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How To Be Bold, Brave And Intentional In Scaling Your Business - With Brent Lowe

Jun 21, 2021

Tom Bailey, founder of Succeed Through Speaking, interviews Brent Lowe.

Brent Lowe is a performance coach helping leaders show up as their best selves within thriving, purpose-driven teams. As the Scale Coach for Founder CEOs, Brent works with entrepreneurs and leaders who are growing the size and impact of their businesses to tackle local and global challenges. Many of his clients are motivated by the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, and a desire to lead in ways that feel authentic, inspiring and personally fulfilling. He and his clients share a belief that leadership goes far beyond delivering financial returns, with ecosystem stewardship being a core responsibility.

Why you've got to check out Brent's episode:

- Discover how Brent works with founder CEO's of companies between 5-40 people who are ready to scale following early success.

- The three main challenges for Founder CEO's of Burnout, a growing culture of underperformance and the sense of doubt that can hold founder CEO's back from becoming a real leader.

- Learn the impact that burnout, fatigue and questioning themselves can have and how it leads to stalled growth in the business.

- Why you should follow the 5 C's of scaling together - Clarity (for the team around purpose, shared values and strategy), Communication (as the group gets bigger the need for more communication and feedback grows), Commitments and Accountability (so that everybody knows their place in the company), Cadence (the predictable heart beat in the business) and Constellation (including hiring, onboarding and exiting people).

- How you can get access to Brent's FREE document which covers the 5 principles and 6 leadership rules of successfully scaling your business.

Resources / Links


Tom Bailey: Hello and welcome to Succeed Through Speaking the place for experts and entrepreneurs who want high value ideas to boost business results.

Hello, I'm Tom Bailey. And in today's episode, I'll be getting to know Brent Lowe, who is a performance coach, helping leaders to show up as their best selves within thriving purpose driven teams. So, Brent, hello, and a very warm welcome to today's episode.

Brent Lowe: Hey, Tom. Great to be here. Thanks for the invite.

Tom Bailey:   I really appreciate it. And whereabouts are you in the world right now?

Brent Lowe: I am in Toronto, Canada.

Tom Bailey: Fantastic. Thank you so much. And I'm just going to share a little bit more about Brent before we do get started. So as the scale coach for founder CEOs, Brent works with entrepreneurs and leaders who are growing the size and impact of their businesses to tackle both local and global challenges. He helps them lead in a way that feels authentic, inspiring, and personally fulfilling. The title for today's episode is How To Be Bold, Brave, And Intentional In Scaling Your Business. And Brent's going to show us how to do that in just under seven minutes. So, question number one today is who are your ideal clients?

Brent Lowe: So, we work with founder CEOs of companies that are between five and 40 people, and they're experiencing early-stage success ready to scale.

Tom Bailey: OK. Makes sense. And what do you find is typically the biggest challenge that they typically face?

Brent Lowe: When those founders reach out, there's generally one of three things that they talk about, or maybe all three things. The first is burnout. So, this sense of as an entrepreneur, there's more and more falling on my shoulders. And I am just exhausted by that. The second is a culture of underperformance. So, when the group is very small, we tend to know how to work in that way as a leader for entrepreneurs who are really starting to grow their business for the first time they are, they start to hit a bit of a wall in how to. How do I spread what I do to a much bigger group. And sometimes that doesn't work so well. So, we get some under-performance and the third, which is harder for people to talk about often is doubt. So, this the sense of, I think I know how to be an entrepreneur, but do I know how to be an entrepreneur? Who's now being called to be a leader. Yeah. And that different, so burnout under-performance and doubt.

Tom Bailey: Sounds like a bad cocktail of challenges for these ideal clients of yours. So given these challenges, obviously you know, quite complex, what impact does that typically have on either them or their business?

Brent Lowe: So, for the individuals, it does lead to that sense of burnout, fatigue questioning whether this is really what they want to be doing from the business side is just that stalled growth. So, there's an opportunity. The business is starting to grow. You can see the potential and then we just start studying rather than accelerating. It starts to get slower. And so the business is just not having the impact that it could have in the world.

Tom Bailey: Got it. If anybody's listening to this message and they're starting to connect with this, what's one piece of advice you might give them to really start off in the right way on this journey.

Brent Lowe: So, we talk about the five C's of scaling together. So, the first one is clarity. So, make sure that there is good enough clarity for the team around purpose and shared values and strategy and how decisions get made. It's not perfection, but enough that people can really step into that. The second is communication. And as a group gets bigger. So, if you think about drawing out having a piece of paper and putting two dots, there's one line, and then you put three dots, there's three lines, then four dots, 5, 6, 7, 8, and you start connecting all of those very soon. It becomes complicated. And so that the need for more and more communication. Both across the team, but also an opportunity to collect feedback. Yeah. Those feedback loops. The third is commitments and accountability is making sure everybody knows who is doing what and at least at a, you know, a fundamental level sounds simple, but it very quickly can, can get a little harder to know who exactly is doing what. The fourth C is cadence. So, how do we start to build a bit of a predictable heartbeat into the business? So, everybody knows what how, how things are working and they can predict what the next step is. And then the last is what we call constant constellation, which is really the people part. So, how exactly are we hiring people in? How are we onboarding people and if necessary, how are we exiting people? What's our philosophy on that? So, clarity, communication, commitments, cadence, and constellation.

Tom Bailey: Fantastic. That's great advice and lots to take on there. And is this something that they can access as a resource? Do you have anything that's available for these entrepreneurs? If they really do want to find out more and get started on this journey?

Brent Lowe: Absolutely. So. if they go to our website, which is a base B A S E there you can pick up a document that includes five principles for scaling your business and the six leadership roles that come with scaling a sustainable business.

Tom Bailey: Okay, incredible. So that's What I'll do is I'll put that link into the show notes below this episode, so people can click that and dive right in and get access to that resource. Awesome. So just moving on slightly to a separate topic, which is yourself, what would you say is one of the greatest mistakes or failures that you've ever made over in life or business and what results did it have or what did you learn?

Brent Lowe: So. if I complete it behavioral profile, it consistently comes back with the same profile, a definition, which is strict perfectionist. Yep. And so. in my early days, when I was working, I first was a founder. Then I went and worked for founders. And when I was working for founders, I was really doubling down, down on my perfectionism and trying to, to nail everything. And what that led to is. You know, a lot of what I was talking about earlier the under-performance of the business, because when we're scaling, we do not need perfection. We need progress. And so yeah. In my own, both in my own businesses early on and working for founders, there were just numerous times where I was hitting a wall because I was trying to get everything perfect. And I was burning out as a result of that. And, and so I now have I draw on a lot of personal lessons in my, my work for sure.

Tom Bailey:  Yeah. That's a great lesson, which you obviously learned the hard way. But you know, that's really valuable for people that you work with now. I'm sure going forward. And the last question from me today is what is one question that I should have asked you that will also bring some great value to our audience today.

Brent Lowe: I love that prompt. So, the question that I would say is, what's the biggest decision that founders make when scaling their companies that they don't realize they're making, it's having a really big impact and what could they do instead? And the answer to that question is as we grow, we, every organization starts very humble. So, if you and I, Tom decided we wanted to start a business together. We'd sit around a coffee table probably and, and make some decisions. And then at some point the company was start to grow and then someone would come along and say, you are at a point where you need managers. You need to start building out the hierarchy of the business. Yeah. And that's where most businesses go. The reality is that we are moving to a world where hierarchy is becoming a kind of old school and doesn't really fit the dynamic of how the workplaces is working. And there are new, different, better ways to think about your business that doesn't bring in this hierarchy and, and such. And yeah. Most founders just aren't aware that there are other options. It's like everybody builds a hierarchy. I guess that's what I do. And in fact, there are a lot of other options. And again, in that document that people pick up on my website, it shares some of the alternatives.

Tom Bailey: Interesting. Thank you so much. And it's really interesting to think about that hierarchy. You think of the pyramid don't you, you know, top down and, but it's really interesting to see with all of the models out there, and it'd be great to find out more about that through your website. Okay, so, Brent, thank you so much again for your time. I really appreciate you coming along and for sharing such great expertise with our audience.

Brent Lowe: My pleasure Tom. Really appreciate it.