The changing role of the business leader leading up to and during business growth
Is the same old thing good enough?
Many of our clients approach us when they find that they are doing the same thing over and over again, or trying some new things and just aren’t getting the results that they’d hoped for. Or planned for.
While there are a number of reasons for this, one theme that occurs occasionally is the business owner who is not willing to expand their thinking to manage a different type of organization.
For example, say you had an interior decorating business. Business is pretty good, but you find that you are working around the clock – meeting with clients, negotiating with contractors, ordering decorative items, collecting money, managing money, updating your website, etc., and you have done so since the “birth” of the business. What you struggle with is that when you have a big job, you are unable to take on new customers, and when a big job is finished, you are scrambling to get new customers.
Some people call this “feast to famine.”
What do you do?
This is when you, as the business owner, need to learn some new tricks; to get beyond where you are, you will need to think differently about time management, execution, business operations, etc. You will find that you will probably want to hire an employee or some employees (or contractors or outsource partners). You will also find that you will have to take some time to train people. Which means that you will probably have to spend some time determining what the most important things to do will be.
Where many fall down is in letting these people that we hire actually have control enough to do their job. We like to micro-manage…which means that we give ourselves several more jobs – finding the right employee, training them and supervising them…which defeats the purpose. Your new employee/employees should enable you to do more and they should pay for themselves.
This does not mean to go off the deep end and not provide the level of supervision and support that your team needs, but rather, to work with your team as a team with each person on the team maintaining their own area of responsibility. Which means that you will want to hire people who are qualified to do the job that you want them to do, and can contribute to the growth of the company. If one cannot get into a position, learn the basics and help you to develop and potentially expand the position (have support staff, for example) then they may not be the best person for the role.
Yes – this means letting go, some. But it also puts your company in a position wherein you can focus more energies into doing the things that only you can do, while allowing your employees to do the things that they excel at.
Building an extraordinary company does not mean that you have to do everything yourself, or do everything the way you and your team have always done things. You may find that over time, you have to change your role or change your thinking within the company in order for it to be as successful as it could potentially be.
Rick Meekins is the Managing Consultant at Aepiphanni, the trusted advisor for business leaders who are seeking forward-thinking solutions to help them plan for and navigate through the challenges of business growth. Our entrepreneurial multidisciplinary team works with clients to develop differentiating solutions and provide direction focused on lasting, strategic results. We exist to help our clients CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD extraordinary businesses.
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