The Point: Every once in awhile, there is a book that comes along that should be considered “must reading” for every leader. Robert Sher’s latest work (“Mighty Midsized Companies”) is just such reading. Loaded with tips, techniques, and even a few tricks that every leader (regardless of organization size/position therein) could benefit from reading. I challenge you to read just one of the “7 Silent Growth Killers” Sher relates and identify three (3) actions to implement in your organization ASAP… You’ll thank me (and Robert of course!)… Enjoy!
The Seven Deadly Sins that Will Kill Your Company!
I just read cover-to-cover Robert Sher’s latest work, appropriately titled “Mighty Midsized Companies.” While the target audience is squarely in the C-Suite of midsized companies ($10 million to $1 billion annual revenue), the lessons are equally applicable to leaders everywhere regardless of their organization’s size. In the work, Sher describes seven leadership “silent growth killers” (SGKs) that often “slip in and set up shop” leading to organizational direction questioning, action plan second guessing, and limited/reverse revenue growth.
The 7 Silent Growth Killers
In my work with leaders in the INC 500 space and beyond, I’ve unfortunately seen each of the following SGKs that prohibit organizations (and leaders for that matter) from achieving their full potential:
- SGK #1: Letting Time Slip-Slide Away
- SGK #2: Strategy Tinkering at the Top
- SGK #3: Reckless Attempts at Growth
- SGK#4: Fumbling Strategic Acquisitions
- SGK #5: Operational Meltdowns
- SGK #6: Liquidity Crashes
- SGK #7: Tolerating Dysfunctional Leaders
A Leadership Development Opportunity?
With my focus primarily on leadership development and executive coaching with the organizations I serve, I was particularly interested in Silent Growth Killer #7 (Tolerating Dysfunctional Leaders). I’ve seen far too often the “dysfunctional” moment Robert describes in excruciating detail occur in the organizations I work with. Moments of tolerance for those that previously achieved long ago“hero” status in the organization, the brash new leader that disrupts/disorganizes/devastates the existing culture and morale, a lack of timeliness to current market directions, disregard for customer/client understanding/desires/demands, and the preference to “dance” with the devil/leader you know (opposed to the devil you don’t!)
Why Tolerate the Dysfunctional Leader?
At the heart of this SGK on leadership, Robert does a nice job of outlining the primary flaws of dysfunctional leadership, and provides solid/straight-forward recommendations for future direction. The focal aspect my mentor Dr. Marshall Goldsmith would recommend when it comes to personnel (i.e., “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There”). Also outlined is an accountability plan for leaders that should be reviewed weekly/monthly/quarterly to ensure this killer remains a non-threat.
It’s in this “accountability” piece that I often see leaders not holding others feet to the fire! Similar to Richard Tedlow’s work in “Denial: Why Business Leaders Fail to Look Facts in the Face – and What to Do About It” there more times than not exists a level of unfounded/unjust loyalty to those that have gotten you to current business levels than is required even when the facts are staring you squarly in the face. As such, Sher outlines not only how you should evaluate whether it’s time to “develop or discard” as well as if you must/should discard how you can go about replacing key leadership positions with efficiency.
An Instant Classic for Leaders!
“Mighty Midsized Companies” will become cornerstone reading for my client base. The lessons are far too valuable in recognition and simply put what you should do about it if you find yourself as a leader in such an organization.
For more information on Robert Sher’s “Mighty Midsized Companies” CLICK HERE to head to Amazon.com. If you’d like more information on Tip of the Spear’s Business Advisory Services, consisting of Centered Executive Coaching and Leadership Development offerings, use the CONTACT US page on this website.