“How are you planning to scale and to stay ahead of competitors looking to take your growth opportunities?”
While interviewing someone for a role in business development, I was asked this question. Ten years ago, this would’ve been a hard question to answer. It might’ve even been a scary question to consider, but no longer.
If you know your purpose – your North Star – the rest is fairly easy.
I started Signature Leaders by accident. After the very first program, when graduates said things like, “I now see my leadership potential” and “I can clearly see how I can create more impact,” I knew something special was happening.
As our company has grown over the last 10 years, it has become very clear that our North Star, our mission of helping individuals reach their fullest potential in leadership and life has taken us into wonderful spaces. If you start every day focused on your purpose, it’s also easier to make tough decisions because they need to align with that purpose.
When it comes to competitors, I’ve found it is good to know what else is out there, but we are best served by focusing on our mission. Oprah Winfrey said, “Don’t worry about the other guy. Run your own race as fast as you can.” I learned long ago to stop listening to others (and sometimes myself) second guessing my decisions. I know if they are pointed at the north star, they won’t be that far off. Forward momentum creates opportunity. We have to move fast, maybe faster than some are comfortable with. It might not all work out, and this is ok. Without the momentum, you stay where you are.
I spent 27 years of my career in large global companies. Back then, my success was measured by advancing into the next role, the bigger title, and more responsibility. For me, this changed with the start of Signature. Success now is about impact – making a difference for the individual. But you don’t have to start your own company to get this feeling. You can do this inside a corporation, too.
Once you know your North Star, beautiful things can happen. As a growth company recognized in Inc. 5000’s list of fastest growing private companies, you get attention. I’ve been contacted by people who want to buy or help sell Signature, people who have “free” advice to help our growth, and people who will try to replicate what we do well. All of these people are looking for growth – revenue growth, mostly – but they have the wrong target in mind. Generating momentum and velocity for more women into high level roles, where they can make greater impact too: this is the success metric. I’ve found that if we focus on how many careers and lives we can impact through our work, the revenues take care of themselves.
As we mark 10 years as a company, I am excited to think about the next 10 – all in the spirit of making an impact on more lives, more careers.
I’ve got my new running shoes on….come join me for this race.
About the Author
Carol Seymour: Global Executive, Speaker, Author and Founder of Signature Leaders
Carol Seymour is a sought-after business leader and seasoned global executive of large and mid-cap size companies and private-equity backed turnarounds. She founded Signature Leaders in 2013 which focuses on accelerating women into next level leadership and helping leaders create greater impact and influence. Signature Leaders was recognized last year as one of Inc. 5000 “Fastest Growing Private Companies”.
The Signature series of leadership offerings support the growth of women from Manager level up to and including C-suite executives. Today, more than 3000 global leaders across 6 continents have experienced a Signature program. Signature Leaders partners with more than 140 market-leading companies for their selective investments.
Carol is also a Founding Member of Paradigm for Parity and named one of the Top 40 Women Keynote Speakers for 2020 by RealLeaders Magazine.
Carol resides in Cashiers, NC. She has two married children, three granddaughters, and a grandson.