Right now, there are bosses working hard, long hours, back to back meetings, late nights and totally exhausted trying to work in the business. Their sleeves are rolled up fixing problems, firefighting, nose stuck in almost all meetings, reading endless update emails, micromanaging their teams or even worse not managing them at all. This can be especially true for some owner/managers and even CEOs at times
So why do they do that, is it lack of trust in their team, fear of losing control, they have a reactive or impulsive management style or is it that just sometimes bosses like to be involved in the day to day of their business.
The answer is that it is probably a mixture of all the above, but as every leader and coach will tell you. At executive level, you need to be working on your business not in your business for success and longevity.
Here is how some of these challenges can be addressed
Lack of Trust
If you do not trust your team to effectively manage the day to day activities, then the problem lies with either you or the team. Bosses need to figure out why they lack trust, is it because of past experiences or that they have inexperienced teams. Often, companies have extremely skilled staff but in the wrong positions in the company. Re-evaluate what you need and consider a reshuffle of roles/responsibilities or consider new hires to provide the confidence you need to be able to stand back.
Fear of losing control
Fear of losing control can be a big barrier to overcome, especially when you have nurtured the company from the beginning. If someone else does that duty, will it be done right, on time, will you still be needed, wanted, or eventually disappear into the background. The fear of losing control affects almost all of us at one time or another especially with something that we are passionate about. To help manage this fear you must first of all acknowledge it, then start by listing all the tasks that you do or are part of, begin by grading them in order of importance to you and the company, then think about who in the organisation would you have confidence delegating them to. Forget about their current roles and responsibilities while doing this, you are discovering who you trust. By doing this exercise, it allows bosses to manage that fear and build confidence with their team.
Impulsive and reactive management
Impulsive and reactive management styles can be detrimental to companies, if you are constantly fire fighting or changing strategies frequently to a point where no strategy is working then you need to consider surrounding yourself with a leadership team or group of advisors that can help guide you through strategy development and planning. Having peers on your team that think differently from you can be a big advantage and can help to analyize and evaluate strategies and decisions to a greater degree and will also help you to stay focused on the bigger picture
Sometimes our bosses cannot help it
Sometimes our bosses cannot help it they may enjoy being in the business, working with various teams, knowing everything there is to know from an operational standpoint. They may even be the lead expert that the company needs. This style of boss is only a problem if there is no one else with the responsibility of working on the business. For example, some owner/managing directors bring on an advisory board and assign a VP of strategy for that reason. They remain at the helm but are supported by the board and strategist to ensure that the development and vision of the company is achieved.
Owner managers can be offended when they are asked to work on the business rather than in it, it maybe something they have not had to do before or believe that they are already doing that now. For a change of this magnitude to happen, bosses need to truly understand and believe in the benefits, have strong teams and managers that they trust, and more importantly of all, they have to want to do it.
Benefits of working on the business
- Time to plan and focus on the future of your business
- Discover new ways to grow the business
- Grow sales and increase profit margin
- Greater understanding of your customers and competitors
- Improved financial planning