The Art of Being a Growth Leader: Unveiling the Secrets of Success

Sep 11, 2023

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, the role of a growth leader has never been more critical. But what does it truly mean to be a growth leader? Drawing insights from a series of enlightening articles from McKinsey & Company, we delve into the core tenets that define successful growth leadership.

The Growth Leader’s Blueprint

Growth leaders are not just born; they are made through experience, insight, and a deep understanding of the modern business ecosystem. Their success is often rooted in their ability to integrate creativity, analytics, and purpose — a combination that McKinsey aptly terms the “growth triple play.”1

1. Embracing Creativity, Analytics, and Purpose

Only 7% of companies have successfully harnessed the power of the growth triple play, resulting in an average revenue growth of 2.3 times compared to their peers from 2018–19.2 This integration is not just about using these elements in isolation but about creating a synergy where each component amplifies the other.

Creativity: It’s the breakthrough ideas that underpin bold, imaginative campaigns. It’s about thinking big, dreaming big, and ensuring the customer remains at the heart of every initiative.

Analytics: In the age of data, understanding customer behavior, predicting market trends, and making informed decisions is crucial. Analytics provides the tools to monitor changes in consumer behavior and make real-time adjustments.2

Purpose: More than just a buzzword, purpose acts as a guiding star. It ensures that every product, service, or campaign resonates deeply with customers and aligns with the brand’s core values.2

2. The Role of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)

The modern CMO is not just a marketer; they are the growth drivers of an organization. With 78% of CEOs relying on CMOs to spearhead growth, their role has transformed. They stand at the intersection of customer needs and organizational capabilities, uniquely positioned to draw on all organizational functions.2

3. Building Resilient Ecosystems

One of the key insights from McKinsey’s articles is the importance of resilience, especially in the face of disruptions like the COVID-19 pandemic.3 Growth leaders understand the significance of building ecosystems that can withstand shocks, adapt quickly, and continue to thrive. This resilience is often rooted in strong partnerships, collaborations, and a deep understanding of the market landscape.

4. Continuous Learning and Adaptation

The best CEOs and growth leaders are not complacent. They understand the importance of continuous learning, adaptation, and improvement.4 Whether it’s through regular feedback, market research, or staying updated with the latest industry trends, growth leaders are always on their toes, ready to pivot when necessary.

5. Customer-Centricity: The Heart of Growth

At the core of every growth strategy is the customer. Whether it’s understanding their needs, predicting their behaviors, or crafting campaigns that resonate with them, growth leaders are obsessively customer-centric.5 They understand that in the age of digital transformation, customers are more informed and have higher expectations. Meeting and exceeding these expectations is the key to sustained growth.

6. Sustainable and Inclusive Growth

In today’s world, growth is not just about numbers. It’s about creating value that is sustainable and inclusive.6 Growth leaders understand the importance of sustainability, not just from an environmental perspective but also in terms of long-term business viability. They also recognize the significance of inclusivity, ensuring that growth benefits a broader spectrum of stakeholders.


Being a growth leader in the modern business world is a challenging yet rewarding endeavor. It requires creativity, analytical prowess, and a strong sense of purpose. It’s about understanding the market, anticipating changes, and being ready to adapt. But above all, it’s about putting the customer at the heart of every decision.

The journey might be daunting for those aspiring to be growth leaders, but the rewards are immense. As the business landscape evolves, the principles of creativity, analytics, and purpose will remain the guiding stars, illuminating the path to success.