Scale-up companies’ seemingly competitive business priorities include delivering releases while maintaining quality, ensuring stability while providing innovation, and developing people while delivering results. OneEleven’s Leadership Sprint, led by Executive Core, has been teaching emerging leaders to balance these priorities through a ‘both/and’ approach, and to support their workforce through an executive mindset.
Balance is a critical executive mindset to develop in people transitioning from individual contributor to leadership roles. While individual contributors can focus on one priority, leaders must balance their team’s efforts to yield enterprise-level results. This capacity is rare—our study of supervisor-level employee engagement data, 360-degree feedback surveys, financial results, performance reviews, and career profiles show that few leaders demonstrate this capacity, but those that do deliver significantly better results.
Enterprise Leaders serve as a catalyst to ensure that people are pushing work forward and also helping team members develop by doing their best work possible right now. While this approach is important for every organization, it’s a critical leadership skill in OneEleven’s scale-up businesses. Scale-up firms rely on relatively small teams of talented people. Leaders need to develop all their talent to take on ever-increasing responsibilities—they need to constantly mentor and develop tomorrow’s leaders within their rapidly growing companies.
Among the priorities, balancing stability and creativity/innovation might be one of the most important factors supporting the business’ success in scaling up. Stability ensures that product gets delivered, core customer needs are met and managed, and essential business operations run smoothly. Stability is essential, and yet scale-up firms exist due to their founders’ radically creative ideas; the ideas that allowed them to compete in new ways or open entirely new markets. These creative advantages that must be continuously nurtured.
Leaders can support this both/and approach by utilizing the tools they learned throughout OneEleven’s Leadership Sprint. They learned to practice executive awareness, create psychological safety, engage the four power tools of influence, and balance listening and asserting. Their strengthened skillsets support workforce cultures that appreciate the past while also fostering a welcoming environment for vulnerability, courage, uncertainty, and managed risk. Their skills support growth.
This content piece was contributed by Executive Core, an organization that specializes in Executive Coaching, Executive Assessment, Executive Education, Team Assessment, Team Alignment, and Onboarding and Succession Strategy