What’s the highest & best use of your time?
Business owners, you are probably doing too many of the wrong things in your company.
In the early stages of a company, a CEO has to wear many hats including sales, marketing, manager, HR, accounting, and customer deliverables. And this adds value to the organization in its beginning growth.
But, as a company grows and scales, it adds more specialists to the mix. These incredibly talented people can do everything the CEO does, but better because they are specialists in a single area.
And, as you hire them, it’s important to hand over the reigns.
However, this transitional period in a company’s growth can feel very challenging to the CEO. It’s often a place where you can get stuck, actually causing a bottleneck in your company.
Each day, you continue to work in your business instead of on your business. And while keeping busy can make you feel really productive, this is not the highest and best use of your time. Plus, it doesn’t facilitate the scaling of your company, and it doesn’t allow the talent that you hired to do what they do best.
CEOs, when you do too much in your company and you don’t let go, here are the other problems you cause:
- You prevent your people from growing into the positions for which you hired them.
- You are limiting your ability to exit the company.
- You are training your people to rely on you, instead of growing in their ability to lead other people, serve your customers, and add value to the organization.
- You are hurting profits because you are one of the highest paid people in the organization. Your company makes more when you give most of that work to others.
It’s a hard pill to swallow but the truth is that most of your current day-to-day duties can be handled by another person.
What’s more, your people can do things better and faster because they won’t be as distracted by as many responsibilities because they aren’t the CEO.
And the less you do yourself, the more you will be able to inspire and empower others in your company. You’ll remove yourself as a bottleneck that delays forward momentum because your people are waiting on you.
Get focused on what matters as the CEO of your business
Let’s talk about how you should prioritize the highest and best use of your time.
As a CEO, your areas of focus should be primarily limited to:
- Evangelizing and stewarding the mission, values, and vision of your company.
- Looking over the horizon at both the internal and external competitive landscapes, opportunities for expansion, customers, markets, new industry developments, trends, standards, and so forth.
- Setting and implementing strategic goals and initiatives to move your company forward in a way that aligns with your mission, values, and vision.
- Creating and nurturing relationships with referrers, influencers, and partners who will further the interests of your company’s strategic goals.
- Meeting with your senior leadership to guide their actions and help them manage your people, operations, and offerings.
- Setting and monitoring your key performance indicators (including revenue and profit) to ensure that everything in your company is performing well – and proactively addressing those items that are not.
How to stay at the helm (and not fall back into the technician role)
No one is more passionate about your business than you. You are its steward, its nurturer, and its biggest fan. That’s why you are at its helm – so stay there (instead of running into the galley to cook).
Like many of today’s CEOs, you may currently be mired down with tasks that require amazing amounts of your time and energy – including (but not limited to) production, bookkeeping, writing proposals, delivering services, coding, designing, and any number of other daily duties.
But you don’t have to carry the burden on your own! If you’re ready to shed the weight created by the myriad of daily duties that distract you from your real work as CEO, you have 3 choices to get them off your plate:
You can offload your responsibilities to another person on your team, hire someone to take on the tasks, or outsource the workload. Trust your team and let go.
This isn’t my favorite choice as a solution, but I realize that in a growing company a CEO must still wear multiple hats. So, if you don’t yet have a person who you can delegate your responsibilities to (yet), then see if you can put them off until you’ve been able to work on your business.
It may surprise you to learn that some of the things you are doing simply do not need to be done. Consider your list of To-dos. Is there anything you can just drop off it? Then go ahead and delete it now – you’ll feel so much better.
This won’t happen overnight…
I understand that it may feel challenging for you to let go of your non-CEO duties.
But, to grow your company to achieve your Big Vision, you must work toward further developing your own leadership skills by stepping more fully into the CEO role.
And build your team around you to grow your company. Together, you will accomplish great things.
Creating and implementing this mental framework around your role as a CEO is a powerful way to transform your business.
Of course, it’s going to take you time, dedication, and intention to shift your focus. It will also mean bringing in the right team members to take on the jobs that you “fire yourself” from.
Bottom line: This won’t happen overnight. But it’s the perfect business initiative to take on and stick to this year. The results may just astound you!
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