Home >> February 2015 Edition >> Careers: The Road To The Future... Five Ways To Focus Your Business For Continued Growth
Careers: The Road To The Future... Five Ways To Focus Your Business For Continued Growth
By Bert Sadtler, Senior Contributor


While the satellite communications industry faces challenges, the markets also remain vibrant, robust and ripe with opportunities. At the heart of any successful organization is great talent—people can be the most critical catalyst to growth. Employers need to get it right and make “great hires”—however, getting there is often a complex problem for companies to successfully solve.

An interesting phenomenon to observe is that what initially got a business off the ground then requires a 180 degree shift in focus once that business has achieved critical mass.

Picture this: your firm has matured to being recognized as a functioning, operating, successful business. As important now as it ever was, requiring more than the solo effort of the company owner, is business growth. Growth requires the owner to “let go” of some of the control and ensure the correct talent is in place, allowing s/he or to assign responsibilities to key members of the business—delegation is key.

Some say it’s like “Having the right people sitting in the right seats on the bus.” If it were only that simple. For example, how do you even know that you have the correct people on the bus in the first place?

With the morphing into a leadership direction comes the necessary requirement for structure. Has the business developed and implemented a structured approach for the incorporation of valued talent to ensure a developing and sustained path for growth?

There are five ways to focus your business for growth:

1) Are you and your team currently aligned to address your highest priority business challenge?

• Alignment of staff is critical to optimizing the performance of a business.
​• Alignment can indicate continuity and consistency—everyone needs to be pulling the business’s oars in lockstep and in the same direction.
​• This question also addresses the need for the business to define the highest priority challenge: “What is keeping you up at night?” Define the biggest challenge before you can address and solve that impediment.

2) Do you know what motivates your employees?

​• Let’s not lose sight of the importance of people in your business. Regardless of what the business does, people are needed for the business to be successful.
​• Understand and appreciate that everyone is different and a diverse workforce can be an accelerant for growth.
​• Real leaders are able to recognize that everyone performs at a different level and people are motivated by different goals.
​• In order to maximize performance and drive growth, shouldn’t you invest the time in finding out what is motivating the individuals who report to you?

3) Are you measuring your business’s performance?

​• As the adage goes, “the devil is in the details,” and today, analytics have come a long way to help business leaders understand more about business performance and success metrics.
​• With today’s fast-moving and dynamic marketplace, shouldn’t company goals and objectives be measured in a shorter period than the financial year? Why not try 3 to 6 months, instead of 12?
​• If the business leadership can define the 12 month goals and then parse them into smaller chunks, measuring business performance becomes frequent. With the ability to obtain a performance status snapshot, adjustments can be implemented to insure a successful path forward for ideal performance.
​• “Adjustments” equate to “business agility.” Today, businesses must be more agile than ever to adapt to changes in the marketplace and with their competition.

4)    Are your employees measuring their performance?

​• Once the leadership has implemented a structured approach to measuring performance, then the employees can measure their own performance.
​• Enabling your workforce to “own” their responsibilities can go a long way to improved engagement and productivity.
​• Ideally, every employee is assigned individual goals and objectives that collectively grow the business.
​• With an individual approach, the over-performers are easy to notice and reward, while the under-performers quickly appear in plain sight, proving an opportunity to possibly detect and prevent a problem.
​• The simple assignment of individual goals and measurement of them provides employees with “immediate gratification” when exceptional work is performed and an opportunity for improvement when goals are not met.

5)    Can you “allow” employees to leave?

​• There was a time when employees retired from the same company after a 20 to 30 year career. That was then, this is now. Employees seek growth and change as well as other opportunities with differing companies. Prepare for such changes by having a plan.
​• Recognize that employees today have an average of 3 to 5 years per job and plan accordingly when you can. 
​• Inevitably, your employees will make a change. If you restrict them, they can become your business’s “enemy for life.” If you can support their change, they could be a great asset as an employee for a partnering business. 
​• Remember, the business culture that “let’s an employee leave” is likely to grow by giving away control in order to gain more.

Regardless of what the business is that you are running, your success depends on the “correct talent in place,” the ability to motivate your talent on an individual basis, a structure to measure performance and, most importantly, the ability for leadership to “give away control” in order to gain growth.

There are many cases of employees who have brought their employer significant value when the employee was offered more opportunity. One example is for the employee to be held accountable for the completion of responsibilities while simultaneously also being given some autonomy. This setting has proven to develop successful leaders/managers.

A second example is developing a corporate culture for employees to leave your employment. “Business divorce” has become a normal course of business these days. Holding onto an employee may offer your business a temporary advantage, but such is not long term thinking. In the long run, your business should have a structured succession program and come to expect that the best talent will be recruited away. You can’t keep everyone forever. Additionally, should a valued employee accept an employment opportunity with, say, a business partner or with a company with whom you do business, such could prove to be quite valuable to your growth plans.

Back to the point... are you truly ready to give away control to others in order to grow your business?

Good hunting!

Boxwood is a management, consulting and recruiting firm with offices in the Washington D.C. region and also in the Greater Tampa Bay Region in Florida. As a dedicated, consulting resource to employers, Boxwood develops strategies for organizational growth through performance rewards, as well as the evaluation and acquisition of critical talent. Market sectors include: SATCOM, Government Contracting, Communications and Technology.

Bert Sadtler is an invited speaker to discuss the shift in the employer’s performance-based compensation models as well as the changing paradigm toward acquiring critical, senior level talent. Bert can be reached at: BertSadtler@BoxwoodSearch.com