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The One Leadership Necessity

In the past seven years, we’ve built a sustainable multi-million-dollar franchise business. But not really. In the first two years, we made no money. (That’s not exactly true; I think our bookkeeper told me we made $17,000 our first 24 months in business.  Net. Total. Two highly motivated and relatively competent people hard at work and we weren’t making it. Definitely not enough to cover a mortgage. And car payments. And groceries.  You get the point.  This was most definitely not a sustainable business.)

But, by our fifth year, we were breaking even. Now, seven years in, we are excited about the future. We see sustained profitability and the opportunity to expand. 84+ months in to this endeavor, and we feel like we are just at the beginning.

What changed?  Lots of little things, and a few relatively big things.  First-and-foremost, we hired a highly qualified Regional Director and several very capable managers under her.  Perhaps just as importantly, I relinquished control of things that weren’t in my wheelhouse.

There is an ancient African proverb that states, “If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.”

The Leadership Necessity is this: leader, while it might be your vision or your cause or your assignment or your commitment, it can’t remain yours alone. If you are going to be successful, you can’t go it alone.

In today’s complex, intertwined, matrixed world, for change to be sustained over the long haul, you’ve got to enlist the help of others. That’s the Leadership Necessity.

Where do you need to go together? Who do you need to take with you?