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THE SOUPY SIDE OF GROWTH

THOUGHTS

THE SOUPY SIDE OF GROWTH

Scott Peltin

As the new year begins, it is often customary to make new year resolutions. In many ways this makes sense, as the new year symbolizes new beginnings and the holiday time provides time to reflect and to possibly make a new start. As I reflected during this holiday, I couldn't help but think that maybe this isn’t always right. This approach assumes that I am missing something, that in order to grow more I must acquire some other skill or some other thing to be better. This can be put into a personal context but also a business context where a leader assumes they need a new strategy, a new team, or even a new approach to grow their business. 

As I broke down the first question of personal growth, I thought back over my own life. I have had periods of immense growth where I have purposefully sought to gain new skills, more knowledge, etc., but I have also had periods where I was pushing too hard for personal growth. During these times, the more I tried to stretch myself, to learn more, to gain new skills, I sometimes found myself very frustrated. Have you ever felt this way?

This made me think of a great batch of soup (probably this reflection came during one of our cold days over the holiday). So often the best flavors are brought out not by adding more and more ingredients, but actually letting it simmer longer to bring out the essence of the ingredients that already exist. 

As I thought about the cooking process I started to think, could this sometimes be true for people and for businesses too? Perhaps the frustration I have felt at times was from trying to force growth by adding more and more ingredients into an already really good soup. Maybe you already have all the key ingredients. Maybe now what you really need is some time to simmer. So where will you get your heat from to release all of your potential? I think you get it from two places. First, from great Mindset, Nutrition, Movement, and Recovery habits which allow you to bring all of your talents, skills, and attributes out (both at work and away from work). Second, from the challenges you face and the problems you solve on a daily basis. This is the entropy you need to bring out your flavors and allow you to reach a new level. 

Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown, in their great book Multipliers, tell a similar story about how great leaders can grow profits in a company without growing the size of their business. They talk about how these leaders make their existing team smarter, they make them more productive, they multiply the impact that each person has on the team and ultimately on the company. What these leaders are doing is adding the heat and some occasional spices to help the existing ingredients bring their full flavor to the team soup. The point is that these leaders realize that adding more people and growing into a bigger company often doesn’t lead to more success or profits. In Tignum terms this means making the existing people Sustainable High Performers so they can bring their best talents to the “soup”.

As you start 2014, I encourage you to strive to be better. I encourage you to keep your soup simmering with great Sustainable High Performance habits. Here at Tignum, we promise that we will help you keep the heat on. As always, I’d love to get your thoughts.