Strategic Leadership could be the Key to Coming Back Stronger

Van Halen’s recording career hit its first major road bump on March 17, 1998. That’s when they released III, an album that debuted their third singer, former Extreme vocalist Gary Cherone.

Van Halen was flying high. They were the highest-paid band on the planet with David Lee Roth. They had 4 – #1 hits, 17 top 12 hits, and won a Grammy with Sammy Hagar.

And even though their first release with Gary Cherone reached #4 and produced 1-Top-10 hit. It was a giant step back for the band.

Gary didn’t have the cache or showmanship of DLR or Sammy. He wasn’t a culture fit, he didn’t share their core values, and he didn’t have the capacity. He was a bad hire!

Understanding what your organization looked like before, what it looks like now, and what you want it to look like in the future is important. What leadership roles do you need vs. what you have? Are the right people doing the right jobs? Do you have the strategic leadership you need to move you forward? Are you using the right process to attract the right people to fill the right positions?


Business Evolution vs. Revolutions

I’m a big fan of Greiner’s Model Curve (below). It explains the evolutionary arch of a business and the revolutions that happen at each stage of growth. Have you heard the term business evolutions vs. revolution?

You might be in the unfortunate spot of having to lay people off or make a reduction in force. Your business might contract or expand. You could be moving backward or forward into a new or previous phase of business.

I want you to have the information you need to have a good honest look at your current leadership and make strategic decisions so you can come back stronger than before. But before you can understand what you need, we have to look at where you are and where you are heading.

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At Key Hire, we focus on 3 aspects of your business:

  • Positions
  • People
  • Processes.

We work with business owners with 80 employees or less. Our sweet spot is 15 – 55. These companies are usually dealing with a Crisis of Leadership or a Crisis of Autonomy. Having said that, we won’t dig into the entire arch but focus on the Crisis of Leadership and Crisis of Autonomy.

Phase 1 – Creativity

Here is where your company started. A good idea and not much infrastructure or strategic leadership. Just a lot of fire fighting.

The team you assemble are either coworkers from the past, friends, family, referrals, even a neighbor. It’s a patchwork of experience, knowledge, and expertise that can adequately cover most of the critical areas of your business during this time.

To move to Phase 2, you will go through a Leadership Crisis.

The website Fortunately states that while 29% of small businesses fail because they run out of cash, 23% fail because they don’t assemble a good enough team.

To create a stable growing business, you must bring in leaders with specialized experience. Strategic Leadership with the capacity to take some of the burdens off your shoulders. Leaders you can trust to run your business. They can improve their part of the business and free you up to focus on what you do best.

You’ll know you have a Crisis of Leadership if you feel like you have to take on multiple roles, or you don’t trust your people to get things done correctly. You might be holding off on new business for fear of being able to deliver, struggling to service existing orders. Or worse, afraid that you’ll lose existing business because of a decline in your level of delivery or service.

Bring in the right leaders, and this will be a turning point. Bring in the wrong leader, and it could be disastrous.

Have you ever hired a manager you thought would save the day and instead, they doubled your workload and hurt your business?

Next Tuesday we’ll take a look at Strategic Leadership, the transition from Direction to Autonomy, and the Crisis of Autonomy.

Read our previous article in this series here: Rebuilding Your Leadership Team After Covid

Leave your questions below or contact me directly at I’m here to help where I can.

We’ve also started a “Help Line” for small business owners who have questions about how to deal with their leadership team or any human capital issues in this uncertain time.

Stay tuned and I look forward to helping you Make Your Business Rock NOW, and down the road.

About the Author

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Corey Harlock – Principal, Key Hire

Corey Harlock is a driven consultant, teacher, keynote speaker, and three-time business founder. After shutting down his Recruiting Agency HRN in Canada to move to Houston, Texas, Corey realized that the vast majority of businesses and business owners were severely underserviced and, in some cases, completely ignored. So, he created and launched a company with a mission of helping small and mid-market business owners. He has authored dozens of articles on team building, talent acquisition, and the power of Building High-Impact Teams for growing companies.

Corey is currently the Principal Consultant of Key Hire Team Building Solutions, the only solution on the market that helps business owners build the Right Organization, Processes, and Team of Experts so they can enjoy a stable, growing business and balanced life.

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