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Gold Star Standards: Three Strategic Focuses for Ensuring Sustainable Business Growth

4 min read

5 days ago

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If you’ve seen multi-unit brands either get permanently stuck or go suddenly bankrupt, it can look like a huge surprise from the outside. One day, it was running; the next, it was over. However, I can guarantee that, on a closer look, the picture of decline is always recognizable. Let me tell you what kinds of things happen behind the scenes in these cases:


  • Goals are murky, unclear, or even uncommunicated, leaving team members and customers guessing what the end goal even looks like or how the business is supposed to get there…


  • The team’s leaders, and often the Founder, are seen over-extending or micromanaging in order to keep heads above the water, creating friction, frustration, and complexity that ripple from the top down through the front lines…


  • And the visionary people with the guts, heart, and ideas to lead their organizations don’t know how to overcome the denial and avoidance that tempt them away from real growth!


In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, multi-unit business leaders face unprecedented challenges as well as brand-new opportunities. If you as a leader want to accelerate your success and transform your brand into a thriving billion-dollar empire, you can focus on three critical Gold Star standards that will drive sustainable growth and shield you from the looming threat of brand decline.


Gold Star #1: Clarify Your Strategic Growth 

In the "Phygital Era," where digital and physical experiences (consider mobile and online ordering, for example!) have an amazing opportunity to merge in complex ways, strategic clarity is paramount.


As the landscape becomes more complicated and technologically integrated, staying grounded in clear goals and measurable performance metrics can strengthen yourself and your business.


Above, you can see the Gold Star Standards, which will cancel out destructive signs of a lack of clarity! 


If planning is a challenge, start with a simple one-page plan that addresses your goals from now until the end of the year. Define your top three priorities for your financials: sales-building, brand competitiveness, operational excellence, and team expectations. Identify the key metrics you want to achieve as proof that you, your team, and your business are moving the needle.


By embracing this one simple step, you'll start to position your business on a path for long-term success and keep you ahead of competitors who fail to adapt to the evolving landscape.


Gold Star #2 - Build YOUR Leadership Team

So often, I see amazing concepts and teams held back by overreliance on the leader’s innate knowledge of the business’s workings. Most leaders have an amazing knowledge of the details of their business that others may not, leading the team to continually look to the leader for guidance in all things.


This makes the strategic significance of building an independent and inspiring leadership team even more important. A truly sustainable business cannot rely solely on its leader, so having a team of direct reports who can execute your vision and plan and who you can rely on to guide others and get things done is such a powerful tool for business sustainability.


A leadership team that shares your vision can execute, drive, and lead your teams, businesses, and culture.


One of our leadership principles at KWP is that “The Team is a Reflection of their Leader,” and while everyone has a role, not everyone is a leader! By reviewing your leadership positions and filling them with inspiring, vision-focused, and action-oriented leaders, you set your team up with leaders who will not merely manage them but will pave the way to success in every effort.


Few things are more powerful than aligning your leadership team (and every team through them) to your clear vision and goals as a leader.


A leadership team that can make your vision thrive independently enables you to focus on high-level strategy, brand expansion, and business acceleration


Gold Star #3 - Amplifying Business Visibility

We have another leadership principle at KWP: “The Clearer the Leader, the Clearer the Team.” It’s one of many, and it applies holistically, meaning that whatever a leader focuses on and tackles, the team will focus on it as well.  Based upon the leader’s focus, a team may focus on problems, survival, or in scaling businesses, the focus is on growth.


So, if a leader avoids consistently and frequently reviewing financials or faces obstacles in diligently tackling hard topics in the business, the team will lack the sense of direction needed to drive the business forward.


Sustainable growth requires clear communication and fearless leadership, especially when it is focused on financial results and achieving priorities that truly move the needle in your business.



Adopting and cultivating a Scaling Mindset is a major way to jumpstart your business visibility. It is the best thing to unlock your potential and drive, and you can learn more about how to achieve it from our article on the Scaling Mindset here. Once you’ve started to unlock your own scaling potential, you can increase visibility and alignment by helping your team to do the same.


By maintaining transparency and confronting your business's most challenging elements, you will build trust with yourself, your team, and your customers and pave the way for sustainable growth.


Elevate Your Business to Gold Star Status

As a 20+ year growth strategist who has partnered with top scaling brands, I can assure you that these Gold Stars are not just theoretical concepts – they are proven strategies that drive real success! By implementing these principles, you'll avoid the "Death Stars" of business and position your business for continual competitive and accelerated growth.


The path to becoming a multi-unit or multi-million-dollar brand is not for the faint of heart, but with the right strategies and a scaling mindset, it's within your reach. Embrace the Gold Star Standards to transform your business into an unstoppable force in the marketplace.


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4 min read

5 days ago

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