Is Your Team Scaling - or Straining?

There's a big difference in scaling and straining as the organization grows, and that difference matters to a team's ability to execute for the long haul.

How do you know how your team is doing? Here are a few indicators for each.


  • Mostly heads up, focused on the end goal
  • Taking actions that solve today's important problems, forestalling tomorrow's urgent ones
  • Exhilarated
  • Growing and developing to reach a stretch goal
  • Collaborative problem solving and resource sharing
  • Managing the development of their teams


  • Mostly heads down, feeling overwhelmed with what's directly in sight
  • Taking actions that only solve today's urgent problems
  • Exhausted
  • Pulling muscles as they over reach for something unattainable
  • Frequent near misses
  • Isolation
  • Complaining about their teams

Of course, we vacillate between these two poles in any given short time period. But if you see that your teams are constantly straining, you'll need to make changes. Teams that are straining need support - resources, skills building, reprioritization, it's a hard place to scale from.

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