Growth – ‘What does it mean for you in times like these?’

Let’s be candid, for some of you right now the idea of you growing your business seems irrelevant, survival would be nice. For others growth has propelled you into fantastic, unexpected areas much further and faster than you thought possible.

Wherever you are in that spectrum of possibilities you’re in a relationship with growth. And as we know all relationships have highs, lows and everything in-between.

So what does growth mean for you today?

Perhaps it’s about growing your own capabilities to lead?

Is it growing your team’s abilities to lead remotely? To cope with daily uncertainty and manage their teams?

Perhaps it’s about which opportunities to grab, how to move even faster, how to ensure you don’t overstretch your resources and people? How to develop people to thrive in this whirlwind?

Does it mean growing the financial side of your business, the cash flow, the profits?

With all these things going on it’s so easy to become overwhelmed and overlook key principles that can guide you.

Remember the early stages of your business? What was the focus?

Tell people you exist, get clients, do work, get paid, pay bills. Repeat, take in more money than you pay out…survive now, thrive soon. Some of you have started new businesses, others have redirected your business into completely new directions. It is effectively a start up in that area. Focus on the fundamentals.

What about if you want to acquire or exit businesses?

Acquire and exit are two sides of the same coin. Does the business stand on its own two feet or is it all dependent on the owner? When selling, well systemised businesses run by great people, driven by great attitudes and shared purposes have a far greater value than those which aren’t. If you’re buying and these areas are lacking make sure you buy a bargain and not a lemon.

If you recognise that now is the time to make a step change in your business what’s your focus?

Well it’s a combination of the above and P.U.D.

  • Pace
  • Uncertainty
  • Direction

As a successful business owner you’ve seen and dealt with some PUD before.

Then along came COVID and the change of Pace, combined with the whiplash change in Direction nearly blew you away. Although there was great Uncertainty you knew there was no time to lose, you had to do things very quickly. 

The only real uncertainty was ‘How do we keep going?’ Whatever you did, it worked, it got you here.

Here, two lockdowns later, is it feeling different?

First time around you responded to the pace and change in direction.

Third time around does it now feel like there’s a Tsunami of Uncertainty and that people’s energy levels have dropped? 

Now there’s…

 ‘How do I personally keep going?’, Which are the right opportunities? Should I hunker down? How to be courageous? How to get my team performing better? How to become a better leader in a virtual world? How do I keep my energy levels up? How do I motivate people? Am I really this tired? Can my suppliers keep going?’, What about my clients? What about my team? What’s the point in trying to plan anything? What’s a different way of looking at this?

And a new one seems to come along every day.

If any of that sounds like you, here’s how to build a healthy relationship with PUD.

  • Accept that healthy relationships are emotional, affected by your behaviours, energy levels, financial situation, (mis)communication, external events and perception. What you’re experiencing is the same for everyone. It’s your choice of response which makes the difference.
  • All relationships have phases. Recognise which phase you’re in and what you’re trying to achieve.
  • Be open to the idea that what’s worked before may no longer be relevant and will need to change, that it’s OK not to have all the answers.
  • Define what you really want from your relationship with growth and start asking better questions.

As we’ve said, focus on the Fundamentals. Growth of any sort guarantees one thing and one thing only, and no, it’s not success.

  • Growth guarantees you change.
  • Growth means things are different today from yesterday, and tomorrow will be different from today. That’s change, constant change and how much do you love change?
  • How much do you enjoy having to move at Pace with lots of Uncertainty and perhaps a lack of clear Direction?

Be candid with yourself, really, really candid.

Being candid with yourself? OK now let’s get to work.

There’s a method to building your healthy relationship with growth.

First you need to be consistently working on the best version of you. You also need something that helps you deal with the emotional, personal and business events that go with significant change. 

The method for dealing with PUD is to have … a recipe, which serves two functions.

  • Acts as your safety net so you remember where you are and what happens next. 
  • Bakes in the methods and performance habits that build greater creations.

Doing anything new is change, which is always attached to emotion and that emotion is connected to a vision. Your vision is of a desired outcome, beyond where you are now.

Your recipe is the safety net to catch you when you don’t get it right first time and the emotions of change, learning and ‘success or failure’ kick in. Beyond that it also ensures you capture the learnings so you can adapt and develop.

The recipe, the learnings, the assurance of the safety net means that when you are tired, fed up, questioning yourself, let down by others or wildly optimistic you keep going. Because of your vision you know what is needed and are prepared to pay the price of method, discipline and execution.

Baking in Performance.

You don’t follow one recipe part way through, change to another recipe, then change to yet another one, in the hope it’ll turn out looking like anything other than a beige sludge!

Yet how many times have you seen businesses follow a fad, the latest shinny thing and forget their original recipe all together?

Let me be clear, this is not about denying the realities of the situation. This is about finding ways to realise the vision you had in the first place. The recipe is a process which you can adapt to circumstances and your taste once you’ve mastered its fundamentals.

Otherwise you may fall into the pudding trap. After a few successes with the recipe the temptation is to think “I’ve got this”. You skip a couple of bits, look for the short cuts, give it to  your team to “get on with”. However did you show them all of the recipe and let them practice , do you still check on the quality of the outcome, do you realise when the PUD has changed?

Here’s the real beauty of baking in performance…it establishes what you can go on to build and what those that come after you can create.

Baking in those daily, weekly, monthly performance habits channels yours and your teams energies to be highly effective. 

What do you need to do, right now for the situation facing you and your team?

  • Work out whether your current relationship with growth is healthy.
  • Ask yourself if you’re happy in this relationship.
  • What do you need to do to change it?
  • How and when are you doing that?
  • How much PUD do you have in your business now?
  • Do you need to up the Pace or make it more measured and sustainable? 
  • Do you and your team have the awareness and tools to deal with the levels of Uncertainty?
  • How clear is the Direction of travel for your business and does everyone know it? 
  • Is it simply a case of setting your priorities and executing on them this moment? 

If you need to work on any of those, do one of 3 things:

Contact Charlotte at and book some time with me to discuss your priority in your business.

Book into the webinar about ‘Results in a Sea of Uncertainty’ on the 24th of February.

Download the whitepaper on adaptability.

Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn and let me know what was useful for you specifically.