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Careers, The Road To The Future— Growing Your Business To The Next Level
By Bert Sadtler, Senior Contributor


Do you remember the 1984 science fiction movie “Terminator”? Think of the Cyborg Assassin as the singularly focused force determined to keep your business from growing.

In the movie, The Terminator arrived from the future to terminate the life of Sarah Connor. Nothing could stop that thing!

Kyle Reese, soldier in the human resistance from the post-apocalyptic future, came to the rescue of Sarah Connor. During one of the many attempts by the terminator to kill Sarah, Kyle said, “Come with me if you want to live.”

The audience knew this was Sarah’s best option. However, Sarah Connor accepted Kyle’s help on nothing more than blind faith, at best.

For a business to reach a level of success today, leadership has to overcome tremendous odds and must listen to that inner voice that drowns out all the distractions that say, “this won’t work.” 

Once the business has reached critical mass, the forces of stagnation arrive to attack and retard growth. The business terminator is knocking at the door. If he can’t get in on the first try, don’t worry, “he’ll be back!”

This is a pivotal point for many businesses. What to do?

For most companies, the way forward is through having the correct talent. Some business leaders feel that managers who once meant so much to the company in the early stages of development have earned the employer’s loyalty. This level of emotion can blind the leadership from seeing the business objectively. The business’s status quo is the best friend of the business terminator. Remember, without Kyle Reese, Sarah Connor would not have made it out alive.

While the unstoppable force of the business terminator is doing everything possible to slow the growth of the business, there is an answer that says “Come with me if you want to live.”  This is a frightening option that absolutely requires blind faith.

Think about the skills and attributes needed by key employees during the earliest stages of the business. Now that the business has grown, have those required skills and attributes changed in order for growth to reach the next level?

Of course, the requirements to attain the next level are quite different than those need at the earlier business stages. While this is a hard choice for many business leaders, developing a process and approach to add new skills is a clear path forward.

In some cases, the original leadership team is no longer as excited with their roles once the company has reached a more substantial stage. This is a delicate area. Nobody said that growing a business was easy. Hard decisions are required if you want to defeat the terminator.

Perhaps using a 1980’s era science fiction movie may be an extreme way to offer a business comparison. However, thinking your business will prosper with clients simply falling into your lap only happens in fairy tales, not real life.

In reality, hard choices and sacrifices have to be made everyday for a business to experience growth and prosperity. 

The terminator of your business is lurking around your door. Have you developed a plan for your business to succeed as you move toward the future? Have you thought about the sacrifices that may be needed?

For example, in the movie “Terminator,” hero Kyle Reese—while saving the life of Sarah Connor—is killed by the cyborg assassin.

Have you invested the time in your employees to ensure they understand what is required for the company’s growth to occur? Does your business have career paths for employee development and success? Are you prepared to address the hard decisions that will be necessary concerning employees who are unable to develop or advance with the growth structure of the company?

The “sacrifice” or tough business decision could mean that an employee who was once highly productive during an earlier phase of your company is no longer effective dealing with the tasks necessary to help the business forge ahead.

Growth may require acquiring new talent that is capable of supporting the company as it steps forward into additional growth areas—employees who could only succeed in a smaller business setting need to be transitioned to other career paths.

Running away from the business terminator is not a solution—that is a reaction. What is the plan your business has developed that implements a focus on growth each and every day?

Good hunting!

Editor’s note:
Opening image is courtesy of Universal Studios from their Terminator 2 feature film.

Bert Sadtler is the President of Boxwood Search and a Senior Contributor for SatMagazine—There is a ongoing battle for senior level talent. A great hire can make a long term positive impact and a failed hire can prove to be very expensive. How does a company recruit and hire the right talent? It is more than just networking within the community of friends and business associates. It requires focusing on results through a process oriented approach. We are committed to reaching a successful outcome. Our recruitment method has repeatedly proven to deliver very qualified senior talent. Contact Bert at BertSadtler@BoxwoodSearch.com for more information.