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The Champion Forum Podcast

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Thank you for listening to The Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! Have you ever looked at another leader or another business and wondered how they are having such great success? I mean, what’s their secret? It could be their leadership style, hiring practices, budgeting control, or any other number of things. But in today’s episode, we’re talking about one key to success that many organizations miss: a growth culture. Healthy disruptions and new ways of thinking are essential to your company’s success, growth, and survival.

1. Allow for and embrace failure.

If you are serious about growth, you need to assess your tolerance for failure. Many companies claim that they are willing to fail, but when an employee makes a decision that has negative consequences, they are punished and held back from future opportunities. As frustrating as failure can be, you have to understand that no one learns if they are successful all the time. They need to recognize the types of failures that turn into success and understand how to recover from failure so it does not define them.

Q: How do you feel when you think about failure? Describe your experiences with failure in your organization. Have your negative or positive experiences with failure shaped the way you respond to new challenges? Why or why not? Which experiences had a larger impact?

2. Provide Strategic Leaders Access to Other Areas

Give strategic leaders the opportunity to work with their peers across the organization by...

1. Identifying your strategic leaders

  • They tend to know the right questions to ask

  • They understand what the organization needs

  • They may not be popular because their ability to question, challenge, and disrupt the status quo can be unsettling to their peers and leaders.

2. Bringing them together

  • Invite them to learn from one another and to explore ways of fostering a more strategic environment in the rest of the organization.

  • Getting fresh eyes on your systems is a great way to foster growth and progress.

Q: Do you prefer working alone or in groups? Why? How would your perspective change if you worked more with people from other departments? What do you think keeps you from discussing your challenges with other people? Describe a time when insight from a person in a different department helped you make a decision or see a problem from a new perspective.

Application Activities

  1. Sometimes leaders are unwilling to foster an environment that embraces mistakes because they do not have a growth mindset. Check out this quiz to determine if you have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset. If you have a fixed mindset, consider how it may affect your willingness to take risks. The next time you want to dismiss an idea because it could fail, ask yourself whether you are disregarding it because you don’t believe you and your team can do it or because it is a genuinely bad idea.

  2. Identify the strategic leaders in your organization or team. What qualities do they have in common? How is each of them unique? Which quality do you think is the most important in each of them? Write that down and then write down what you think they would bring to a group discussion about a problem your organization is having. Looking at the list, do you feel like anything is missing? Are they each bringing a diverse skill or special interest? If not, try to identify another strategic leader to fill the gap.

  3. Spend some time thinking about both what is and what could be. Sometimes leaders get stuck in the mindset that you should not try to fix something that is not broken. However, revisiting old solutions can help you refine your process so that you are better able to adapt when things change in culture or technology. Consider the coronavirus pandemic. How could your company have been better prepared for the pandemic looking back? Consider how you can think ahead so that the next time there is a major shift in the way business is done you are not scrambling to catch up.

Connect with Jeff


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