Larger companies generally have a hierarchy of managerial staff who understand how to preserve the health of the business—involving the CEO in decisions only when necessary. These individuals are trusted resources that allow the CEO to focus on the big picture.
Often, smaller companies do not have the luxury of a fully developed staff. As a result, the business leaders are much more involved in the details of their divisions (looking at project plans, etc.).
The question is, should they be? In today’s world, business leaders are looked upon as visionaries and influencers. To lead and scale effectively, they need to focus on the key growth activities, such as securing investment, building a public profile, creating relationships and driving strategy through marketing and technology rather than the day-to-day activities.
In my practice, I’ve seen two common themes emerge within businesses large and small:
#1) There’s a comfort level with the familiar. Data, tactical plans, and balance sheets are far less scary than putting oneself out there in the ecosystem. Add some FOMO and fear of letting go in there, and you’ve got a CEO or small business owner who is fully entrenched in minutiae. Personally, if it were me, I’d much rather throw myself into a complex problem that needs to be solved rather than put myself in a situation where I’m not quite comfortable.
#2) The bench is not deep. Many small businesses and startups are teaming with unseasoned employees who lack the experience and the know-how to make decisions and take measured risks. The bootstrapping/gig economy lends itself to businesses never building teams with in-depth knowledge, expertise, or longevity.
If you find yourself struggling with the “in the business vs. on the business” dynamic, you can leverage an experienced consultant who will show you how to shift your focus to activities for strategic focus.
My strategic and tactical skills have been well developed from working for years in large companies. I can manage the details, projects, departments, etc. for the senior leader.
The business leader is then free to work in sales, PR, or marketing—the aspects of the business that will help it grow and advance.
There have been many articles written on this topic such as this New York Times article from 2011 and this Forbes piece from 2013; I keep these two articles in my archives because they align fully with what I see every day in my business.
There is a solution that will help smaller companies shift their focus to growth—me!
Contact me today to talk about the needs of your business and which tasks I can take off your plate so you can focus on the big picture!