In the broadest sense, growth is a natural process that cannot be completely stopped. But how we grow and who it benefits are well within our control. Where we belong shapes our perspective on which community should benefit. But how we belong ultimately determines if we will grow together or apart.
Owners carry a unique burden of shaping the growth of their organization. Certain decisions must be made which only the owner can make. And only the owner can fully bear the consequences of those choices.
And this brings us to a difficult realization. As an owner, you both belong and don’t belong. You belong in your community in a way no other member does. But that also means you can’t belong in the same way as everyone else can.
You have authority, ability, and perspective, and they set you apart. You can experience this belonging and distance simultaneously, and sometimes the emotions they bring are overwhelming. Sometimes the responsibility feels like too much to bear.
It’s another cliche, but it is lonely at the top. The higher the climb, the fewer the people who can share it with you.
Owners can respond to this in many ways. One of the most obvious is to share the financial responsibility of ownership. This can be with financial investors, a governing board, or by creating partners. These all come with benefits and challenges which must be considered for each situation.
But you can also create owners in non-financial ways. Giving your employees a sense of ownership in their area of responsibility is a powerful incentive. It means letting them enjoy the rewards by first feeling the risk.
That opportunity is itself a risk. It makes your people draw on something inside of themselves and bring more to the job. That can have excellent results, but it will inevitably cause failures as well. And those failures are now personal, and personal failures carry with them the fear of being excluded.
It’s not uncommon for owners to avoid these problems altogether. Some do so by holding themselves apart from their employees. They use money or other incentives to keep their people engaged. But the message to everyone else is clear. You and I don’t belong in the same way. (Read more at RedemptiveLeader.com)
These types of companies can be very successful, and good people can be part of them. In truth, this is what every company must become when it grows past a certain point. We all are owners of such companies when we purchase their stock, and we expect it to increase in value for us, the shareholder.
But there’s no experience of ownership. That is purely a financial transaction. Here, money has been completely substituted for the relationship, and the only question is, “Am I making enough?
But there is another way, and it’s not one or the other. Developing people while making money is the core of every business. And every business is built to benefit multiple communities. The simple decision to grow together creates opportunities for community for those making the same choice.
At MLA, we value the contribution your growth makes to your employee’s lives. Our expertise is finance, and our experience helps us determine and design the right financial system and processes to position your company for growth. But it doesn’t end there.
We also do. We are ready to execute on the changes you need to establish trust in your financial team. And that trust allows you to make decisions about the future with confidence.