(This is the post that accompanies the October 1, 2015 national ACBJ column entitled 10 Ways to Help Midmarket Business Owners succeed)
Yes, it’s absolutely true what you read in the October 1 column: If something isn’t done soon to help our mid-market leaders grow, evolve and win on a larger scale, then little help is being given to our national employment problem, not to mention the success of each of their respective companies.
What I mean is that even if just 10% of these national mid-market leaders designed more effective value propositions … meaning becoming expert “demand creators” … then thousands of people would be hired.
Here are two important ways of achieving this result that were not covered in the column:
- “The more you cede control, the more powerful you become.” I not only believed and employed that axiom in my corporate career, I counsel senior leadership today to make the same leap. Why? Because most are so consumed by mundane day-to-day business activities that little time is left to design unprecedented value. For example, by helping them learn how to hire better people – those who can actually execute and want more responsibility – the more valuable time they’ll gain for real leadership activities. Of course, that assumes that control freaks not apply (and there are many). The idea is to lead, not “do.” Leave the doing for others. That’s a choice that needs to be made … a decision … not something that’s impossible. Of course, this “letting go” is extremely difficult for many to do. Therefore, here’s a good article that can help accomplish this important transformation: 10 Things Real Leaders Do.
- Moving from “the technical” to “the strategic.” Many mid-market senior leaders either founded or inherited the business, and most often that means they invented something … whether that’s product, service or process – or all three. And with invention comes strong feelings of ownership in “the technical.” Just the same, similar to the first bullet point, if the enterprise is to significantly grow, the top dog must evolve. And to evolve, new education and the honing of specific, key skill sets are required.
I’ve met mid-market leaders who delegate far too much – and get burned in the long run for being so disengaged – and I’ve met the Control and Command crowd, too, whose monomaniacal ways similarly doom the business.
The Sweet Spot exists in realizing what effective, third millennium leadership looks and feels like, and working doggedly on a daily basis to try and get it right … at least most of the time.