Craig Groeschel - Defeating the Four Enemies of Growth, Part 2
Today, let's talk about defeating the enemies of growth. We'll do a brief review from the last episode and we'll dive into new content. What do we know about growth? Growth is never automatic, is never guaranteed. Organizations don't drift toward growth, they drift toward complacency, complexity and decline. In other words, if you're not intentionally preparing for growth, you're unintentionally preparing for decline. We talked about the four enemies of growth. Number one, unnecessary complexity. Complexity is the silent killer of growth. Growth creates complexity and complexity kills growth. The second enemy, is an unscalable process.
Today we're gonna talk about the growth drivers that help you scale up. Number three, is an unhealthy mindset. They're all over our organizations, the problem is unhealthy mindsets, create unhealthy organizations. Then the fourth enemy is underdeveloped leaders. As your organization grows, unfortunately, you will outgrow some leaders. If you have underdeveloped or incapable leaders, they will become the lid to your progress. In the last episode, we attacked enemy number one, unnecessary complexity. And we talked about fighting it with a simple structure. What do you do as leaders, you fight for organizational simplicity, because growth creates complexity and complexity kills growth. Therefore, as a leader, you must kill complexity or complexity will kill growth. We're looking for two different barriers to organizational simplicity. We're looking for unnecessary rules, policies, layers or meetings.
And we're also looking for low value activities or distractions. What are we gonna do? We're gonna remove unnecessary layers. We're going to streamline communication. We're gonna empower lower level leaders, and we're gonna eliminate everything that slows progress. How do we do it? We'll kill a rule, cut a meeting, remove a policy and empower a person because organizations never stumble into simplicity. Growth creates complexity and complexity kills growth. Therefore, we must kill complexity or complexity will kill our growth. Let's look at new content for this episode. We'll start with the second enemy of growth, and it's a phrase that I call unscalable process. An unscalable process marks the beginning of the end. So to defeat this enemy, we need what I call a definable growth flow, a definable growth flow. What we wanna do is we wanna clearly define the drivers that will help us scale up, we need to clearly define them because if you cannot define them, you cannot accomplish them.
Now, scaling an organization is incredibly complicated, to be really, really clear, growing an organization is different than scaling an organization. Growth increases revenue and resources at a similar pace. But when an organization scales, it increases revenue or impact at an exponential rate. What do we know? Some organizations may accidentally kind of grow, but you're never going to scale without a definable growth flow. Now, here's your assignment. As leaders, what you wanna do, and this is important for every type of organization is you wanna name your growth drivers. What are those drivers that will propel you forward? It's my theory that you'll have somewhere between three to seven growth drivers. These are the ingredients necessary for you to scale up in organization.
Lemme give you a hint, what they're gonna be. They're gonna be revolving around the people in your organization. They will be revolving around the systems in your organization. And they will have something to do with your economic engine, I can promise you in every organization, there's gotta be a financial driver, a systematic driver, and people driver, what are the things that you need to do to scale up? Now, lemme try to explain it from my personal context. If you don't know what I do, I'm a pastor of a church that currently meets in 35 locations in 11 different states. We've grown from 10 to 35 in a relatively short period of time, we're scaling up. In our organization, we have five growth drivers. These are the five things that need to be happening at the exact same pace. If any one of these lags, then we cannot scale up. I'll give you mine but I wanna promise you yours will be different. What do we need to scale up to meet in multiple locations as a church?
Well, the first growth driver is gonna be we need places to meet, we need buildings or we need land, we need a place to meet. The second thing we need is we need to be able to pay for it. In other words, if you can't pay the bills, you can't show back up. The third thing we need is we need leaders or pastors, we need to have the team that's there to manage, to lead, to inspire, to empower the churches. The fourth thing that we need is we need church members. We need people who are worshiping God, we need people who are growing and serving and contributing and praying and inviting. And then we need to support these growing drivers. We need the systems in place to accurately grow to pastorally care for our leaders and the people there, we need the systems in place. So, we need building the land. We need the financial model, the funding, we need to be developing the leaders. We need church members and we need to be supporting them adequately. Those are the five growth drivers. Those are incredibly difficult to do all at the same time.
In other words, we've gotta be having our leadership pipeline strong with some 80 or 90 different leaders in our leadership pipeline, to start five or six new locations this year, we need to have the funding or we'll be in trouble. We need to have people show up at these churches, we need to get buildings out of the ground. And we need to scale up in our systems to care for those people. Here's my promise. Once you identify your growth drivers, you will likely have one or two that are almost always lagging behind. This is why it's so important for you to identify what those are, when you can define them, then you can attack them, for example, in our case, believe it or not, we have the leadership pipeline, which took us years to build. We have enough people coming as we're starting them. The thing that was not happening for us is we're not getting buildings out of the ground fast enough.
So, we recognize that is holding us back. We put more people toward this team, more resources toward this team, beefed up our land acquisition, beefed up our building strategy. And now that leg of the stool, that driver is equal to the others. And now we're able to start scaling up again, you'll wanna clearly define what are those growth drivers for your organization, you'll probably have no fewer than three. If you have more than seven, I would argue you're probably over complicating it, somewhere around four or five is likely, you wanna clearly define what those are. And then as a leader, you measure them. You can't grow if one of those legs of the stool isn't stable, isn't strong, isn't growing with the rest of those, clearly define what you need in your organization to scale up. If you can't define it, you can't accomplish it.
The third enemy of growth is what we call unhealthy mindsets. Now, I don't have to tell you this because I promise you've seen it in your organizations. There's unhealthy mindsets, all around. How do you defeat this enemy? You defeat it with what some have called a growth mindset. You want a growth mindset. Now, I wanna mention two books that helped influence my thinking on this subject. There's the book called "The Founder's Mindset" by Zook and Allen, subtitle, "How to Overcome the Predictable Crises of Growth". Then there's the book called "Mindset," which is a must read by Carol Dweck, "The New Psychology of Success". What do we know about our mindset? Our mindset determines our direction. How we think in as, in an organization determines how we can grow, change or succeed.
Now Dweck, in her book talks about the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. A fixed mindset believes like we're good at certain things, and not good at other things. A growth mindset believe we can get better, fixed, a person is gonna say I'm not good at this or as an organization, we're not good at this. A growth mindset though, is gonna say, I'm not good at this yet. Or as an organization, we're not good at this yet. Why is this so important? Just as a person has what we call a self-esteem, a positive self-esteem, a negative self-esteem, maybe they're insecure, whatever. Organizations also have an identity, I would call organizational esteem. It's how we see ourselves as a team, how we think, how we think determines how we behave. If you wanna change your organization, change how people think. If people have a fixed mindset, we're not good at this. We're never gonna grow as an organization.
For example, some leaders might think attack, other leaders might think protect. Some leaders might have a bias toward risk. Others have a bias toward not failing. There's a big difference in where your organization is gonna end up with different mindsets. Side note, you never become great by playing it safe if you're wondering how I feel about risk. Now, I'm gonna give you my version of "The Founder's Mindset". If you want to look at the accurate version of the original authors read the book by Zook and Allen, this is based on my memory, my own opinions, my own thoughts, but the idea originates with Zook and Allen, there's five things that in my own language I want to have in the mindsets of our leaders. What are those five things? I want a bias for action. I want bold leadership. I want defiant stubbornness. I want leaders who think like owners, and I want an obsessive focus. If I'm trying to drive the mindset of our leaders, I want a bias for action.
In other words, we're always gonna fail somewhere along the way, but when we fail we wanna fail being active not passive. I want bold leadership. I want our leaders to believe in limitless horizons, not afraid of failure because growth and comfort never ever coexist. I want defiant stubbornness. I want an aversion to bureaucracy. I don't want anybody to tell me something can't be done, we will find a way to get it done. Also, I want our leaders to think like owners, we wanna think like owners not managers, I did a whole podcast on this. We don't see problems, we see opportunities, we own the outcome. And then finally, the mindset I want is I want an obsessive focus. We don't grow with our yeses over time, we grow with our nos, we have the discipline not to do everything.
So we're gonna do the things that add the most value. These are the mindsets that I would interpret from "The Founder's Mindset" I'm trying to drive, bias for action, bold leadership, defiant stubbornness, thinking like owners and obsessive focusedness. In other words, we're not sharing a blueprint, we're spreading a mindset. This is how we think, this is what we believe about ourselves. As an organization, we may not be good at it, yet we can grow. We have a growth mindset. Look at your organization. Is the mindset fixed? Or is it growing? We need a growth mindset to defeat the bad negative mindsets that hold us back.
Let's talk about the fourth enemy of growth. The fourth enemy is underdeveloped people, underdeveloped leaders, if your organization outgrows its leaders and any growing organization outgrows a few, those leaders become the lead to progress. The key to success in any organization is always identifying and developing the right leaders. This is the most important thing, I've said it a million times the potential of your organization rests on the strength of its leaders. Now, if you want more content on developing leaders, check out episode 24. One of the big thoughts about developing leaders is this, people always ask you where do you find great leaders, I always say, we don't find them, we build them. Then we empower them to lead and we let them lead. As a leader, look at the people around you and ask yourself, are you giving them permission to fail? Are you giving them the adequate, important necessary feedback to grow? And then are you getting out of their way and letting them lead and giving them opportunities, giving them room to rise?
Let's talk about these three in detail, permission to fail. This is so important. We have to give our teams permission to fail because growth always involves the risk of failure. What we need to do as leaders is we need to help our leaders get out of their comfort zones. Try something new, stretch, spread their wings and find and develop untapped leadership muscles that exist in their bodies. What do we know? Growth and comfort never coexist. We have to give them permission to fail. Now, what do we know as development of leaders? Remember, people grow best while they're in the game. Many organizations, they make the mistake of saying we need to build a program to develop our leaders.
Now, don't create a separate pathway. That's really stupid in my opinion, this undervalues the growth that happens in the normal course of the day to day job, stretch people where they are, we don't have a growth track or a developmental strategy for our leaders. Our whole organization is about developing leaders. It's not something we do on Tuesdays is something that we do all the time. It's not even just something we do. It's who we are. Besides, we don't want like little junior developing leaders on their growth track. We want our whole organization. We're all on the growth track. I'm on the growth track. We're all helping develop each other. Lemme say this way. Growing leaders is not a program. It's burned into our culture. It's not something we do on the side. It's the heart of everything we do to develop our leaders. It's not what we do, it's who we are.
So, a simple strategy and a simple tool. Let's start with the strategy. Here's your strategy. Don't just see people as a means to get something done. Hey, go do this for me. Don't just see people as a means to get something done. See getting things done as a tool for developing people, see it as a means to developing people. In fact, my friend, Andy Stanley, who has a great leadership podcast, he says two of the greatest words you can give to your team would be, you decide, someone comes and says, hey, what do you think about this? And you just put it back on them, you decide, you decide, what are you doing, you're not just giving them something to do, you're putting them in an environment where they make decisions where they grow as a leader. Now, what if they get it wrong, they're gonna get it wrong, sometimes. That's how they grow. We're not seeking perfection, what we're doing is we're seeking growth.
Now, when you empower people, you must endure what I call the developmental dip. In other words, you may be able to do it at a level nine, they're gonna do it at six, there's a dip in performance, but you have to push through the dip to discover their potential of performance, they may be able to perform at a 11 one day, way better than you even thought possible. So, if you're gonna focus on one thing of all that we talked about, and you're only gonna focus on one thing, please focus on making your leaders great. Why? Develop your people, develop your people, because great leaders they're gonna do four things. Great leaders will simplify your organization. Great leaders will create a definable growth flow. They'll drive the right growth mindsets and your other leaders, and they will continue to develop other leaders.
What do we know? Great leaders grow great organizations. What I wanna do is I wanna get personal with you. I'm gonna hold that till the end. But first, let's review. What do we know, an unscalable process marks the beginning of the end. To defeat this enemy, we need a definable growth flow. We're gonna clearly define what we need in order to scale up. This is an assignment for you. You're gonna name your three to seven growth drivers. We know they'll probably involve people, systems and your economic engine. If you can't define them, you cannot accomplish them. The third mindset we talked about that is the enemy is the unhealthy mindset, we defeat that enemy with the growth mindset. Our mindset determines direction, how we think determines how we behave. We don't have a fixed mindset, we have a growth mindset. We don't say I'm not good at this, we're not good at this. We say we're not good at this yet. We can grow, we can get better. Because just as a person has a self-esteem, our team has an organizational esteem. And we want our team to think like leaders to think that we can grow.
If you wanna change organization, change how people think, what are my big drivers in the mindset, a bias for action when we fail, we'll fail aggressively. Bold leadership, defiant stubbornness, thinking like owners and obsessive focus. The fourth enemy of growth is the underdeveloped leaders. And so we're gonna have a growing pipeline of growing leaders because the key to success in any organization is identifying and developing the right leaders. We're gonna give them permission to fail. Help them get out of their comfort zones. We aren't seeking perfection, we're seeking growth. We will endure the developmental dip if we focus on only one thing. We're gonna focus on making our people great.
What do great leaders do. Great leaders simplify your organization. They create a definable growth flow. They drive growth mindsets, and they continue to develop other leaders, great leaders create great organizations. To get a little bit personal with your right now, this is in the middle of what I'm working with with our team. Our organization is approaching the 25 year mark. And we have seen mostly consistent growth for 25 year period. This is incredibly rare. It's really really rare to see an organizational have multiple decades of continuance and sustained growth. Right now we're in a little bit of a flatter season, this tends to happen. What'll happen is you'll grow, you'll stabilize, you'll grow, you'll stabilize, and we're in a stabilization place.
So, what I'm doing as a leader is I'm looking at these different enemies. In our personal organization, one of the enemies that we have right now is complexity. I just did a whole talk for our staff to work on simplifying, simplifying, simplifying, what I wanna do is I just wanna tell you this stuff isn't easy. I'm 25 years into it, and I work on this thing just like you do. You may say, well, we're a business not a church. What I find is when I speak at corporations and work with CEOs, you're facing the very same things. Leadership is leadership wherever you are. As a leader, if you don't wanna look at it, think about it, analyze it, meet with your other leaders.
Don't believe for a minute you cannot grow. You have what it takes to solve problems. Your greatest asset will be the people around you, invest in them. Right now, I'm digging deep. I'm working with our best leaders. We are simplifying, we're making sure we have all the growth drivers. We're driving the right mindset. And we're continuing to develop leaders like crazy. And I promise you from my context with God's help, we will continue to grow. Believe you can, believe you will.
Discussion questions and reflection number one, name your growth drivers. Name them, what are they? If you can't define them, you cannot accomplish them.
Question number two, what mindset needs to change organizationally? What mindset needs to change organizationally? And then what will you do to drive a growth mindset? It's not going to happen accidentally, you as a leader must lead to it.
Number three, on a scale of one to 10, how strong is your leadership development culture? I want to be honest, not the little program on the side, your culture, it's not something we do, it's who we are. On a scale of one to 10, how strong is your leadership development culture? Now, once you answer that my follow up is this. If it's lower than a nine, what are you going to do about it? This is the most important thing you do. You develop people and people build great organizations. If it's lower than a nine, what are you gonna do about it?
These are really big questions. I hope you'll work on these with your leadership team and the people around you. I wanna wrap up by saying a big thank you to those of you that share on social media, invite others to be a part of our community. Be back with you next month for brand new content. I know there's pressure on you, you feel like you have to know it all. No, you don't, be yourself because people rather follow a leader who is always real, and one who is always right.