The Personal and Professional Scalability Test

Rubik's cube

Scalable systems, companies, and organizations take full advantage of opportunities for growth by changing in size, scale, and/or scope while simultaneously increasing efficiency and profitability. The same goes for people, including you and me, although our “profits” include emotional, intellectual, spiritual, professional and financial gains.

The more scalable you are, the more profitably you’ll grow, the more opportunities you’ll create and take advantage of, and the more abundance you’ll produce and share. Being scalable, personally and professionally, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, physically, and financially, is a key ingredient to mastering you from the inside out.

In general to be scalable you must have a clear understanding of (1) your goals, (2) your strengths and weaknesses, and (3) the additional complimentary people and resources you’ll need to achieve your goals.  You must also have a viable, doable plan to recruit and deploy the additional people and resources.  If you can’t recruit and deploy the additional people and resources, you’re not adequately scalable. There’s a lot of wisdom in the old adage, “jack of all trades, master of nothing.”

Are you sufficiently scalable to get married or cohabitate?  To have kids and grow your family? To handle a promotion, raise and increased management responsibility at work?  To effectively manage growing assets and liabilities? To change jobs or careers?  To create and implement a financial plan and budget?   

So how scalable are you? Let’s find out.

1. Do you have plans for personal or professional growth over the next year or more? If so, your scalability is important. No one is infinitely elastic emotionally, intellectually, energetically, or financially.

2. Have you assessed your strengths, weaknesses, and resources, including scalability in terms of your plans? If so, you may understand scalability and your need for scalability.

3. Do you know what additional resources you need to implement your growth plan? If so, you may be scalable.

4. When you’ve deployed additional resources in the past to implement your plans, are they proven resources who’ve been there, done that in terms of what you need them to do? Are they experts who are as or more qualified for their jobs as you are for yours? Or do you hire friends or inexpensive, inexperienced people who are less qualified? If you’re employing and deploying underqualified people or unproven resources who you need to micromanage, you’re probably not scalable.

5. Is your management style one of delegating responsibility and authority or only partial delegation? If you don’t delegate responsibility and authority, you’re probably not maximizing your return on the additional people and resources you’ve employed and deployed. Meaning you’re not as scalable as you could be and need to be.

6. Do you effectively manage the people working for you personally? Housekeepers, real estate agents, lawyers, therapists, personal trainers, etc. How about professionally?  Other employees, contractors, consultants.  Do you explain exactly what you expect them to do? And then delegate to them the entire job? Or do you delegate only half the job and do the other half yourself? Do you hold them accountable for doing the job as you’ve defined it? What do you do if they aren’t doing the job correctly? Do the job for them? Or manage them by explaining what they are doing incorrectly, holding them accountable to improve, and if necessary replacing them? If (a) you didn’t delegate the entire job to them, (b) you’re accommodating and indulging their nonperformance and not managing them, or (c) you’re doing their job for them, then you’re probably not scalable.

7. Think about the people working for you whom you’ve had to let go or replace. Was the problem them or you? Meaning did you fail to hire the right person or effectively manage them? If so, perhaps the issue was you and your management skills not being scalable.

8. Are you comfortable asking the people working for you to do specific things within a specific time frame? How about providing those working for you with feedback on what they’re doing well and what they could be doing better? If you’re not comfortable doing these things, you’re probably not scalable.

9. How frequently do you ask for feedback from important people at work and outside of work? Including your partners, boss, those above you at work, and your significant other at home. Especially feedback on what you could do better or what you need to do to be promoted, get a raise, etc. If you’re not regularly asking for feedback from those who control your destiny and scalability at work and at home, you’re probably not scalable.

10. Are you a procrastinator who always seems to be overloaded and behind? If so, you’re probably not scalable.

11. Do you spend a lot of time talking about how busy you are? If so, you’re probably not scalable.

12. Are you a sole proprietor with a management problem? If so you’re probably not scalable.  Alertness test.

For a more complete discussion of personal and professional scalability and the importance of planning, the recruitment and deployment of additional resources, and delegation to Mastering You from the Inside Out, see Chapter 15, “Are You Scalable?” Or go to my website


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