To lead a successful business it’s essential to build a solid foundation first, yet some business owners are in such a hurry to grow their business they end up learning a hard lesson: too much growth too soon, or weak systems within the business can cause businesses to topple unexpectedly.
Nothing illustrates this better than trying to stack stones in a fast moving, frigid, North Carolina mountain stream.
Unexpected Inspiration on Business Skills
Recently we took our RV on a late-spring trip into the NC mountains. Earlier in the year we found a small RV park located right on a mountain stream. When we arrived at the park we backed our unit into its space.
Right behind our RV we found this beautiful, gurgling stream. Before setting up camp I walked around to take a better look. What I found was a delightful surprise. Right there in the stream were stacks of stones people had built and left behind. It was so picturesque and calming. We felt like we hit the jackpot in finding this park and securing a reservation. This was going to be fun!
While the purpose of the trip was to get plenty of down time, we did get away from the park to explore the surrounding area. We found hiking trails to several waterfalls, and went into town to find a local brew pub to take it all in.
Yet the mountain stream was the main show. We spent a lot of time watching and listening to the moving water. It didn’t take long before I began envisioning the stack of stones I was going to build, and leave behind for the next travelers.
At some point it occurred to me. Stacking wet stones in a moving stream is a lot like building a business.
Not only that, it's a perfect metaphor for MY business. Here’s why:
I created an original business model called The PACE Principle. In it, I identify 4 essential areas where every business owner needs to focus in order to become a stronger leader for their business.
The 4 Essential Skills of A Business
The 4 ESSENTIAL areas are: Strategic, Analytical, Efficient, and Influential.
I’ve found over the years that helping an owner get better in each of these areas results in them becoming better leaders of their business, and their business consistently growing.
If you think about it, each of these four essential areas represents a pillar of a strong business foundation, and each of these pillars can stand on their own, just like a stack of stones.
Your Business Foundation Matters
I ventured into the chill mountain stream to try my hand at stacking stones. I quickly learned that finding the next best stone was more difficult than expected. Getting oval shaped, smooth, wet stones with all kinds of imperfections to fit together takes finesse, trial and error, and stacks falling unexpectedly. Not as easy as one might expect, yet one thing became perfectly clear, besides the water.
Stacking stones requires you to start with larger ones, and get progressively smaller as you build. I contend the same goes for building a business. A business owner who has strong Strategic skills may have a good business, yet they may be leaving money on the table if their Analytical and Efficiency skills aren’t as developed. In other words, you may be able to build one stack, but can you build all four?
Here’s the challenge though, business owners who push for fast business growth may not recognize the need for their own personal growth in these four essential areas of business.
Personal Growth Leading To Business Growth
Think of the four pillars of The PACE Principle as four separate stacks of stones. Every business owner is in the process of building their own stacks within their business. The greater the proficiency they gain in these four pillars, or stacks, the greater the chance their business will grow and thrive under their leadership.
Just like with anything, stacking stones in a mountain stream becomes easier with practice. The same can be said for a business. With practice any business owner can learn to become a stronger leader for their business.
The PACE Principle is designed to guide business owners on their journey of becoming more proficient leaders for their business. The model’s structure forms a foundation every business needs: an owner who leads by being Strategic, Analytical, Efficient, and Influential.
The value of The PACE Principle is that it delivers a simple approach for business owners seeking something new in how to become better leaders and attain greater business results.
There are so many stones from which to choose when you’re in a mountain stream, or when guiding your business. Leave the smaller stones until the time comes to start building. It’s the stacks with the strong foundations that best survive in the most inclement conditions.
And consider this, a young kid with a stick can quickly topple a stack of stones, but NOT its foundation.
Learn more about The PACE Principle and the 4 business building skills: Strategic, Analytical, Efficient, and Influential.
Let's Connect on LinkedIn...
You're welcome to connect with me, Asa Beavers, on LinkedIn and I'll invite you to join my LinkedIn Group: Strategic Leadership Essentials for Entrepreneurs and Other Business Leaders.