Whether you have the entrepreneurial spirit and founded your company, manage a business, or direct a not-for-profit, you’re faced with the challenge of growing the organization. How do you grow and manage a business at the same time? Are you working on or in your business? 

At some point, you probably had to do it yourself, or it didn’t get done, but if you want to grow, you can’t continue doing it all yourself. Sound familiar? You may be the best, quickest, and most efficient widget maker in your organization, but if you’re busy building widgets – who’s growing the company?

What’s Best for You? 

It’s easy to convince yourself you’re doing what’s best for the organization when you’re working long, hard, productive hours, and completing tasks — but is what you’re doing truly in the best interest of the organization? It depends.

  • Do you want to grow?
  • Are you ready to grow?
  • Are you in a financial position to grow?
  • Who in your organization can do what you do? (I didn’t say as good)
  • What is holding you back?

If you have no one in your organization who can do what you do, your growth will always be limited to what you can do. If you want to grow, train someone to do what you do, or hire someone who can.

Who’s Next?

During a seminar at Indiana University’s Kelly School Of Business, the lecturer asked a room full of entrepreneurs and executives the following question:

“When it’s time to add an employee to help grow your business, do you hire someone who has knowledge or skills you share, or someone who has knowledge you don’t?”

His answer surprised many — “Hire someone to replace you.” With this practice, you can learn other competencies and grow the business. Besides — if you don’t understand what someone is doing, how would you know what they’re doing? Learn how to do it — grow your company.

I’m not naive enough to believe you can train yourself to be an attorney or a rocket scientist. If you need specialized professional advice, you will need to depend on others, but look around your organization; who can replace you? Who can do what you do?

So, Are You Working ON or IN Your Business? 

Working IN your business is:

  • Doing tasks others can do
  • Not training others what you know
  • Not hiring to replace yourself
  • Busy putting out fires rather than assigning firemen
  • Letting results manage you

Working ON the business is:

  • Delegating and following up
  • Training, training again, training more
  • Mentoring
  • Overseeing — not over doing
  • Developing systems, procedures
  • Planning and sharing visions

If you want to grow your organization, you must be the director, not the actor. What do you want to be?

How Can I Help You?

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

Does your business have a  management training plan? Many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. Check it out.

Photo by jesse orrico on Unsplash