5 traits managers need during rapid business growth – Part 2

Image illustrating business growth

In last week’s blog we gave you the first 2 traits that a manager needs in order to be able to facilitate business growth, and mobilise your staff to get on board with the changes.

Here is the Part 2 of the blog, with the final characteristics that we’ve identified in managers who are most successful at managing change and facilitating transition within a business:

Opportunistic approach

Aside from having managers who can naturally facilitate change during periods of rapid business growth, it’s also vital that they are able to spot new opportunities and new possibilities that arise along the way, and are able to act on those insights or discoveries quickly and with confidence.

Whereas some managers are more operationally focused, other managers take a more strategic view of a situation and are far more able to ‘zoom out’ and see ‘the big picture’.

When it comes to dealing with challenges caused by rapid change or growth (such as low morale, lack of engagement or ‘buy-in’ from staff, or interpersonal issues which affect team performance) this big picture approach is essential for creating perspective and insight amongst team members.

When managers are naturally able to identify opportunity and act on it, both within their team and on a more strategic business level, it creates a more proactive environment where challenges are more easily predicted and dealt with and where ambiguity can be communicated in a positive and empowering way.

Awareness of self

Self-awareness is possibly the most important characteristic of an effective manager. The reasons why are simple, yet it’s one of the hardest skills to develop… And also one of the most powerful…especially during times of uncertainty within a business.

Having an awareness of our own natural behaviours, motivational needs and tendencies is not only vital for our own personal development, but is essential when managing other people.

Self-awareness is the force which allows us to be cognisant of our own impact on other people, which then allows us to see the consequences of our behaviour clearly, so that we can understand our role within a specific situation.

Managers who lack self-awareness may have the most advanced skills in the world, but will always struggle when it comes to mobilising and motivating the people in their team.

Without the ability to reflect on themselves, they run the risk of upsetting employees, coming into conflict with other colleagues and ultimately causing themselves, and those they work with, immense stress.

With a well-developed self-awareness, managers are more able to connect with their teams, more able to see problems and challenges as they really are and are more able to achieve high performance themselves.


Understanding of human dynamics

Team productivity and employee engagement are at the very core of healthy growth within the business.

After all, it’s the people who make the business and it’s the people who drive the business growth, so it’s vital that managers have a deep understanding of the ‘DNA’ of the people within their teams.

Whoever is driving change within your business firstly needs to be oriented to function within that type of environment, and secondly needs to be cognisant that the people they’re taking along with them may potentially have very different drives and motivations than they have.

In many cases, managers often take a blanket approach to dealing with their employees without appreciating the fact that they need to treat those people ‘how they need to be treated, not how the manager needs to be treated.

Whichever way you look at it, the ability to connect with people at their level and then adapt your management style to be able to get the best out of them, is an essential part of successful rapid business growth management… Or any management for that matter!

It’s important to recognise, that many employees are afraid of change and are afraid of uncertainty… And by meeting people ‘where they are’ and then translating changes and new procedures into something that they are comfortable with now, you will be able to set yourself up to meet their demands further down the line.

By empathising with employees and looking after their own specific motivational needs, you can better understand how to bring those people from ‘A to B’ with as little friction as possible.

Managers who recognise the diversity of personality within their teams, and actively aim to work with it as opposed to try to change it, will be far more successful in the long run.

Overcoming obstacles

Now, it may be that as you read this article and understand some of the essential elements of rapid business growth management, you realise that some of these elements may be lacking in your management team.

It may be that you already have managers in place who are struggling with the business growth you are currently experiencing, or it may be that you’re unsure how to attract and identify the kind of people you need at management level to facilitate the changes your business is going through.

Finally, you may have realised that you have not created a strategic workforce plan to help you understand who you need in your management team to carry your business into the future and this is causing you to act spontaneously, as opposed to strategically.

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If any of these are the case, then here a few suggestions to help:

1.      If you do have managers in place who lack the ability to drive business growth, then it’s vital that you implement a process or system that you can use to pinpoint the skills, competencies, and behavioural gaps within your current management team and then identify how to fill those gaps either through coaching, training or, in the worst-case scenario, rehiring.

2.      If you’re unsure about the kind of managers you need to help you facilitate growth within your specific business then it’s a good idea to start a process of assessment and evaluation so that you can benchmark the key competencies and behaviours of your ‘ideal manager’.

By having a blueprint before you hire, you’ll be able to avoid the ‘short termist’ hiring approach, because you have a clear understanding of who you need now and in the future to achieve success…and you’ll increase your ability to hire those people with confidence.

3.      If you lack a strategic plan to help carry you through this period of business growth or transition, then it’s a good idea to sit down with your leadership team and analyse the demands on your business now, and map out how those demands are going to change, going forward.

By “starting with the end in mind”, you’ll be able to plan your talent acquisition process more effectively, having mapped out the changing requirements of your key roles and understood exactly what kinds of people you will need to drive your business forward.

With any organisation that is experiencing rapid business growth, it’s vital to have a management team who can grow with your business.

When you hire and develop managers who are fast learners, have great capacity, are resilient, and have an understanding of themselves and of the dynamics of that team, then you directly contribute to the acceleration of the growth process.

What do you think? What are your experiences of working within a rapid growth environment? Share them in the comments section below, we love to hear from you.

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