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How to grow by cutting back

May 7, 2015

Longtime Global Institute for Leadership Development® faculty member and best-selling author Patrick Lencioni shares some vital leadership insight in his latest inc.com post titled “How to Grow by Cutting Back.”

“Some of the most down-to-earth business advice I’ve heard came from someone often concerned with more ethereal matters: a Catholic priest,” he writes.

“Father James Mallon is pastor of a growing parish in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and the author of Divine Renovation, a book about his experience transforming his church. That was no easy task; Father Mallon had to overcome complaints and resistance from longtime staff members who didn’t want to give up responsibilities and attitudes they had held for decades.

“Having worked with churches as a consultant, I knew a little about the depth of the challenges Father Mallon faced, and I was curious how he overcame them. What he said was surprisingly, brutally realistic­–and it’s advice that should be embraced by all leaders with plans for growth. ‘You have to go into it knowing that losing people is not just likely, it’s inevitable,’ Father Mallon told me. ‘As soon as the leader starts the bus and puts a sign on it declaring where it’s headed, some people should want to get off.’

“That’s not so easy to accept. There is almost nothing more painful for a leader than seeing good people leave a growing organization, whether it’s a priest watching a Sunday school teacher walk out the door or a CEO saying goodbye to a co-founder.”

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The reality is even the best organizations need to be cut back from time to time to produce maximum results. It’s not easy, but the best leaders know how to do it. Do you?

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