You know your company’s culture is important, but you perhaps haven’t taken the time to understand how aggressively your workplace culture impacts every aspect of your business, including prosperity. One leadership expert, Kurt Uhlir, emphasizes a few vital steps you can make to help foster a company culture that contributes to remarkable growth. In his online content, Uhlir presents some unusual yet impactful steps any business manager can take to encourage business growth, whether you’re running a small business or a massive corporation. The following will explore Kurt Uhlir’s most revolutionary leadership and culture recommendations to help your company grow rapidly without sacrificing quality.

Influencer marketing, at this point, is par for the course. Most businesses intuitively understand that if a person with a massive audience speaks highly of their brand, some members of that person’s audience might become paying customers. After all, people with similar interests and needs tend to congregate together in online communities.

While working with massive celebrities for million-dollar endorsements is an option for some companies, most find that working with micro-influencers is more effective and on-brand. This not only allows small businesses to find influencers that they can reasonably reach out to, but it also helps them find niche communities online filled with their target demographics. The concept of influencer marketing has become so popular that some are referring to its impact as the influence economy. But, of course, poorly strategized influencer marketing is often a waste of time and energy and can quickly attach your brand to perspectives you weren’t intending.

Influencer marketing is one of the best ways to cut through the content creation noise and the various social media marketing bubbles that are filled with build-an-instant-audience promises. This is partly because it emphasizes authenticity and human connection—two things that most people are looking for more of in their lives.

If you’re pursuing influencer marketing, t’s integral for you to understand that when you’re selecting an influencer to work with, you’re selecting someone to take on a leadership role within your brand. This means your strategy and approach need to be intentional and focus on people who are a good fit for your narrative.

One of the most under-utilized approaches for seeking out influencers is to look within your company. A charismatic CEO can be a stellar influencer, but so can employees within the company. Taking steps to enable the people within your business to champion your products or services can create some startling results. This involves cultivating trust, freedom, and leadership qualities among your staff and allowing them to develop and grow communities on your behalf.

It’s a good idea to have a clear outline of what is and is not allowed on social media accounts that are associated with your brand. If you have several staff members, you will probably want this outline distributed to everyone in writing. The document should include a social media policy (what they are and are not allowed to post about), social media guidelines that encourage positive and community-building interactions, as well as steps people can take if they are unsure whether a post is on-brand or not. You might want to prohibit political affiliations as the political environment online is particularly toxic at the moment. You might also want to prohibit negative, aggressive, harsh, or judgemental comments.

You might also want to develop a social media style guide and present this to your staff. It can include details regarding brand voice, visuals, logo sharing (you want those crisp vector images, not pixellated poorly-optimized images), and company hashtags or links. 

Cultivate Servant Leadership Skills

One of the “buzz terms” gaining a ton of traffic and clicks lately is servant leadership. Foremost, it’s important to comprehend the idea of leadership before exploring what a servant leader is. Many people have been under the command of people without leadership their whole lives—at home with their parents and older family members, at school with teachers who use humiliation tactics to get children to behave, and in the workplace where they have been treated like a number instead of a person. The result of this is that many people use the term leader when they mean someone in a position of power. A leader is someone who says: come, let’s do this together; I’ll go first. A non-leader in a position of power is someone who says: go do that. Not all leaders are in positions of power, and not all people in positions of power are leaders.

Servant leadership is an approach to leading people that focuses on the role of a servant (in the old-fashioned sense of the word—a person who serves others) before they focus on the role of a leader. This means their choices and actions stem from a desire to serve people within the company. It is a leadership philosophy that creates workplaces people are loyal.

Servant leadership provides support for employees in a way other leadership types do not. The employees’ experience is the highest priority, and this results in empowered employees who feel supported, protected, encouraged, and engaged. Morale is boosted, loyalty is cultivated, and opinions are expressed. This tends to result in accelerated growth over longer periods of time, a decrease in the costs associated with hiring and attracting talented people, improved emotional intelligence on every level of the company, and the facilitation of a healthy and strong community.

As a bonus, it is worth noting that people who belong to strong communities actually have a longer life expectancy than people who don’t. This benefit can be applied to you and your employees equally.

Servant leadership is a skill that can be cultivated with focus and effort. According to Uhlir’s guide to servant leadership, it involves a few common characteristics. A servant leader:

  • Is purposeful (more on this below)
  • Is accepting and respectful of who people are
  • Is empathetic
  • Is an active listener
  • Is a strong communicator
  • Is selfless
  • Is a positive mentor
  • Is authentic
  • Is humble
  • Is courageous
  • Is honest
  • Is truthful and transparent
  • Is community-driven

Servant leadership creates a reciprocal relationship. It focuses on better serving employees so they can, in return, better serve the company. As a result, it develops feelings of value and worth among employees, which, in turn, promotes improved work performance, better customer experience, and rapid growth.

guide to servant leadership

Always Return To Purpose

Finding your purpose and your business’s purpose is an essential component of rapid growth. Your purpose is your why; it’s the reason behind your actions, and it’s the yardstick by which you measure all your choices. If you find yourself stuck as a leader and unsure of where you want to go next, you can refer back to your purpose and use that to determine your action. Your purpose shapes your business strategy and provides motivation and inspiration when you’re crafting your work.

Your purpose is the thing you care about. It’s why you got into the position and field you did. What problems do you hate that people have to suffer with? What values do you think should be guiding forces in our lives? Do you have a faith-based purpose? How can you help make things better for people? What activities allow you to lose all sense of time and be completely present? What topics of conversation fill you with energy? What could you read or write about for hours? All of these questions can help guide you closer to your purpose.

Your purpose is going to be highly individual to you, but it can usually be sought out by paying attention to your emotional responses to the above questions. It’s important to note that your personal purpose, your business’s purpose, and your employees’ purposes don’t necessarily have to be the same thing, but they should be aligned. Shared purpose (which is the amalgamation of each person’s individual purpose with the business purpose) can help groups of people accomplish great things.

Once your purpose is clearly defined (it can take a bit of time to pinpoint it—freewriting can help), you can then use this purpose to construct your business plan. Start with your elevator pitch and expand upon that. Next, you want one to three sentences that encapsulate what you do and who you do it for. From there, you can construct a mission statement with a point-by-point breakdown of your purpose and values. Finally, take all this information and construct a solid business plan that involves a step-by-step exploration of how you’re going to pursue your purpose and accomplish your mission without sacrificing your values.

The above outline three critical components of Kurt Uhlir’s approach to encouraging rapid business growth. Valuing your staff as influencers capable of marketing your brand and building a strong community around your work, actively pursuing servant leadership skills, and remaining focused on your purpose above all else are three vital aspects of building a business that grows quickly and continues to grow over a long period of time. It is worth noting that none of these approaches are things you can do once and then forget about; they’re continuous practices that should be revisited and honed on a regular basis.

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