The default approach to growing responsibilities in organizations is often focused on two dimensions – i) breadth – i.e. broaden scope and ii) layers – i.e. add layers and build a team.
What is fascinating is that consistent personal and professional growth in the long run tends to skew in another dimension – our ability to go narrow and deep. Doing so means asking difficult questions, pushing boundaries, and demanding excellence (even when it is unpopular) over a sustained period of time.
When we demonstrate the ability to dig deep into narrow areas over a sustained period, we provide great leverage to the organization. As a result, we are trusted to broaden our aperture and hire others to provide more leverage.
The other benefit of this approach is that expansion of this sort tends to be organic and, by definition, healthy for the organization we are in. But, as it is built on trust, it doesn’t show instant results.
Instead, like most good things in life, this trust builds and compounds over time. Slowly at first. Then quickly.