What I Would Tell All Executives About Growth

I’ve worked with a lot of companies helping out with marketing and growth over the last years. I’ve seen some do it very well. I’ve seen others fail to resource it and therefore they’ve failed to execute.

Here is what executives can do to empower growth teams to do just that – grow the company.

Find a strong growth leader

The best companies I have worked with and for have a strong leader in charge of growth. This is not the CEO. Rather, this is an operational marketer who has built an audience before but now wants to inspire others to take their work to the next level.

This should be a person who thinks strategically, who understands how to plan work and work with engineers, who can be empathetic with their team, but who also sets goals and drives toward them.

Most importantly, give them the headcount they need to succeed. This will include engineers, designers, and writers. Don’t make them beg for resources and be relegated to an advocacy role. Want to grow? Give them what they need.

Be the strongest and loudest advocate internally

You have the strongest and most listened-to voice within a company. If you want the company to grow, you are the person that everyone needs to hear it from. It’s up to you to celebrate wins, recognize people doing awesome work, and continue to evangelize the metrics and goals that have been created by the company.

Take an active role in being the company figurehead

If you’re the CEO, you’re a public figure whether you like it or not. Your work life is scrutinized and open to scrutiny. Because of this, you are well positioned to be a visible spokesperson for the company who inspires the company by sharing the story of the company, how it is doing, and what it is doing.

When people are bought into the vision of the company, they’ll give you their best work day in and day out.

Hire yourself out of jobs

Executives get to where they are by being very good at what they do, knowing how to navigate different personalities, teams, and  and by taking on more responsibility and taking smart risks that pay off. Because most executives are very driven people, they tend to take on too much responsibility.

As an executive, your job is to identify new areas of opportunity, maybe take them on yourself for a while to learn the opportunity or vertical, and then hire people better than yourself to run it for you while you move on to the next thing, always trying to be a few years ahead of the curve.

As Spencer Rascoff, Zillow Group’s CEO, has said multiple times publicly – “One of the best skills an executive can have is the ability to hire people who are better than yourself.”

Go like hell

Executives set the tone. For growth to happen at a company, you have to move fast and expect to fail more often than you succeed, but those successes will more than make up for the failures. Your job as the executive is to figure out how to reward failure in such a way that you inspire people to keep going to find the right answer.

You set the pace. You tell people that it’s good to move fast and speed is the best thing you can have to really unlock growth.

Growth doesn’t happen unless it is valued from the top. You want to unlock growth at your company? Get to know the metrics and what drives growth. Inspire a team to go after it with everything that they have, measuring it as tightly as possible, and constantly shipping things to find the best growth channels. Growth doesn’t come solely from a growth team. Growth comes from the whole company thinking and being passionate about it and wanting to play a role in it.

2 thoughts on “What I Would Tell All Executives About Growth

  1. Hey John,

    Great stuff here. Sometimes you just have to grab your company by the balls and tell them exactly what you need from them. I’m trying to 10X my management here and I can’t deal with these non-10xers standing in my way.

    I think we’re on the same page here, John. I’m just a CEO kind of guy. Always was, always will be. Know what I’m saying, bro?

    Your fellow Boss,

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