Grow Regardless

By: Joe Mechlinkski



Contrary to popular belief, small and midsize businesses are the real job creators in America. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, companies with fewer than 500 employees created 64% of net new jobs from 1992 to 2010.

In a hostile business environment, these companies have managed to grow regardless. But how? In this summary you’ll learn about the eQ Growth Methodology. It helps business leaders, a well as their employees, customers and communities.

The eQ Growth Methodology begins with an initiative called “Reset.” It is a challenging – and honest – appraisal of yourself and your company, that helps you learn from the past, accept it, and move on with a renewed commitment to doing better. The methodology then helps companies build their story, hold accountability, empower employees and commit to deliver a new customer promise.

You have the power to grow, regardless of your company’s size, regardless of your company’s industry, and regardless of the economy. Let’s get started.

Understanding Our Reality

Let’s face it: our economy is challenging. Society is more complex than ever before. For every new strength we gain, there is an equal and opposite weakness.

The Internet is a great example. It gives us a powerful capacity to expand business models and reach, but it also can disconnect us from customers and distract from goals.

A successful business leader recognises these dynamics and the need for balance. To grow regardless, we must become more aware and learn to do more with less. It’s time to start de-leveraging and invest heavily in our current assets. This means less output and potentially less spending for a while, but our former path is unsustainable so this is crucial. Only those who are the best at what they do and offer the most value to the marketplace will succeed. Make sure that is you.

The Internet is remarkable, but it can also lead to too many distractions. Only those business leaders with the knowledge and skill to use the Internet to its fullest potential –without allowing it to introduce negative outcomes—will be able to grow regardless.

A key part of delighting your customers and inspiring your employees is being able to understand what motivates them. Research suggests that what motivates people to be more creative is not more money, but enough money that they can focus on their work without having to worry about finances. Employers who want to encourage creativity should not only pay people a fair wage, but also help them fulfill three desires: for autonomy, mastery and a higher purpose.

Autonomy is the need to be self-directed in controlling our time.

Mastery is the innate desire to perform at a progressively higher level.

Purpose is the hope of contributing something to the greater good.

The eQ Growth Methodology

The eQ Growth methodology is simple.

Hit the “reset” button. Acknowledge the past and make reparations to move your company forward with renewed commitment to your team, customers and community.

Develop your company’s story, which will tell clients and employees both what you do and why you do it. A good company story speaks to history and values, what the company stands for, how it competes, and what it wants to be to its people and its clients.

Do everything you can to make your employees feel like valued members of your team. They are the ones that will be living out your story…or not. Satisfied employees equal growth. Create a remarkable experience for your clients at every turn. When you impress your clients, you gain not only a good client who is willing to buy more from you, but also a client who is willing to enthusiastically refer others.

This methodology is applicable to anyone in any organisation. It emphasises process, practice and execution.

Another important way to drive growth is COMMUNITY. Growth begins with relationships, and if everyone in and around your organisation has a great experience, they’re going to tell people.

Hit The Reset Button

Reset shouldn’t be seen as a company’s emergency floatation device, but rather a launching point for better business.

It’s hard work, but it’s worth it. You examine your faults, set a new standard, and hold yourself and your team accountable to it.

The vast majority of people find it difficult to change, even when they really want to. Many people don’t like admitting they were wrong. They don’t understand that they have the ability to hit the reset button and begin anew.

Reset is what you do to start a new chapter. It’s the willingness to lay it all on the line and to do so with eagerness and enthusiasm. Resetting means to surrender and become vulnerable, to forget any limiting beliefs and to move forward.

Reset applies to three different levels of leadership:

you as a person

you as part of a team

you as it relates to your company.

First, you have to go through the process as an individual. You must be willing to make tough decisions and put yourself in a position to grow regardless. The day you make your word the bond of yourself, your team and your entire organisation – that’s the beginning of reset.

Recognise: awareness is everything. What you focus on, you will find.

Expose the elephant: be willing to get to the core issue. Shine a light on the elephant in the room.

Surrender: be vulnerable. Accept, acknowledge, and apologise. Take full responsibility.

Empathise: make sure the other person feels valued and validated.

Terms and Time Frame: establish the new world order and a time frame for achieving it.

Here are 5 MUST-ask questions to move your culture to be growth oriented:

  • What really matters?
  • What are we aiming for?
  • Why?
  • What is most important?
  • Who else cares?

Story – Start With Why

There are two kinds of stories: those we tell others and those we tell ourselves. Most of the time, we believe what we read if our personal experience is reasonably close to it. When you tell people the story of how your company started, you create a fascination, a curiosity and a deeper connection between all the relationship links in your organisational chain. Then, if people’s experiences consistently reinforce that story, you will have forged a bond that is difficult to break.

A good story doesn’t have to be about what a company has done in the past. It can also be about where the company is going in the future. It’s a promise to your two most important assets: your employees and your customers.

Think of the most inspiring leaders of our time: Martin Luther King, Jr., Desmond Tutu, Mother Teresa, or Winston Churchill. They were trustworthy, passionate and they had strong ideas about why they were doing what they were doing – and they told us stories about that.

The best way to tell a story is to being with the why. Once you and your organisation know your whys, you can all begin to tell your company’s story well. We all know what we do, and we all know how we do it, but why is the magic question.

Be clear on how to assimilate your personal whys. Once you understand why your company is here, the next step is assimilating your personal story: who you are, why you are special, and what you bring to this world.

Then, you must figure out for whom you do business. Who are your customers? What do they get when they do business with you? How does that help them fulfill their mission?

Challenge yourself to complete a “25 Reasons Why” exercise for your chosen career. Why are you doing what you’re doing? There are no wrong answers. Circle your top three. From there, create your own personal story and a story for your company that incorporates your reasons why.

Employee Experience – Make Them Feel Valued

If you give your employees an excellent experience, they will, in turn, give your clients an excellent experience.

Providing a great employee experience isn’t about letting your employees do whatever they want or paying them a lot of money. There are more meaningful ways to make people feel good about working with you and your company. There are seven “C”s that will help you do this.

Clarity is the first thing your employees want and deserve. They deserve to know where the company is going, what they’re being asked to do, why they are doing it, and how their efforts contribute to the company’s success.

Certainty. It’s human nature to want reassurance. So give it to your employees.

Compassion. Compassion is showing people that you care, and that you think of them as human beings and not just worker bees. Showing compassion to your employees will make them feel better and work harder.

Consistency, which has three subsets: consistency of message, consistency of communications method, and consistency in action. Consistency of message comes across when an employee comes to you and they receive a consistent answer. For the method of communications, there must be a clear and consistent channel of interaction between executive leadership, managers, and employees. This could be a daily phone call, weekly meeting or annual town hall. Consistency in action means walking the talk. Do you do what you say?

Commitment. Your people need to feel that you are the most committed person in the room. If your employees see that you are willing to work nights and weekends to accomplish your goal, they will be more likely to also.

Collaboration. Collaborative leaders don’t care about who gets the credit – rank and title are irrelevant when it comes to finding solutions.

Community. This is about operating from a place of higher purpose, for the greater good. If you give your team opportunities to experience those good feelings together, you will become stronger as a unit.

A Remarkable Client Experience – The Unconditional Guarantee

The ultimate client experience begins as a philosophy that aligns all employees in the relentless pursuit of ensuring every client gets what was promised.

There are three levels of favourable customer service.

You can meet the customer’s needs

You can exceed them

Or, you can make their experience remarkable.

In today’s marketplace, if you are only meeting a customer’s needs, you are not guaranteeing a long-term relationship or referral business. If you want to grow regardless, you need to be exceptional.

Here are four actions to start your journey of providing remarkable customer experiences:

Express your gratitude to your customers: say thank you. Making that kind of personal connection with your client is something they won’t soon forget.

Recommend your customers: Get to know them well and then write a personal recommendation on their LinkedIn profile or Yelp. They will soon see you as a trusted advisor and true partner.

Educate your customers: It doesn’t have to be information from your company – share anything that they might find useful. Become involved in your customers’ world: go to events that matter to them. Show them that you value them enough to make time for them.

You Can Do It

This summary gives a detailed roadmap for how a company or an organisation can grow regardless, but what it really comes down to is individuals stepping forward and being the best they can be no matter what.

On the path that leads to growth, the only thing that will ever stand between you and the success you seek… is you.

Step up to the challenge, and grow regardless.