Every one of us wants our project to become something great and to grow rapidly. However, the balance between healthy and unsustainable growth is very fine. Katie Keich, who is a Senior Credit & Collections Executive with over 17 years of experience and the CEO of her own company Full Advantage, LLC, was able to very successfully lead her company through the process of hypergrowth, and calmly establish, what role can a person play when company is going through this phase. She worked her way up from being an Accounts Receivable Specialist to Director of Credit & Collections as the organization grew from a franchise with under $5M in revenue to a global logistics organization with $1.5B+ in revenue.
So, how can one lead their company through the stage of hypergrowth and succeed?
Katie’s advice starts with the fact that one has to step up and be a leader, yet listen and work together with the rest of the team. In her experience, there were times of trials and tribulations with such rapid growth of the company. Despite not always knowing which path to take, Katie emphasises the importance of not being afraid to try things that your competitors aren’t doing: look at what is not done yet, and connect it with the technology available to make it work, so that the process is automatized and you can invest your energy elsewhere. It’s important to get as much weight as possible off your shoulders by making the processes automatic, in order to function faster and be more efficient.
In her leadership position, Katie has a habit of always self-checking during such kind of growth. She says it’s important to make sure that you are there to listen to your team, see how they are feeling and control your own state. It is crucial for maintaining that drive and energy necessary to keep us with the processes that are happening. Katie talks about times that drained her, when she was so focused on growth and personal development that she forgot to eat. And in moments like this what starts motivating human actions is not the good healthy goal, but a fear of personal, company or team failure.
That’s why in Katie’s opinion a check-in is so crucial: you need to make sure that you are doing okay, and that you can go and talk to someone who will reassure you how great you are and what an amazing job you are doing. Self-checking helps to keep balance between trying to keep up with how fast things in the company are happening, and being okay with the fact that some points from the “to-do” list didn’t get accomplished that very day, and a new “to-do” list was started.
And last but not least, the crucial suggestion that Katie gives concerns building the network of people around you. She says that you as a leader need to make sure that people follow you not because they are obliged to, but because they are connected and organized in such a way that they want to stay in touch and work together. This can be achieved if you as a leader show them the potential of where they are going, what their opportunities are and how they can grow.
Once more, it’s borderline impossible to be able to save the company by yourself. But when you build a strong community and culture, surround yourself with a great team and ensure transparent, effective communication, even the most difficult times can be turned into the most glorious ones!
If you are interested in learning more about building your team and ensuring the presence of a healthy culture in it when going through merging companies,listen to the whole episode of the Genius Leadership podcast here.
Stay tuned and be genius!