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JUNE 4, 2020


In recent quarters, I’ve had four clients with the same issue.

In each case, the leadership team was puzzled and felt stymied. The companies had been running on EOS® for about a year and a half and during that time, they had experienced big growth in revenue and profits. But then it stalled out without warning. What happened?

Somehow, they were getting stuck at the leadership team level and they had hit the ceiling—again.

Why Leadership Teams Get Stuck

We used the Issues Solving Track™ to get to the root cause by examining the Five Leadership Abilities™ and discovered the leadership team had a structure issue related to the Accountability Chart. This ultimately lead to an underlying People Issue.

In each of the four cases, there was a person on the leadership team who had played a key role in taking the organization to the place where it is today. But that person had reached the upper end of their skills and abilities and the company was hitting the ceiling as a result.

We went back to the Accountability Chart and redesigned what that seat needed to be in order to take the organization to the next level. We identified a higher degree of skills and accountabilities than the company ever needed before.

We then did a real-time performance review of GWC™ (Get It, Want It, Capacity to Do It) and in every case, the person in the seat was not a fit for the redesigned seat. They were no longer the right person in the right seat, and the company needed to find a better fit—someone with a higher caliber set of skills and abilities who could lead them to the next level.

In some cases, the current person in the seat was able to play a supportive role to the new person. However, in two of the cases, the original team members left the company because they couldn’t put their egos aside. They wanted the seat, but they didn’t get it or have the capacity to do it. This is one of the toughest and most emotional of People Issues to face.

Unfortunately, the team members took it as a blow to come off the leadership team and they weren’t willing to act with the greater good of the organization in mind. Although the issue wasn’t about them personally, they took it that way. Why? Because they didn’t get it.

For each of my clients, getting the right person in the right seat was a game-changer for the organization. It was a breath of fresh air to have someone who could now lead the business to the next level, and they are now better off and moving forward faster, with ease.

You, Will, Hit the Ceiling – and That’s Okay

Just because you’re running on EOS doesn’t mean you won’t hit the ceiling again. Expect to hit it again—organizationally, departmentally, and individually. In fact, it’s a normal part of the journey of every organization’s growth. Rather than seeing it as a sign of trouble, see it for what it is: growing pains. Your company is ready to enter a new stage of growth, and that’s a good thing.

It might mean you need to make some difficult changes, but you can make them with empathy and compassion. And those changes will take you to exciting new levels.

Previously published on the GPS For Small Business blog