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Watch 2022 online sermons » Craig Groeschel » Craig Groeschel - Defeating the Four Enemies of Growth, Part 1

Craig Groeschel - Defeating the Four Enemies of Growth, Part 1


Craig Groeschel - Defeating the Four Enemies of Growth, Part 1
Craig Groeschel - Defeating the Four Enemies of Growth, Part 1
TOPICS: Leadership Podcast

I've got good news and bad news for you. The good news is this, you can grow your organization, it's really really good news. You can, through your leadership, increase revenue, grow profit, increase your market share, expand your influence, your reach and your impact, you can grow your organization, that's the good news. The bad news is, you're not likely to sustain continued growth. It's very unlikely over a period of years and decades that you'll continually see growth up and to the right. Now this may sound obvious, but your organization will not grow automatically, year over year. In fact, I like what John Maxwell says, he says, "Change is inevitable, growth is optional".

No matter how revolutionary your last initiative was, no matter how brilliant you are at customer service, no matter how passionate you are about your church's mission, growth is never automatic. It's never ever guaranteed, why? Because organizations don't drift toward growth. Instead, they drift toward complacency, complexity and decline. I always tell our team this, if you're not intentionally preparing for growth, you're unintentionally preparing for decline. Let me say it again, if you're not intentionally preparing for growth, you're unintentionally preparing for decline. Now, before we look at the four things you need to do in order to grow your organization, let's start with the opposite and we're gonna clearly define the four enemies of growth. What are those enemies?

Enemy number one is unnecessary complexity.

Number two is an unscalable process.

Number three is unhealthy mindsets.

Number four would be underdeveloped leaders. The four enemies of growth, unnecessary complexity, unscalable processes, unhealthy mindsets, and underdeveloped leaders.

Let's talk about these briefly, then we'll talk about the opposite, how we break through and defeat these enemies. Number one, unnecessary complexity. What do we know about complexity? Complexity is the silent killer of growth. What do we know about organizations? The natural evolution of any organization always moves toward complexity. No one ever says, well, we doubled in size and now things are way more simple than they were in the past. What does growth do? Growth creates complexity and complexity kills growth. That's why we gotta the enemy of unnecessary complexity. Number two is what I call an unscalable process. Imagine if you can, if you're listening, picture a three legged stool. So you got this seat on the top and then you've got three legs that would be supporting the seat.

Now for the stool to grow higher, each of the three legs need to grow equally and continue to be equally strong. In other words if one of the three legs isn't growing at an equal pace, the stool can't grow and won't be steady. Unfortunately, too many organizations stop growing because of what I call an unscalable process. One or more of the legs that drive the growth isn't growing and that's stalling your progress in your organization. What are the enemies? Number one, unnecessary complexity, number two is an unscalable process, number three would be unhealthy mindsets. What do we know about unhealthy mindsets? Unhealthy mindsets create unhealthy organizations. Unfortunately, unhealthy mindsets come in all flavors, varieties, shapes and sizes, I'll give you a bunch of examples.

Leaders might be complacent, and they're comfortable with success, bad mindset. They might avoid risks and play it safe, they don't take any chances. They might be proud and arrogant, instead of being hungry to learn, they think they know it all. Maybe they believe what used to work is always going to work, the problem, nothing fails like success. Maybe leaders are misdiagnosing the problem, maybe they're misreading the market, maybe they're misjudging morale. They might be chasing a competitor, they might be defensive, disengaged, distracted, the problem is, unhealthy mindsets create unhealthy organizations. There's the old quote that a bad mindset is like a flat tire, you can't go anywhere until you change it. There's unnecessary complexity, there's the unscalable process, there's unhealthy mindsets, and number four, the enemy is underdeveloped leaders.

What do we know? I've said it a million times, the potential of your organization rests on the strength of its leaders. The problem is as your organization grows, it often outgrows certain leaders. If you have underdeveloped leaders on your team, if you have incapable leaders, they will eventually hold you back. If you don't help them grow, or, unfortunately, let them go, they will be the lid to your progress. So let's review, the four enemies of growth. They are, unnecessary complexity, unscalable processes, unhealthy mindsets and underdeveloped leaders. Let's look at the strategies to defeat these four enemies. What are the four things your organization needs to grow? I'll tell you where we're going. In the rest of this episode, we're gonna drill down into defeating the first enemy of growth.

In next month's episode, we're gonna talk about how to kill the other three enemies of growth. Today, let's dive into the first one, we're gonna talk about how to kill unnecessary complexity, how do we defeat this enemy? The first thing we need to do is we need to fight for simple structure. In our organizations, as leaders, whatever you do, fight for organizational simplicity, never ever surrender to unnecessary complexity. What do we know about growth? Growth complexity, the problem is, complexity kills growth. So when I say let's fight for organizational simplicity. You may ask, what do you mean by organizational simplicity? I would define it this way, organizational simplicity is the achievement of maximum results with minimum effort and investment. Organizational simplicity is the achievement of maximum results with minimum effort and investment. In other words, we're doing more with fewer resources and less time invested. It's a simple process that drives us and leads us toward growth.

Now, why do our organizations become more complex? The problem is that if you're growing, things just get more complicated, growth creates complexity. If you've been with a growing organization, and you started with it, like I did, in the beginning, in the beginning everything is simple. In other words, when I had two employees, I could call them both in, you could group text your whole team now, but when you grow to 20 employees, communication naturally becomes more complicated. What tends to happen? Someone might make a mistake, so someone else creates a policy. Then someone else is late, and so you create a new rule, then someone forgets something so you need extra checks and balances, you add some paperwork. Someone overlooks an issue, so one day you decide two different departments need to sign off on something.

Over time, what used to be easy, is now really really hard. What used to be fast, now is slow and takes a lot of time. It's the natural progression of organizations. Organizations never grow towards simplicity. That's why one of your top roles as a leader is this, you must kill complexity or complexity will kill growth. I promise you, this is so important, this something that we're working on in our organization right now, you as a leader, you must kill complexity or complexity will kill growth. The problem is in our organizations, if they operate with complexity, they cannot operate with speed, and slow moving organizations never experience rapid growth.

So what are we going to look for to lead with simplicity? We're gonna watch for two barriers to organizational simplicity. The first one is this, we're gonna look for unnecessary rules, policies, layers, or meetings. As a leader, you will for anything that slows the pace, anything that complicates the process. And you're gonna do your best to eliminate organizational slack. Now, if you wanna learn more about organizational slack, you can go to episodes 59 and 61, where I talk about organizational slack in detail. You may say, well I don't know where the slack is. Let me promise you this, your team knows where it says. And they're very very frustrated by it. If you ask your team, they'll tell you all the places where they fell like there's unnecessary steps and complicated bureaucracy. What do you wanna do? You wanna passionately remove any unnecessary layers, you wanna streamline communication, you wanna build lean, effective teams.

So what are you watching for? As a leader you're watching for any unnecessary rules, policies, layers, or meetings, and then number two, you're also watching for low value activities or distractions. Anywhere you see activities that maybe used to be effective, but they don't really add value now, or it's just something that's spinning emotion or energy towards something that's a distraction. Now, in the early years, it's really really easy to stay focused because if you don't stay focused, you die as an organization. The problem is, as you grow, as you mature, as you become more successful, you genuinely have more resources, you have more flexibility, therefore you have more options. I wanna beg you, don't confuse activity with productivity. Busy doesn't not equal effective. Just because you can do a bunch of different things, doesn't mean you should do a bunch of different things. This is where great organizations lose their greatness, where they start doing things that are not really adding value.

So as a leader, what you wanna do is you wanna work ruthlessly to eliminate low value activities. Now, I'm gonna dump a lot of information on you, so you may wanna jot this down and then you wanna dive in and do everything you can to accomplish what I'm about to say. Please, work to remove unnecessary layers. Streamline all communication. Empower lower level leaders and eliminate everything that slows progress. Removed unnecessary layers, wherever there's something bogging things down, streamline all communications so what you say goes to who needs to know, is effective and easy to understand. Empower lower level leaders so you don't need a bunch of rules but you have people applying their wisdom to make the processes move faster. And then wherever you see anything that slows progress, eliminate it.

What are you gonna do? You're gonna wanna delayer the organization and reduce as many unnecessary steps as possible. I tell our team all the time, you're gonna wanna do these five things. Work as hard as you can to kill a rule, cut a meeting, remove a policy, empower a person and repeat the process. Do it over and over again. You're never gonna get it right, you're always look to any place, you can kill a rule, cut a meeting, remove a policy, empower a person, then repeat the process and keep working and finding for organizational simplicity, why? Because organizations never ever stumble into simplicity. What does growth do? Growth creates complexity, and complexity kills growth. That's why as a leader, you must kill complexity or complexity will kill growth.

Now there are three more enemies of growth and we're gonna talk in detail about those in the next episode, remember there's the unscalable processes, there's unhealthy mindsets, and there's undeveloped leaders. And next month's episode is going to be power packed with lots of content to defeat these four enemies of growth. Hang with me until the end because I wanna get to the application questions. You can discuss with your team, first let's review, and then we will apply. What do we know? Growth is never automatic, it's never guaranteed. Organizations don't drift toward growth, they drift toward complacency, complexity, and decline. The bad news is, if you're not intentionally preparing for growth, you're unintentionally preparing for decline. As a leader, you want to do everything you can to prepare for growth.

Now, we talked about the four enemies, what are they? Unnecessary complexity, complexity is the silent killer of growth, growth creates complexity, and complexity kills growth. There's the unscalable process, in the next episode, we're gonna talk about how you identify your growth drivers. Those legs of the stool that empower you to grow. We aren't just trying to grow, what we're trying to do is we're trying to scale, we want exponential growth and impact. Then, there's the enemy, unhealthy mindsets. What do we know? Unhealthy mindsets create unhealthy organizations. And then the fourth enemy of growth is underdeveloped leaders.

As your organization grows, it often outgrows certain leaders. If you have underdeveloped or incapable leaders, they will hold you back. If you don't help them grow or let them go, they will become the lid for progress. So in this episode we're attacking enemy number one, unnecessary complexity. How do we fight it? We fight unnecessary complexity with a very simple and streamlined structure. As a leader, what are you going to do? You're gonna fight for organizational simplicity because growth creates complexity, and complexity kills growth. The two big barriers that we're watching for as leaders, we're scanning our organization and we're looking for unnecessary rules, policies, layers, or meetings. We're also looking for any kind of low value activities or distractions.

What are we gonna do? We're gonna remove unnecessary layers, we're going to streamline all communication, we're gonna empower all of our leaders. We're gonna eliminate everything that slows progress. How will we do this? We'll kill a rule, we're cut an unnecessary meeting, we'll remove a policy, we'll empower an person and we'll do that over and over again in our leadership. Because organizations never stumble into simplicity. What does growth do? Growth creates complexity and complexity kills growth, so please listen to me, your job is to kill the complexity or the complexity will the growth. Let's apply this in our organizations and I'll give you some reflection and discussion questions around the theme of complexity.

Number one, ask yourself this, where is any inefficiency hindering your growth? Look at your organization, or look at your team, and ask yourself, where is any inefficiency hindering growth? It might be rules, it might be bureaucracy, it might be policy, it might be layers, it might be meetings. If you don't know, here's a little hint and this is dangerous, but effective, ask your team, "What are we doing that frustrates you, takes too much time, or slows your progress"? I promise you, if you ask your team, and listen to them, there might be little things that make a really big difference, they might say, you copy too many people on emails and that slows me down. Or too many people have to sign off on something and I have to wait a week before I can get anything done. Or there might be slow lines of communication or no lines of communication, or overcommuncation that bogs people down. There may be too many boring, inefficient, ineffective meetings, just discussing and not acting. If you ask your people, they will tell you.

Question number one, where is any inefficiency hindering growth? Question number two, what specifically will you work on to simplify immediately? What specifically, what are you gonna do? What meeting are you gonna kill? What rule are you going to change? What policy are you going to eliminate? Very specifically, what will you eliminate, reduce, condense or consolidate? This is really important, and I hope that you'll have three things, five things, maybe more. What will you eliminate, reduce, condense, or consolidate? You might stop doing a low value project and reallocate your resources to something more important. Maybe you'll meet twice a month, instead of weekly, and have more vibrant and productive meetings. Maybe you'll send an email, instead of having face to face meetings that break the rhythm of everybody's day. But please ask these questions often. Where's there an inefficiency? And what are you gonna do about it? Because hopefully you're experiencing growth. If you're not, you maybe overly complex.

Let's simplify our organizations, so that they can grow and we can make a even bigger difference. I'm gonna tell you a sincere thank you for being a part of our leader podcast, again, it would mean the world to me if you'd write a review, or rate this podcast wherever you consume the content, and then talk about it, invite people, go through this content with your coworkers or your friends. We talk about it all the time, there's a lot of pressure on leaders, I feel it all the time. You don't have to be perfect, you don't have to be know it all, just show up, bring the real you. We say it and it goes like this, be yourself, because people would rather follow a leader who's always real than one who is always right.
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