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What separates growth leaders from the pack

July 18, 2022

Even in the best of times, driving growth in an organization is not easy, and it doesn’t come with a formula or any playbook. In light of this, a survey of 165 C-suite executives and senior vice presidents with growth responsibilities revealed that growth leaders have some specific beliefs and behaviors. 

The research shows that executives who adopt more than 70% of these mindsets are able to grow twice as fast as their peers. The study was conducted in 2019 by McKinsey researchers Biljana Cvetanovski, Eric Hazan, Jesko Perrey, and Dennis Spillecke with European and American leaders. 

According to the profile found, growth leaders are:

  • 50% more likely to treat growth as the first or second agenda item when speaking to the board
  • 70% more likely to make multiple long-term growth bets than just a few 
  • 50% more likely to build an organization that puts the customer first
  • 60% more likely to have a clear multi-year mandate to pursue growth initiatives, along with the autonomy to do so without having to show short-term results
  • 70% more likely to ensure that every employee understands the growth strategy and what it means for them 
  • 40% more likely to have explicit incentives to reward risk-taking in their teams

“Growth is a journey that requires the entire business to constantly adjust, optimize, and execute, but it starts at the top. Only when the CEO, C-suite, and business-unit leaders have the right mindset can leaders hope to drive growth across the business”, the authors highlight.

With this in mind, the researchers listed seven mindsets shared by these professionals:

  1. I am all in.
  2. I am willing to fail.
  3. I know my customer as a person, not as a data point.
  4. I favor action over perfection.
  5. I fight for growth.
  6. I have a growth story I tell all the time.
  7. I give control to others.

What about you? Are you a growth leader?

Source: McKinsey