Growing the top line!
I was talking to a CEO yesterday who said, and I agreed, “5 years ago we were looking for leaders who were able to take costs out of businesses. ” That was the focus then. “Now we have become good at it. Now, we are looking for people who can grow the top line.” I was thinking of the people who were successful at costs cutting. Will they be as good in the growth mode? How does one keep up?
Growing the top line has a nice ring to it though. Let’s face it. Growing is better than cutting. Nobody will argue with that. I can’t help but see the analogy with coaching. Growing the top line is to the business what coaching is to the individual; it allows you to reinvest in self, ensures sustainability, builds strength and offers more possibilities, provided your costs are under control. In the end, it creates wealth.
Costs cutting and growing the top line are constant considerations in a business, however they take turns at being the focus of attention. Companies never take their eyes off them.
Coaching often has a different focus. It still tends to be used sporadically by some companies. It is not thought of as the growth engine that it is too often. We know that if you change the behavior you will change the outcome. It is true for individuals, it is also true for companies. When your business needs to go through cycles, so do your employees.
Would it be easier for them, and for the business, if the focus was on the employees first? Would they then be better equipped to lead the business through whatever cycle it needs to go through? If the employees’ growth is part of the vision and the strategic plan in the same way as the top line is, I am willing to bet the employees will lead the top line and not the other way around.
How you lead yourself, and others, matters.