Aaron Summers

5 Pitfalls of Fast Growth

In Church, Leadership on December 11, 2014 at 1:23 pm

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I am Southern and realize there are a few things that make me different.  Yet that does not mean we cannot have an agreed upon fashion with which treat one another.  I have been coming to Branson for over 20 years and have noticed that as it had exploded in size it has lost some of its mystique.  In the words of one, “It has been ‘yankified’.” I don’t mean to disrespect, but Southern grace and charm is what is customary in my life.  Branson has become too big for its britches.  They have forgotten from whence they came.

The funny thing is that people and organizations can suffer the same downfalls.  We forget as we climb the corporate ladder we used to be in the mail room.  Or we were handed a business we did not have to earn and forgot the values on which it was built.  The organization that experienced tremendous growth runs the risk of these pitfalls too.  We must exert great effort to maintain the level we once had that got us where we are today.  Here are 5 signs that we have become too big for our britches.

1.  Less Friendly.  Growing organizations have a friendly, welcoming aspect to them.  The hazard is to become more corporate as growth occurs.  Greetings and time to laugh and connect are replaced with getting the next sale, or finishing the day or project.  Friendliness is what made you attractive. Don’t lose it.

2.  Less Quality.  The higher up one becomes can cause a chain reaction of quality control losses.  They are small at first.  I have noticed an annual decline in food quality at Branson.  Maybe you have noticed a decline in effort at your organization.  The “get-by” attitude can take effect.  One becomes so large in their property or in their mind that makes you believe people will keep coming back regardless.  I don’t.  I bet you don’t either.

3.  Less Personal Space.  In the south we like our space.  In the southwest we really like our space.  As I have traveled other places I recognize that personal space becomes optional.  The one who has become the leader too quickly can become enamored and begin to infringe on personal respect.  Organizations, though, can have that feel of a cattle yard moving the product through for shots! 

4.  Less Courteous.  This is related to number 3.  As more people dump into Branson it has become less courteous than it once was.  The same can be true of you as you grow in your position.  Leaders can start demanding rather than asking.  Leaders can lose the politeness for more corporate language.  Organization that succeed keep the courtesy top to bottom.  Customer service is demanded these days.  Those who keep it quality stay in business.

5.  Less Accommodating.  Remember when the quaint locale bent over backwards to make you happy?  Where has that gone?  Organizations that grew did so because they made their clients happy.  We cannot always have everything a customer wants at all times, but we can be resourceful and attempt to help or find the store/church/person that can.  Helping a person find the answer to their question or need even if it means losing this sale or week’s attendance will create a feeling of warmth.  They will be back because you cared enough to help them.

These pitfalls are avoidable with focus and attention.  Never lose sight of what helped you grow or be promoted.  The Bible states that we are to treat others in the way we want to be treated.  Consider this with your mission, vision, and front door.

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