Empty seats around the boardroom table

As I have said in many of my other blogs a company will only grow as fast as its team. All too often ambitious entrepreneurs reach glass ceilings and breaking through these invisible barriers (yet very real) can be a painful and frustrating experience. These hurdles often relate to factors such as:

–  The need to win bigger contracts/new clients

– Finding the innovative edge or point of differentiation

– Sustaining levels of profitability

– Putting in place a lean and efficient sales engine

– New business models and strategies to help achieve scale

– Managing finance in a more strategic way – transition from FC to FD

– Getting people to work as a team and not a mob

– Raising the bar of senior management performance

– Developing structures, processes and HR management

– Raising finance and use of correct funding instruments

– Putting in place the checks and balances to ensure efficient operations

Growing companies need talented individuals to ensure the above critical success issues are attended to and dealt with professionally and effectively. The management team that gets a business to say £1M revenue is not necessarily the same one that will get it to £10M. The need for new talent is an inevitable consequence of growth and its the hardest thing to do in my opinion.

Challenges around skills and capability manifests into staff sat in the wrong seats around the boardroom table. In other words individuals with accountability they are not one hundred percent equipped to deal with are too involved in decision-making.  More critically there are seats empty that need to be filled with a new skill, competence or mindset.

Quite often the leader needs to reinvent and make the transition from entrepreneur to strategic manager and let go, this can be very difficult. Conversely the leader is aware of the skills needed but gets frustrated because they are missing from the senior management team. This is when the lonely feeling kicks in.

The reality is all senior managers must up their game in a growth company. Self awareness and grown up conversations are vital to ensuring that everyone is fulfilling their duties. For leaders who want to go to the next level, can I suggest you look for help – find a Non Executive Director, coach or mentor who can help you develop as a leader – assist you make decisions about ensuring the empty seats around the top table are occupied by individuals who will take you to your desired destination.


2 Responses to Empty seats around the boardroom table

  1. Philip says:

    Hi John, your last blog about resilience and this one are very close to my heart. Change and the process of accepting that we need to change to progress seems to be one of the most fundamental barriers to succeeding in anything! Letting go of past for the benefit of future – very tough indeed. The best sports people have the best coaches and mentors – businesses need to take a page out of their book. To be the best the best that you can be, you need to associate with the best too – step out of your comfort zone and be challenged. Thanks John.

    Philip 🙂

    • johnleachwp says:

      Bang on Phil – business plans are great, P & L as well…..But the second we all realise that our success is down to “ME” then its all about self improvement and personal progression…easy to say so hard to do. Have a good week mate John

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