Who is Leading your Business?
People who run companies use a whole host of different titles. CEO, Chief Executive, Managing Director; you can have your pick of the bunch.
But, regardless of what you call them, there’s one thing every leader has in common; their role is to grow the business they’re in charge of.
When you’re at the helm, you need your business to be working for you and not the other way around. You shouldn’t be working all hours under the sun just to keep the wheels turning every day, and if you are then something has to change. You need to shift your focus from the “what” to the “why”, delving into your beliefs and values rather than plans and processes.
What is the Role of a Leader?
The CEO of any business has three separate roles they should play. They should set the context, manage the motivation, and coach rather than play. Of course, there’s a lot more to running a company than that, but it is a good place to start.
Setting the Context
By “setting the context“, we mean that it’s the CEO’s job to identify the core goals and values of the business. In other words, you create the dream that the rest of your employees will follow.
This does mean that you’ll constantly be thinking of the future, working around 12 months ahead of where you are right now. In the meantime, your team will be running the present-day tasks of your company. This is the content of the business – the continuous processes that keep it running smoothly – and you need to be focusing on content.
Clear context makes for quicker decisions that are aligned with your business goals. You and your entire team will understand where you are in your journey and use context to make the right choices in terms of risk, products, and market position.
By managing motivation, you create belief in your context and ensure that your staff understand and invest in your vision. It’s all very well saying that you want to drive change, but if your employees aren’t backing you, the effect will fall flat.
As a leader, you should be able to feel your business as though it were a living thing. You should be able to tell when the energy is where it needs to be and when something is off. All of your staff have a certain amount of energy they should be putting into their work. When motivation is aligned and energies are at their peak, work should flow easily, and success will come naturally.
If managing processes aren’t working, heads of departments are confused over context, and the belief in your goals isn’t there, you’re going to feel that loss of energy.
Think of it like a car. As the owner, your job is to make sure every part is working harmoniously, and you can feel when they are. The drive is smooth and easy, getting you where you want to go. But if something stops working properly, you’re going to feel it and notice the bumpier ride and the strange noises. You’re tuned in to your car, just as you should be tuned into your business.
Coaching Instead of Playing
As CEO, one of the hardest things to give up is being on the field. Just as a coach doesn’t play the sport but watches from afar, you won’t be working on the shop floor but leading from a distance.
Your job is to build a team with the confidence, knowledge, and skills to run your business without you. Even if handing over the reigns is tough, it’s what you need to do to allow room for growth. You create the big picture and then encourage and teach your team how to get there. In other words, you coach!
You can’t think 12 months ahead if you’re constantly working on daily orders and decisions. By stepping back, your team can run the day to day processes of your business whilst you have time to be the leader in the company and help to scale the business.
There’s no doubt that delegating is tough when you’re the CEO. You want to be out there, getting your hands dirty and doing everything yourself. But other people can do those tasks, whilst there’s no one else who can drive your vision as you can.
You’re Not Running the Business
There’s a quote from Lao Tzu, a Chinese philosopher, which sums up the role of a leader quite nicely:
“A leader is best when people barely know he exists when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.”
Your job isn’t to shout orders and constantly run every small task in your company. Micro-management definitely isn’t the way to see growth. Your job is to make your business work for you. It shouldn’t be dependant on you and it should be able to run without you.
Rather than being a manager, you’re an entrepreneur (Leader). Your focus should be on growth, and the foundations you’ve set up should be enough to keep the wheels turning without your input.
That might seem impossible from where you are right now, but with the right knowledge and a little patience, you’ll get there.
Hire a Growth Consultant
If you’re looking to step back from a managing role and start focusing on growing your business, our growth coach team can help. With plenty of experience helping to drive businesses forwards in a wide range of industries, we can use our knowledge to create a thriving company that aligns with your values. Get in touch with us today to find out more!