The 8 Hidden Agents Influencing – The Success of Your BusinessEffective leaders never leave this to chance

These “Hidden Agents” at Play are best described as:

  • 1- The Builder/Protector Ratio
  • 2- A Leader’s “Modality”
  • 3- The Five Challenges
  • 4- Five Strengths
  • 5- The Three Faces of a Leader
  • 6- Five Non-Negotiable Rules
  • 7- Leadership Style
  • 8- Leadership Competencies

Understanding them and the effect they are having on your business, your people and the pathway to sustainable, profitable growth is vital if you want to be an effective and efficient leader of business owner!

Just below is a summary explanation of what can hold your business back or release its’ potential and growth.

Let me explain a bit more about the Hidden Agents from the list above …

1. Builder/Protector

The Builder/Protector Ratio is a measurement within a company of confidence vs. caution.

  • A Builder mindset creates new ideas, takes on new initiatives, and finds ways to expand the revenue and profitability of the enterprise.
  • A Builder chooses to challenge and improve the way things are done. They are risk tolerant and highly supportive of growth.
  • A Builder tends to be confident in the financial strength of a company and hold a high degree of confidence in the company’s processes and systems.

When a company is strong financially, when communication exists from the bottom up and the top down and is done consistently, and when employees feel valued in an organization, it’s much easier to maintain and or build a Builder mentality. Also, certain positions in a company may be more Builder-centric.
The leadership team in a company may tend to be made up of more Builders because these people have the pulse of the organization at their fingertips and have control over their own destiny.

  • A Protector mindset is cautious and prefers to slow down the pace of change. They are risk adverse and highly suspicious of growth.
  • Protectors may not feel confident in the company’s financial strength and are slow to embrace the optimism of the future. They tend to be suspicious of new markets and the stability of such.
  • Protectors tend to keep the brake pedal on, even during times of rapid expansion and react cautiously to leadership’s ability to take the company forward.
  • Protectors tend to evolve more noticeably when there is a downturn in business, either from internal issues or external issues.

When there is an attitude of fear in the workplace, Protectors emerge and begin to apply the brakes to new ideas, resource requests and change in general. Companies want Protectors in certain positions, such as controller, accountants, CFOs.

A healthy mix of Protectors is beneficial as they help apply the brakes when things start going too fast and decisions are being made too quickly.

Builder Protector

2. CEO “Modality”

In our research, we discovered three Modalities that successful CEOs used in their company depending upon the stage of growth.

Those three Modalities are Dominant, Supportive and Facilitative.

When evaluating a CEOs Modality, it’s necessary to understand that this isn’t about their Leadership Style (see below) or their capacity to ‘assert authority’. Modality is a form or manner of expression. When assessing whether or not a CEO is Dominant, Supportive or Facilitative, look at the ‘manner of expression’ when they are addressing a group, running a meeting, or preparing the company for a change.

Their Modality will shift depending upon the circumstances as well as what is required of that CEO at that time in a company’s growth.

A CEO can think about how firm his/her grip is on the wheel of the organization. When a CEO is in dominant modality, his/her grip is firm or he/she is very present in the company. When a CEO is in the facilitative mode, he/she is in the passenger seat asking how things are going and taking an indirect role in the company.

3. Your Five Key Challenges

Successful companies made sure they were focused on the right things at the right time.

In our research we captured 27 Challenges that companies face at one time or the other. Many times, it appeared that more than five of these Challenges were critical for them to address at a specific point in time. However, the successful companies took the time and energy to focus on just five of these Challenges at any one time.

They addressed the most critical for their stage of growth and moved on. The biggest detriment to companies as they grow is not focusing on a limited number of key issues. Companies that weren’t able to sustain profitability year after year chased after each issue as it appeared on the horizon. Taking stock of these Challenges every 6 months proved to be a key factor in companies staying alert to the changing environment around them.

4. Five Strengths

Most CEOs spend most of their day dealing with problems and fighting one crisis after another.

Critical to successful companies is their ability to focus on their Strengths as well as their Challenges. By focusing on Strengths, a company can learn how flexible they are in responding to customer needs. They can feed their sense of ‘self’ by affirming that the

Challenges they may have faced last year have now turned to Strengths. By understanding which Strengths are much needed for a particular stage of growth, a CEO can motivate a team around building on these positive issues and not let the critical Challenges of the day cause burnout and morale issues.

5. The Three Faces of a Leader

Three Faces of a Leader are: Visionary, Manager and Specialist.

  • The Visionary is the leader who makes sure the company knows where they want to go.
  • The Manager leader understands the importance of growing a company through managing the work that needs to be done and managing the people who need to do the work. Both of these are very different skill sets.
  • The Specialist leader, some times called the Technician, understands the need to immerse themselves in the work the company produces in order to capture the necessary processes to deliver that work and to make sure the product meets clients’ needs.

All three faces of a leader are critical throughout the growing stages of a company. The amount of emphasis on each one changes and the success of the company growing beyond the leader starts here.

The Three Faces of a Leader

6. Five Non-Negotiable Rules

There are Rules of the Road for all companies in our Stages of Growth Business Model. Understanding what those Rules of the Road are helps a CEO to create the infrastructure that will support the growth of the company.

  • If you don’t get all the Rules covered in one stage of growth, they don’t go away.
  • You can’t ignore them. By checking in regularly with where you are in completing the Rules of the Road, your chances of staying ahead of your headlights improve dramatically.
  • If you get caught behind, simply problems can become major roadblocks to reaching your goals.

7. Leadership Style

We drew upon the body of work by Daniel Goleman as it relates to Emotional Intelligence to help a CEO understand what Leadership Style, of the six outlined by Goleman in his extensive research, is necessary for each stage of growth.

The six styles include: Visionary, Coaching, Affiliative, Democratic, Pacesetting and Commanding. Leaders tend to display at least three leadership styles at any one time and deploy the one that seems best suited for a specific circumstance. Most of this is done without intention.

Our research supports the fact that leaders who led with intention and with emotional clarity were the great leaders.

Leaders who understood the need to adapt their leadership style to the needs of their company as it grew, became leaders who understood the importance of connecting to the emotional side of business.

8. Leadership Competencies

When Dan Goleman talks about the value of an emotionally intelligent leader, he debunks the claim that an organisation’s success rises or falls with a single charismatic leader.

A leader who looks ahead to the future and identifies, trains and nurtures potential leaders who will take the company forward, assures a ‘great’ company will exist beyond any one person.

Leadership Competencies, according to research by Goleman, is a key ingredient for determining leadership capacity in individuals.

Managers who exhibit virtually every one of the 18 competencies tend to be high-performing managers.

We have again taken this body of work and, based on our own research, tied specific competencies to specific stages of growth.

We have found this a simpler way to help a leader dissect their strengths and weaknesses in a more contained manner.

Drop us a line or give us a call and we can provide some great, meaningful and practical resource to help you uncover what “Hidden Agents are the the ones that will constrain or accelerate the rate of growth in your business.

leadership styles

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