Get out of your way!
I'm sick of the day to day business!
It seems that I have to do everything!
I have to be involved with every decision!
If these statements sound like something you would say, then maybe you are trying to do too much. Many business owners see themselves as indispensable and needing to attend to all areas of the business.
A client that I have been working with for about 15 months was sick and tired of his business. As we worked together it became clear that his frustration was his feeling of being stuck in his business. He dealt with client issues and projects, while he had some very capable project managers in his firm. Within a month of him leveraging the talent in his business he found that he had more time and energy for growing his company. He is rejuvenated and reenergized in his business. Look at the following areas in your business and develop a plan to get out of your own way.
Critically evaluate your direct reports. Do they have the right skills, ability and training to run their function? If not, evaluate what it will take to get them capable to run their business without consulting you at every decision point. If the individuals in these roles do not have the capability, then make a change. Put them into positions where they can be effective.
If the individuals have the capability, but not the skills then get them the training so they can function more independent of your input. In many cases, we put people into management roles with little or no training and then regret the promotion.
Planning and Performance Transparency
Do your direct reports get involved with your planning process? Are they aware of where you want to take the company and how the business will get there? Without understanding your desired outcome and direction, there is no way they can be effective. Get them involved with the annual planning process and developing the metrics for success. Have them help identify where you are today, where you are going and the gaps that exist. Your management team will have more ownership of company goals when they have been involved with development of the plan.
Share company performance with your management team, so they can be involved with any course correction planning. I worked with a company recently that had a shortfall in their profitability last year and the owner asked his management team to take $X out of expense each month. The management team worked together to develop a plan that was then presented to the owner. The team hated the project, because it meant making some hard decisions, but in the end they had complete ownership for the plan. The owner could not have empowered his management team if they did not have complete transparency to company performance.
Delegation is easier said than done. It means giving someone else the keys to the car and we (business owners) are not good passengers. Before you can delegate effectively you need to have a team that you trust, the team has the tools to do the job, and you allow them to make mistakes. It requires you to do a tremendous amount of communication in the early stages, but it is all worth it once you let your leaders run their business.
This stage is more about training yourself! Work with someone outside your company to help with your management team assessments and develop your skills to delegate. It is more than just turning over more work to your direct reports. It involved communicating expectations and holding them accountable for results.
Start with baby steps. Work more closely with your management team to get them more involved with the direction of the business and start to critically assess their capabilities. Develop your team, develop yourself and then benefit from getting them more involved with running their function.
Larry Turner is CEO of Roundhouse Advisors, Inc. and has over 25 years experience growing, starting up, repositioning, and revitalizing organizations. Roundhouse Advisors is a consulting practice focused on helping businesses increase enterprise value by managing pain, growth and owner exits. Larry is a consultant, public speaker, and the author of two books "Owner Exit Planning: Leave On Your Own Terms" and "Mapping Your Recovery: Grow sales in difficult times". For additional information visit www.RoundhouseAdvisors.com
"Mapping Your Recovery: Grow sales in difficult times" provides additional information on areas that can positively impact your company www.roundhouseadvisors.com/growsalesbook