What Can Business Leaders Learn from Our Heart

Heart Beat
Photo Credit: Gabriela Pinto

Situation: My health check and my son

Last week, I was at a hospital for the first of my regular (hopefully) health check. The doctor was checking my blood pressure and told me that it was slightly on the higher side and that i need to make sure that it doesnt go higher. 

When my 9 year old son came to know about this, he asked me the reason for high blood pressure and this lead to a discussion about the functioning of our hearts.

When I was explaining the functioning of the heart, I realized the importance of rhythms in business.

Insight: Businesses should also function like our Hearts

As business leaders, we are constantly expected to grow our businesses, Q-on-Q  and Year-On-Year. The pressure to grow is so strong that when leaders fail to deliver such growth, many a times, they are let go.

In my opinion, businesses should understand the fact that everything in this world has a rhythm that it follows, just like how the heart beats.

The heart expands and contracts on a rhythmic basis.

So should your business. As a leader, we need to ensure that we build in (intentionally) a period of contraction in our business, rhythmically.

For example, you can decide that you will grow your business for 8 quarters and then consolidate for the next 2 quarters.

How can that help

It is in the period of consolidation that you can

  • Slow down your overall activities,
  • Re-look at the current set of customers that you have
  • Re-look at your market share, your relative positioning in the market
  • Re-look at your relevance in the market
  • Scale up your business processes
  • Weed out inefficiencies that usually creeps up in a business in a high growth environment
  • Look out for new opportunities where you can win
  • Plan your next growth phase (which product, strategy and market do you want to play in)

Such a period of consolidation always happens, irrespective of whether a business plans for it or not – We might call this as market corrections.

However, if we as business leaders intentionally build this in our plans, we have a much better probability of staying relevant for a long period of time and have less volatility in our  business.

This is akin to taking a medium to long term view akin to living from quarter to quarter or year-to-year.

Now its Your Turn

Do you agree with my thoughts about this topic? Now its your turn to keep the discussion going. Looking forward to your thoughts and insights.

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