Growth Is Tough When You’re A Deer In The Forest

I was working with one of my small business clients this week and they were telling me about some of the challenges they faced as their company grew rapidly. Their story reminded me of a recent blog post written by my colleague Ken Cameron, here it is ....

Accelerated growth can be painful and potentially devastating. Managing it well is the key to success whether you’re a new leader or trying to make a new start.

One of my earliest clients told me that being a small business is like being a deer in the forest. Anything can kill you.

Losing a client can kill you. A rise in material costs can kill you. A labour

disruption can kill you. Your partner can kill you.

But surprisingly, success can kill you. Because you grow too fast. Scale too quickly. Take on far more than you’re prepared to digest.

We often think of growth as good thing, because its what we al struggle and strive for, what every entrepreneur dreams about. But the warehouse manager knows better. So does the computer programmer and the oilfield services manger and a dozen other leaders who have to deal with the consequences of poorly managed growth.

Accelerated growth can be painful and potentially devastating. You’ll need to successfully integrate many new employees and put in place systems that will permit scaling without subverting the elements that lead to initial success.

If you own a small business and would like to talk to me regarding my workshop series entitled the Business Success Series, focussing on the "people" side of business check out my website.

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Russell Stratton

Leadership Champion

RUSSELL STRATTON is an international Leadership Expert, Professionally Certified Trainer and Coach, with a Masters Degree in Human Resource Management. He is co-author of the book 'I Need to F@#king Talk To You - The Art Of Navigating Difficult Workplace Conversations'.


He is a Master Facilitator for Bluegem Learning's ground breaking "Leadership Success" workshop series - providing a practical toolkit for building engagement and improving individual and team performance. Using live actors in a stop/start forum theatre approach and a combination of dynamic experiential learning techniques, participants come away with a greater ability to actually perform better as employees and leaders in your organization.


He is an accomplished management education, learning & development professional with a proven track record of working with clients in the public, voluntary and private sectors to achieve lasting, measurable step changes in business performance.


Russell works internationally with a wide range of organizational cultures and with all levels from front line customer facing staff to executive management boards. Having worked as both a Personnel Manager and Operational Manager he works at both strategic and tactical levels.

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