The Grow Show: A get-real leader’s guide for today’s business reality, part I

In today’s business reality we need real leaders more than ever before. Here are five keys to growing leaders at your organization.

March 30, 2010
The Harvest Group
Business Management

In today’s business reality we need real leaders more than ever before. Generally speaking, many companies we work with are either flourishing or floundering. When we get to the root cause it invariably traces back to the leader.

This segment of the Grow Show will focus on the leaders in your business – the owners, presidents and top managers in your company. This is the first of a three-part series on people and will include:
  • Part One: Get Real Leaders in your business
  • Part Two: Get Real with your People – your managers and your employees 
  • Part Three: Get Real Close to Your Customers
Listen to the podcast here and follow along with the outline below. 
Here’s an outline for today’s podcast. Follow along as you listen. 
Definition of a leader – “The task of the leader is to get their people from where they are to where they have not been.” – Henry Kissinger
Today’s Current Reality:
  • Scrambling and adjusting as fast as we can
  • There is pressure to perform both financially and with delivery of service
  • Pulled in several directions
  • We are challenged in areas of weakness
  • Never enough time
  • Prices dropping, clients shopping, competition chopping
Desired Destiny:  For a Real Leader – “If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney
  • Work/ life balance
  • Leading more than managing
  • Being strategic vs. tactical
  • Learning and growing
  • Playing to your strengths
  • Leaving a legacy
1. First step to becoming a real leader – get real with yourself
  • Do a self-assessment and have your people do their assessment of you
  • A 360-degree perspective: self, leadership, direct report, coach /mentor
  • Are you really a leader or are you a manager/supervisor?
  • As a result you should know:
  • What are your strengths?
  • What one thing should you get better at?
  • What should you be doing more of?
  • What should you be doing less of or stop doing?
“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch
2. Get real with current reality
  • What is your company’s current level of performance?
  • Measure the right stuff
  • Know leading and trailing indicators
  • Be realistic with your company’s current reality. Often the leader doesn’t connect with the harsh reality.
3. Have real metrics – “What gets measured gets managed what gets managed gets improved.”  – Jack Welch
  • What are you measuring?
  • Set up some very objective measures and track regularly
  • Grow with recurring revenue i.e., monthly billings
  • Enhancement percentages to base contracts
  • Gross margin
  • Customer retention
  • Key employee retention
  • Safety X-mod
  • Look at a metric where you are scoring high and one you are scoring low
  • What is a real leader doing right that has caused this good result?
  • What do you need to be doing more to bring up your low area?
4. Get a real plan
  • Have a written plan to get there
  • A good plan:
  • Gives a clear sense of direction
  • Gives purpose with a mission and a vision
  • Includes clearly defined values
  • Defines strategic intent
  • Review and adjust your plan regularly…at least quarterly, maybe even monthly
  • Your plan should include:
  • Marketing and sales 
  • Operations: horticulture, safety, quality, financial, etc.
  • Identifies key initiatives or programs to be built or modified and implemented
  • Focus on leaders, people and customers
5. Here are some more ideas to help you become a Real Leader
  • Get a coach/mentor
  • Join a peer group
  • Have a board of advisers
  • Shadow a role model
  • Do some stretch-assignments
  • Online learning
  • Books/tapes
  • Join your state association and PLANET. Be actively engaged.
It all starts and stops with you the leader.
  • Get a real assessment of yourself with a 360 evaluation
  • You are in charge of you – take charge
  • Measure the real important areas
  • Have written game plan
  • Align your efforts with company goals
Our next podcast will be part two of our people series: “Get real with your people.”
If you want a free copy of the Harvest Group Leaders Assessment – a self-assessment tool we recently had over 130 landscape business owners perform at the PLANET Executive Forum – contact The Harvest Group at Click on the connect tab.