There is a simple business truth: poor leadership leads to poor returns and growth. I’ve yet to see a high-growth, thriving company that has poor leaders.

Leadership is at the heart of business growth, so here’s a quick quiz for you take and see if you are demonstrating the skills and attributes of a Growth Leader.

I have 10 statements – see how many you can answer ‘Yes’ to.

  1. You have a medium-term performance goal – over and above your current year’s budget – that significantly raises the bar on current performance and drives your ongoing actions.
  2. Over 25% of your revenues and profits come from products, services or customers that weren’t part of your business three years ago.
  3. Customers rate your business highly on its ability to be both innovative and customer-focused
  4. You have just a handful – say 3 – growth objectives that drive the focus of your activities and initiatives.
  5. You have a simple but systematic approach across your business for rapidly and cheaply sourcing, developing, testing, improving and rolling out new growth initiatives.
  6. You expect and welcome failure with new product and service prototypes as a route to ultimate success.
  7. Your team are specifically targeted, reviewed and held accountable for their efforts in driving new growth.
  8. Your recruitment of new managers is primarily targeted on those that can best demonstrate tangible and pragmatic results in developing and delivering new growth.
  9. You have a track record of using partnerships and alliances with external organisations to fast-track your ability to acquire new capabilities and deliver new growth.
  10. Over 50% of your own time is dedicated to identifying and pursuing new opportunities, and driving new growth initiatives, rather than simply maintaining existing business performance.

So how did you do? Mark yourself out of 10.

  • If you got 9 or 10 out of 10, you’re a Growth Supremo. Congratulations!
  • If you got 6,7 or 8, you’re a Growth Improver. You’re doing many things right, but there’s likely to be a further 20% improvement.
  • If you scored 5 or fewer, you’re a Growth Wannabe. You need to take some pragmatic steps to improve your ability to lead growth for your business.

© Stuart Cross 2011. All rights reserved.