The Sunday Mail
Hunt for Greatness
The vision you hold influences the actions that you take. Without growth, you become dull, blinkered and inefficient. Growth is more than just reaching one summit and resting forever. It is an ongoing sustained process and a journey.
When you stop growing, you lose your leadership urge. Growth holds different meaning to different people. There are fast growers, slow growers, value growers and negative growers. I am sure you do not want to be in the last group of negative growers. Whatever you do, seek to grow. You may have to move slowly, but you do not have the luxury of standing still and adopting the posture of a victim. Take personal responsibility for growing and do whatever it takes to keep the growth agenda alive.
Running fast in the same place is a way of burning calories, but not a strategy of going anywhere meaningful.
It is not enough to run heavily in the same place, doing what you have always been doing. To grow and move forward, you need to stretch. Unless you stretch you will not grow stronger and you may never go further. Keep growing and challenging your limitations. Look at your universe and challenge every limitation and barrier that you face.
To stretch, you have to start by locating your challenges to growth. There is no challenge that is so huge that it cannot be overcome. Whatever you cannot do now, you can learn and develop the competence. There is no mountain that is so high that it cannot be climbed over.
There is nothing that is so broken down that it cannot be fixed. Stretch beyond your comfort zone and what you have been told is your limit. There is no challenge that can stand so long, so stubborn, that in time it cannot be solved.
Look squarely at the challenges that you face and address them. Challenges are just disguised opportunities. Stretch your limitations and you will discover that what you thought you could not do or become you can do and become.
Possibilities of growth
Belief is key to your ability to stretch. The possibilities of growth are always present, so long as you are willing to stretch and reach for them. They start with your mindset and the way you think. Adopt a growth mindset and look for growth partners and you will surely grow. If you think that growth is no longer feasible you stop seeing possibilities and paths ahead. Your beliefs inform your perceptions.
Be obsessed with growth and then take steps towards growth. Think growth, take growth decisions, have growth orientation, and structure everything around growth and you will get ideas, means and resources for growth.
Growth is possible in any industry, any place, any phase in the business cycle and any economic condition.
While you complain someone is growing. Manage your focus deliberately and do not allow negativity to squeeze out life from you. For entrepreneurs, there is never an excuse for lack of growth.
Every problem is an opportunity for extra-ordinary growth. Every new problem is an opportunity for new revenue streams, new products, new channels and new ecosystems.
To grow and to keep growing, you will have to think differently and do things differently. This challenges you to keep stretching.
Unless you are willing to stretch your innovation and play differently, you will not develop. Growth requires strong decisions and bold actions. Grow on the inside and also break barriers and stretch beyond your boundaries.
To grow, you have to organise and at times reorganise for sustained growth. It requires you to think, work, review things differently.
To grow, you need a strategy that is pro-growth, pro-stretch and pro-action. Planning to shrink is planning to eventually die. Sometimes you may have to change a growth base, but that does not mean that you have retreated, you would have just changed tack.
Bottlenecks and barriers
Remove bottleneck and stretch barriers and you will grow. Someone once suggested that bottlenecks always occur at the top of the bottle.
To spur new growth you have to take radical action to identify the bottlenecks that stand in the way of growth and stretching. Sometimes it is an issue of process. Simplify the process or better still change it. Sometimes it is a system issue that needs to be addressed.
Change the system or implement a better one. At times, the problem is that there is no system at all.
This can also be fixed by putting one in place. Sometimes it is a people issue that needs to be addressed. It could be that the people need to change or be changed. Whatever the bottleneck, let it not stand in the way to your growth and stretch agenda.
Barriers standing in your way tall and proud need to be addressed as well. Identify the barriers that you face and address them. A job of leadership has always been removing barriers.
Some barriers cannot be moved easily, but you can move what can move. Sometimes you have to work around a barrier; never lose sight of the main goal. No barrier can withstand a consistent onslaught of ideas and focused execution.
In the process of working out your growth plan, you will always find that some things work and others do not.
Part of growth is knowing when to abandon what does not work and what does not yield results. Whatever produces results needs to be done more and whatever does not yield results needs to be done less or not done at all.
Archimedes once said: “Give me a place to stand, and a lever long enough, and I will move the world.” With a place to plant your action the next thing that you require is a lever.
A lever allows small actions to accomplish big tasks. This is the essence of leverage.
Leverage other people’s time, knowledge, experience and failures. Working with a team allows you to multiply and leverage your time.
Knowledge is a powerful form of leverage. It allows you to work faster and accomplish more things. Work with people who know what you do not and you will be able to achieve what you could not have achieved on your own. Other people’s experience gives you a platform for effectiveness.
It compresses time and allows you to accomplish more with less time invested. To grow keep looking for and working with sources of leverage.
Organisations can also stretch towards growth by leveraging their resources in several ways.
Concentrate your resources in areas that give you the best results. Scattering little meaningless efforts leaves you stretched and ineffective.
Clarify priorities and with focus, concentrate your resources. Greatness takes time and one of the sources of leverage is to accumulate resources sufficiently and effectively to allow you to do what you would not have been able to with a thinner resource base.
Leverage can also be secured by complementing one resource with another.
You could also conserve resources. You are in a place of advantage when you recover resources faster and therefore, able to move faster.
Keep stretching and challenging your limits and you will keep growing.
Committed to your greatness.
Milton Kamwendo is a leading international transformational and motivational speaker, author, and growth mentor. He is a cutting-edge strategy, team-building and organisation development facilitator and consultant. His life purpose is to inspire and promote greatness. He can be reached at: [email protected] and Twitter: @MiltonKamwendo or WhatsApp at: 0772422634. His website is: www.miltonkamwendo.com.