‘What’s your exit strategy?’
After months of planning of how to start our visionary business and discussing our passionate belief for thirty minutes, this question left us as “two deer in the headlights”, each hoping the other would be brave enough to nudge them out of the path of the oncoming truck.
Welcome to Business Acumen.
This was the very first interaction we (Leaders of Evolution) had with our business coach, back in early 2015. We affectionately call this our ‘punch in the face’ moment and little did we know from that time we were on our path to a whirlwind, at times painful (usually metaphorically) and exhilarating path to business acumen growth.
When we now analyse organisations with effective structures, who live and breathe their values and ultimately deliver on their strategy we often marvel at the sum of the parts and the cohesion between vision, skill and behaviour.
When in start-up mode and with a team of two, the need to fast track development of business acumen and a similar cohesion and structure to that mentioned previously is critical. This reality is never more stark as I write this piece and take a long look in the rear view mirror.
Enter, David Ryan. David, our now business coach and provider of the aforementioned moment of stark reality, has graciously provided Leaders of Evolution with his expertise since this seminal moment in 2015. For us, this is our lived experience of business acumen, a pseudo MBA punctured with a litany of ‘a-ha’, deer in headlights and high five moments.
With global experience coaching executives at the highest levels for over two decades and a highly experienced business leader, David has had intimate insights of observing what success looks like and how individuals and teams can develop the competencies to achieve this. The result of these years of observation and research have culminated in the Business Acumen Gauge (BAG), a world leading diagnostic tool designed to enhance the competency framework of leaders.
The fortunate position we have been in for the last four years is to have lived the coaching implementation of the BAG. Through a mix of facilitation, open dialogue, goal setting, analogy-based coaching and feedback our growth has indeed been fast tracked through this critical element of learning and development.
David’s ability to make the complex not only seem simple but also relevant and actionable is one of the many facets of why coaching is so important for any leader wishing to improve.
Through this relationship we have developed a broader leadership framework and the skills required to effectively grow a business. Elements such as decision making, financial literacy, mindset, foresight and strategic alignment are but a few of the areas that we have been challenged on and developed competency in. These areas form part of the 11 capabilities of the BAG.
This is merely the start of what will no doubt be a life-long pursuit of learning and a desire to share this learning with others. We have many more scars to wear (remember the analogy-based coaching?!) and no doubt a few punches to duck and weave – and we’d have it no other way.
Without these experiences and support we would not be where we are, both as a start-up business but also as people. The ah-ha moments and the scars we wear are but another layer of our lived experience of business acumen and this experience is what continues to help us move ahead to achieve our goals and take care of our team.
For anyone wanting to take their leadership to the next level or learn more about the Business Acumen Gauge I would encourage you to visit the website www.bagauge.com.au or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: Damian Hecker, Director of Learning & Development at Leaders of Evolution