My view on growth is quite straightforward; I think people are far too obsessed with it. Too many companies think that growing makes things good, when actually I totally disagree. Everyone thinks it’s all about ‘chasing a bigger number’ and about ‘making more money’, and if they do that then everything will be well.
I can’t help but disagree. It’s not about making more cash every year. What growth is to me, is every year being better. And being better isn’t necessarily to do with the bottom line. Although to some that might be important, the most important thing for us to do as leaders is to say, ‘What’s needed here? What is it that we’re all about?’. Sometimes the best thing to do is just to keep the business going, whilst getting your people working better. Get people loving what they do. Get people turning up with a spring in their step. And actually that growth is probably more beneficial than anything commercial.
So I think growth should be defined in different ways. It shouldn’t be all about data and numbers and money and shares – although that is important. I think we should open our eyes to what real growth is, which is quality of life, impact on society, impact on ecology, the stuff that really matters. I personally believe that when I wake up every day I want to do more and I want to do better. My growth journey is that every day I spend on this planet will be a good day. And I wonder if growth should be defined more about the way we show up, the way that we make things more abundant, the way that we embrace the issues that we’ve got around us, rather than always thinking about our personal gain, and what goes on as far as our wallets are concerned.
Now, I also think that when you wake up in the morning, it’s important that things are bet-tered, and it’s important that you take time to think about how you can improve things around you. However, we should never do that with dissatisfaction at the fact that we are ‘great’ already, and just every now and again we need to notice that and appreciate that. And maybe our growth and our awareness should be to say ‘the work that we’re doing right now… is bloody brilliant.’
Maybe that’s the growth. Maybe the growth is that we’re not chasing another goal, or look-ing for something tomorrow – maybe the growth is that today is the right day and we are the right people.