Your company’s growth is fueled by how your leaders and staff grow. Today, Ken Courtright covers what is inside the Growth Checkup Sheet that they have used in some capacity for many years with their clients and websites. Ken also dives deeper on each of the four principles of leadership and the different kinds of competitors. Receiving the benefits of growth makes any leader and company beam with pride. Join Ken as he teaches you how to bring pride to your business through leadership growth.
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Leadership Factors Of Growth
This is episode 64. We’re calling this Leadership Factors Of Growth. This is going back to episode 63 about the Growth Checkup Chart. In episode 63, we talked about across the top of the chart. We were covering the four fundamental principles of growth. What must be in place to get a company growing and keep them growing? That is at the top of the chart because it is the most critical. These principles, if you take any of the four away, it’s devastating. I mentioned 439 of the Fortune 500 from 1955 no longer exists. The industries and their competitors are still around, but the biggest companies at that time, they’re not there. Why? It’s all based on leadership. The four principles of growth are number one, past growth is no indicator of future growth. Number two, the brain trust that allowed growth to stop can’t necessarily start growth back up. Number three, you have to accept that research and development has to be done or you have to accept death. Number four, product death is inevitable, company death is not. I went into why on all four topics.
What we’re covering here is the inside of a sheet called the Growth Checkup Sheet that we have used in some capacity for many years with 3,100 clients and our 700 revenue-generating websites. Each of these websites that we grow for others, ourselves, and our businesses, we spot check them with and through the Growth Checkup Chart. Along this process of this series of podcasts, you’re going to want to find your company somewhere on this chart. It’s every company of any size. Even if you’re trying to name your first company and come up with a product, you’re on the chart. There’s a spot for everybody. The key is when you find yourself on the chart, this checkup gives you the guide map and the guide to go from one box to the next. It keeps your company growing. We liken it to back in the old days of a Miller Heiman Blue Sheet, which they became famous for. That was a similar concept about selling one product.
Leadership In A Rocket Ship
How do you get from point of penetrating a client’s front door to closing a deal? That’s myopic. It’s one-lane centered. This is more grandiose about the overall arching principles of why companies grow today, why they grew yesterday, why some will inevitably die and why some won’t. I love this series. This is what I call the bomb diggity. Episode 64 is titled Leadership Factors Of Growth. In episode 63, I covered the four principles at the top of the Growth Checkup Sheet. Everybody’s going to notice that in episode 64, Leadership Factors Of Growth, these are at the bottom of this horizontal document. Why is that? I want everybody to mentally picture a rocket ship sitting on a pedestal. You’ve got this cylinder with a pointy top. At the base of the cylinder is fuel and supporting the base of the cylinder is usually four fins. I’m talking about a toy rocket. Go to the toy store and get your kid a rocket. I’m talking about mid-range rockets.
Fundamentally, a rocket ship is sitting on a stem, but the four fins, one on each side at the bottom and the fuel at the bottom, that’s what propels and stabilizes the rocket. If any of these fins bend, crack or fall off, the rockets are not going to go straight and not going to hit the target. If it doesn’t have any fuel, it can’t go anywhere. Leadership is the fuel and the fins that guide rockets along. When leadership has a challenge, so do businesses. Businesses now have to grow, think faster and think smaller. This episode is for those that know what they’re working on is going to take off. They know in their heart, these bad boy is going, “I’m going to go to the top. I’m going to sell more widgets. We’re going to get bought out.” Whatever it is, they know it’s going to grow because they know what they know. They want to ensure it continues to grow. That’s why they’re reading this.Educated leadership equals growth. Click To Tweet
This episode is for those people that have companies and small businesses that at some point grew well but they’re beating their heads against the wall trying to figure out what went wrong and how do we get back on track? For those of you entrepreneurs that have gone through a period of growth, there’s nothing like it. There’s no drug like it. Nothing fills a person more than growing something and receiving the benefits of that growth. I love calling this Leadership Factors for Growth because as Dr. John Maxwell poignantly has written for many years, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” Leadership is the trigger for all growth. Educated leadership equals growth. The moment the leadership of any company of any size stops personally improving, they are done. In the last episode, 439 of 1955 Fortune 500 are gone. The industries for every one of these 439 companies still exist. Why did the biggest companies in the spaces of 439 industries go under? It almost doesn’t make any sense. If you’re the biggest, shouldn’t you have enough intellectual property in your management to keep something going for another 5 to 10 years? To me, it says one thing. Leadership stayed behind mentally. They got lazy and they got comfortable.
Leadership Principle #1: Growth-Centered Versus Profit-Centered
The next four principles of leadership that I’m going to cover, if any company of any size adopts these principles of leadership for growth, if these are applied, it can ensure growth in almost any company of any size. It can resurrect the growth of any company of any size in any industry. Leadership growth principle number one, does your leadership have a growth-centered culture or a profit-centered culture? Meaning, the leadership in your company, if you’re a one-person shop, is you. If it’s just you, are you growth-centered or are you profit-centered? If you have five managers, leaders, and C-levels, are they growth-centered or are they profit-centered? Individually as a person, you’re only built to be one or the other. You’re not built to be both. People have four main personality types. It is what it is and nobody can dispute this. People are either wired for growth or they’re mentally wired for profit.
For twenty of our many years, I was as a human being and still am growth wired. I’m a growth consultant, the name of our company, Today’s Growth Consultant. It took me bringing in other people that were far slanted the other way of profit-centered that you could say the leadership of our company as a whole unit would now be profit-centered, not growth-centered. We’re still growing. We have never grown faster, maybe because we’re focusing a little bit of profit. There’s a little bit of a nugget there. Leadership principle number one says, “Is your company growth-focused, growth-centered or profit-focused, profit-centered?” No matter which one it is, you need both. If it’s just you and you’re a profit-centered person, you better start hanging with and associating with reading books about growth-focused principles and growth focus topics. I highly recommend The Psychology of Selling by Brian Tracy. It talks about getting analytical into the mindset of growth.
If you haven’t read, Awaken the Giant Within and Personal Power by Tony Robbins, if you’re a left-brained, profit-centered, analytical, and mathematical person, you need those three books. If you are growth-driven, if you are like I was for twenty years, just an animal about growing the top line, then you’ve got to have books like E-Myth by Michael Gerber and Execution IS the Strategy by Laura Stack. Even books like the University of Success by Og Mandino, which talks about the balance that one needs to have. Principle number one, is your company’s leadership growth-centered or profit-centered? It’s usually one or the other. New young companies usually start out growth-centered as a culture. We’re speaking about culture and you have to be both, which means you need to bring in some other mindsets if it’s just your company.
Leadership Principle #2: Social Responsibility
Leadership growth principle number two, does your company understand that social responsibility and trust factors are not going away? You could say that prior to 2005-ish, many or most companies were not necessarily thinking about, concerned with, showing off or displaying what they might have been doing behind the scenes tithing with their money. There are famous business books like Conrad Hilton’s autobiography where he says, “It might be interesting to note that we’re the only hotel company that lived through the great depression. Isn’t it interesting that we were the only hotel chain that started and ended every day in corporate prayer?” There are a lot of stories of companies that talk about how they tied their time and money in the ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s, even McDonald’s with the Ronald McDonald House Charities. There were few companies that were publicly displaying what they did with their time and money.
I challenge you to go into any of the biggest companies in the world. Go to the homepage of their website and see if you can find a website that isn’t openly displaying what their view on social responsibility is, who they give back to and who their company donates 10,000 hours a year or two. How many times have you heard me about Toms Shoes talking about, “If you buy a pair of shoes here, I’ll give a pair of shoes to a kid that’s never worn shoes before.” The bottom line here is this. The world has changed and a lot of it is these Millennials who grew up with tech have taught the older generations what their views are. Their views are this simple, these kids at 28 and younger who are now teaching the rest of the world that they want to do business with cool people and cool companies. They don’t buy products. They buy cool things from cool people.
It’s that simple. If you don’t have the fundamental trust factors on your webpage, when people open your website, in under four seconds, they have made a determination if they’re going to give you any more time. It’s based on the visual cues they’re seeing. You’re going to have to read Trust Trumps Everything to understand it. Leadership principle number two, is your company understanding, accepting and making the changes to be able to expose and even lead with social responsibility and leading with the trust factors that are necessary on your website? Without that, it is my opinion that your company is going to have difficulty growing and keeping up with the rest of the industry. Leadership principle number three, does your company, no matter how big or how small, understand that there are other companies that you could and should be looking at to purchase?
Does your company, no matter how big or small, have the mindset that one of the avenue channels for growth, that there should be no less than six entry points and six arrows pointing in of new business ideas, lead flow, and client conversion? One of those six channels of new growth should always be the buying of other companies. Let’s say you’re a one-man shop. Let’s say you’re now selling ads specialty products. You’re putting people’s names on pens. You don’t even have products and salespeople. Your office is grab-a-coffee, go to the kitchen with a laptop. You work from home and you started 90 days ago. Quite frankly, last month, you did $1,000, you lost $2,000 because your monthly overhead is $3,000. You’re in the negative $2,000 P&L statement for the month. Here’s Ken telling you that you should go out and buy a company. You should be looking for people out there in the ad specialty world that maybe are running a blog that maybe it’s making $30 a month in revenue from Google AdSense.People are either wired for growth or they're mentally wired for profit. Click To Tweet
Maybe they’re dominating 150 to 200 main keywords in the ad specialty space that your company should be dominating. They probably don’t even realize that as a kid in college, they’re just blogging about marketing tips and techniques. They probably don’t even know that their website is ranking for keywords that could be generating leads for you. If you’re losing $2,000 a month, you’re a brand new in business, and you’re wondering, “How do I get in front of more business owners so I can sell them pens, magnets, and rulers with their name on it to promote their company?” One way is, why don’t you find out a bunch of small little bitty websites and blogs, and you can use tools like SEMrush to find out what are the top websites ranking on these phrases? You can quickly discern by studying some videos and studying some prior podcasts on how much of these websites are making via Google AdSense.
Why not send him an email and say, “John, I noticed that your website, based on the traffic, I’m guessing you’re making about $30 a month from Google. To me, that’s about $400 a year. Would you have any interest in selling me your blog for $1,000 or $1,500?” If you call a college kid and he’s been blogging for a few months and you say that you’ll write him a check for $1,500, can you imagine what that kid’s going to say? It’s like, “How fast can you PayPal that to me? I can start another blog tomorrow on a different topic.” The concept here is if you look at the largest private equity firms and hedge funds, they make their living finding companies that don’t even understand their value or at one point were growing, then they flatlined. Meaning they hit the same revenues month after month. They’re slipping, panicking, and they don’t even know what they’re doing. They don’t know why they’re slipping. They don’t understand these principles we’re covering here and they’re scrambling. They’re studying everything. They’re doing social media and they’re launching websites.
If your company’s in revenue and you can find some of these companies that used to be doing okay and now is slipping like crazy, you can buy some of these companies on contract. You can buy some of these companies for $0. You can say, “I found your buddy. From what I can tell, you used to do $200,000 a year in revenues. I have no idea what your profit margins were at the time. From what I’m seeing, it looks like you’re only doing $60,000 a year and I’m guessing you’re probably losing $20,000 a year. You’re not profitable. Any chance I could buy your book of business for X? Here’s a dollar value.” Maybe you even keep them on as a partner for 10% but my point is leadership often goes stagnant. The leadership in those 439 companies that died when the rest of their industry kept going, it got stagnant. They didn’t know how to grow and they didn’t realize the marketing channels were changing.
Leadership Principle #3: Buy One Business Every Year
One of the best ways for a company to keep tabs on what’s new, hot, and relevant is to start buying up and merging with these smaller companies on the fringe and on the edge of your industry because you’re bringing in an influx of new opinions, ideas, and business strategy. You might buy this little company for $10,000 and realize, “They’re doing a Facebook ad role that’s bringing in $150,000 gross revenue.” Had that $150,000 gross revenue been in your company, it would have had a profit of $40,000, but because it’s in their company, they don’t know how to run a business, it’s losing $20,000. Leadership principle number three is you make a decision right now that no matter how big or small, buy one business every year for at least $200. Get in the process of buying something small in getting through the flow of the paperwork of buying a small company.
Leadership Principle #4: Three Types Of Competition
You have to understand a website that makes $1 is a business. You don’t need proper legal ease paperwork to buy a website for $2. You just need a contract or an email saying, “You made $1 last year, I’ll buy you for $2. Forward me the domain name and the ownership and this and that.” It’s not difficult. You make a mess and clean it up later. Don’t get good, get done. Leadership principle number four, saving the best for last. First of all, I did detailed episodes on this principle, episodes 20, 21 and 22. Leadership must understand that there are three forms of competition. There is no one type of competitor, “That’s the other shoe store selling shoes. That’s the other furniture repair shop in the next town over.” That’s still a competitor. That’s your physical competitor.
The most dangerous competitor is entropic competition. Entropic competition is the Law of Entropy blowing at you full steam. If you don’t know what that means and you don’t understand that your biggest competitor is yourself, you have to study episode 20. There is physical competition and you can learn so much with tools doing a SWOT analysis, not on yourself. You do strengths, weaknesses, opportunity and threat analysis on your competition. You’re going to learn so much of what you’re missing by analyzing your physical competition. You want to know what they’re doing well and what they’re doing terribly. You can’t find out this information fast enough. Finally, the third and what also could be one of the most dangerous competitors is your present competition.
Meaning when somebody Googles the phrases that you think are the most relevant phrases to be typed into Google search to find you or your company. Let’s say you do hair in the South Side of Chicago, you do perms, updos for brides and stuff. Do you think people are looking for updos South Side of Chicago or care coloring South Side of Chicago? No, that’s two of 1,000 things people are searching for. You need to use tools that show you exactly what 1,000 phrases are that people are searching for. You take a weekend, you put every one of these search phrases into Google and you look at what comes up. When you see the results of what comes up and what’s present on page one of Google for these phrases, you are going to be shocked when you learn.
Not only is it not you that’s coming up for these phrases. It isn’t even your physical competitors. There are big companies that understand the present competition and they’re praying on your key phrases that are rightfully your industries. Because people are not educated on this concept, many people miss it altogether. That tells me to tell you once you understand the present competition, you then can get a toehold and foothold, and get your industry back and get rightfully the traffic that should be going to you. You’re educated and you, as a company, should be playing on the other sister-cousin key phrases in other industries because those people aren’t savvy on this and business is business. You should be going after those phrases, say the nail industry. Even if you don’t do nails, you better have your hair salon dominating search phrases for hair and nails.
Why not? Leadership principle number one, Are you a growth-centered culture or a profit-centered culture? You have to be both. Principle number two, do you understand and accept that social responsibility and trust factors are not going away? That’s what people now buy. Number three, does your company understand and accept that one of the fastest, and if not, maybe the fastest way to grow is to buy out other companies, melt in the intellectual property and grow. Leadership principle number four is there are three types of competition. Shame on you if you don’t understand them after this and study them, adopt them and make these the physical fuel for your rocket ship and the wings to your rocket ship, so it grows fast and stable. I hope this helps. Take care.
- Episode 63 – past episode
- The Psychology of Selling
- Awaken the Giant Within
- Personal Power
- Execution IS the Strategy
- University of Success
- Trust Trumps Everything – episode 4
- 20 – past episode
- 21 – past episode
- 22 – past episode