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Are You Moving Forward?

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May 12, 2020

This weekI decided to take a tally of the number of video conference calls, workshops and webinars in which I have had the honor (or displeasure) of taking part since our operations went fully remote in early March:

300

Yep. I counted every single one. And, the biggest takeaway from this exercise was: who owns my time ?  Self awareness in the personal and business context is a critical tool for forward mobility.

 Now, more than ever, when we carve time away to zoom out and reflect on where we are, where we’ve been and what matters most, we gain new perspective on where we are going and how best to get there.

Economist, biologists and philosophers can all agree on one thing. We live in cycles. At any given point in time we’re experiencing a phase in numerous cycles. From Circadian rhythms, seasons, the economy, the circle of life to name few

So this week, we’re breaking down growth cycles into phases in hopes that this framework for clarity will add value to you and your team.

Jay Shetty, monk turned conscious content creator, explains there are five core phases in the personal growth cycle. As entrepreneurial leaders, we understand that personal growth and organizational growth share the same foundation. So here’s how I think this approach applies to leading a team through transformation:

Learn

The import of what we learn is on par with how we learn. For those who are currently battling dual appointments CEO remote and educator-in-chief, this next bit may come in handy:

We all have a style of learning that individually resonates. For me, its kinesthetic and verbal-linguistic. By taking the time to explore the various learning styles on our teams, we can create more inclusive opportunities for up-skilling and cohesion.

How are you committed to learning as a team?

Experiment

Not all innovators are contrarians. (Maybe it’s just me). While I don’t decry they import of rules in maintaining order and compliance, cultures that not only permit but encourage experimentation are usually the firms that thrive. For example, for years, Nordstrom’s employer handbook was comprised of 75 words that fit squarely on the back of an note card including:

Nordstrom Rules: Rule #1: Use best judgment in all situations. There will be no additional rules.

Ingrained in this new normal is an implied pressure to remain relevant. Yet, nothing has stayed the same. If the rules of engagement no longer serve your capacity to innovate — change them! The more we change our beliefs around perfection and the need for certainty, the more we can experiment and design solutions that better serve clients, customers, and collaborators.

What rules will you hold back experimentation?

Perform

Think back to the best live concert you attended. I bet the most memorable moments were when the musicians got into a solid groove. There’s something about strong performances that are mesmerizing. When stocks are soaring, sales are flowing and staff are working seamlessly, executives breathe a collective sigh of relief. Yet, in this phase of growth, we recognize that performances don’t happen on their own. It requires systems, structure, and habits that to free up time to focus on new horizons. 

If you’re in the perform phase, how are you investing in your systems?

Struggle

It’s the phase that many of us are in right now. Internally, our team is constantly struggling with new unknowns, uncertainties and how to best serve the community. 

Businesses often struggle with these six areas: (1) deciding when to abandon a strategy, (2) keeping up with market changes, (3) learning when to delegate and when to step in, (4) nurturing great company culture, (5) responding to competition, and (6) cash flow management.  Whether all, some, or other challenges cause disruptions in your firm, to grow through struggles, get back to the basics that took your organization this far.

What practices have your neglected while scaling?

Thrive

The equivalent of a Willy Wonka golden ticket, thriving indicates that your venture or dream is prospering and flourishing, so kudos!  Practice gratitude and lean into the lessons. They will come in handy in the future.

Growth is rarely linear.  Various areas of your life and business may encounter different phases at the same time. Most all, be patient and kind and recognize that beauty of each phase is both in experiences and its end.

Cheers,

Leigh-Ann / Venture Cafe Miami

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