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Finding and developing the awesome people you need for growth

Module 6: Knowledge framework for growth

When a company begins to grow and pick up speed, many CEOs become overwhelmed by the number of different tasks that need to be done. They respond by working longer and harder. If you’re lucky, someone more experienced will take you aside and say, “If you keep going at this pace, you’re going to burn out or get sick – and then you’ll be no good to the company, or anyone else.”

The realisation that “I can no longer do all this myself" is disconcerting. Some CEOs feel like a failure. Others worry that they are not living up to people’s expectations.

If you find yourself in this situation, you don’t need to give up. Make a list of everything you do day-to-day. Identify which things you can delegate now, or that you can soon delegate with a bit of training. Then identify the things that only you can do. That still leaves a lot of things on the list that you are trying to do because nobody else can do them, or you think you don’t have the money to hire someone to do them. But if you’re honest, you know someone else could do those jobs better than you.

For a company to continue to grow, you must bring other people on board with different sets of knowledge and skills than you have, then delegate some of the tasks you are doing. You must hold them accountable for solving the product, customer, customer service, HR, systems or financial challenges that come with growth.

Taking the time to select and develop the next wave of awesome people you need for growth is one of the best investments you can make. But finding the right people is not easy. Once they are on board, you need to commit the time to lead, mentor, and guide them to success. Here’s how to do it:

To grow, you must bring other people on board with different sets of knowledge and skills than you have

1. Select people with long-term potential

The first step is to clearly outline the job that needs to be done – then recruit, interview, and negotiate with the best candidates. Look beyond what you need today; while you don’t need to hire an all-star for every position, you should look for people who could be promoted at least two levels and who can grow faster than the company is growing. Look at whether the candidate is really interested in your company’s mission, or just looking for a job. Do they fit with your company’s values? Are they curious and self-motivated, or do they need a lot of direction? Where does the person want to be in three to five years?

Look for people who could be promoted at least two levels and who can grow faster than the company is growing

2. Develop an orientation program

Because you need to get every new person off to a fast start, develop and implement an orientation program for all new hires. Welcome new hires to the company – if not in person, then via video – and share your vision and passion with them. Make sure new hires meet with their manager, review their job description, understand their roles, responsibilities and expectations, the company’s values, the performance review process, and begin to work on the Five Levels of Delegation from day one.

3. Train, develop and coach

New employees are not the only ones who need training. If you want employees to grow as fast or faster than your company grows, then you will need to invest in the professional development of employees who match your values, whose performance can improve or who want to advance and are eager to take on new challenges. Coaching can be a tool to unlock the potential of those few individuals who are critical to your company’s future.

Coaching can be a tool to unlock the potential of those few individuals who are critical to your company’s future

 

Careful selection and proper orientation of new employees keep the company from falling over when growth has outstripped your ability to deliver on everything that needs to be done. Training and development helps your employees become competent at their job, enables the company to grow, and will prepare some of them to be the leaders you’ll need for the next stage of growth.

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