea or process to market. The climate is high energy, fast paced, seat-of-the-pants and at times chaotic. But it’s exciting.

Can you make it through this phase and not burn-out or fail-out?  

Phase 2: Improvement or Rapid Expansion
You begin to see results from all the hard work – more customers, funders, publicity – but are you making a profit or making a dent in the problems you’re trying to solve? This is when you’re adding staff or opening new stores or creating new programs, etc. It can be a real culture shock to move from stage one to two. As a leader you want it to happen. But there are many challenges to deal with.

Can you move from the visionary leader to an effective manager?

Phase 3: Reinvention or Stagnation
To keep growing, you must look at new markets, grow your current niche, expand product lines or add new services. You may be considering acquisitions, mergers or going public. Similar to Phase 1, the leader must create the vision, energy, culture and direction again. However this is a much different, more complex organization. But your leadership role had changed again.

Are you able to let go of operations and become an innovator again?

Smart Moves Tip

Growth always requires entrepreneurs and business leaders to change what they do, how they do it and who they do it with. Successful and sustainable growth requires the right kind of leadership, the right environment (culture) and the right processes. Do you have them?

Marcia Zidle, the smart moves executive coach and speaker, is host of The Business Edge  on the VoiceAmerica Business Network. The show features the Smart Growth System providing small to medium sized businesses the proper foundation for expansion: a Growth Agenda that becomes their roadmap, a Growth Engine that attracts and engages the best talent and Growth Leaders that make it happen. Marcia, the CEO of Leaders At All Levels, brings street smarts to help businesses get on the right track and not get sidetracked on their path to higher performance and profitability.