Becoming More CEO
The number one rule of risk reduction in your business is addressing its dependence on you as owner and removing single points of failure. Shifting tasks and responsibilities off your plate can feel like a loss, but it’s really the opportunity to become more CEO and less of a chief all-the-things officer.
Reducing Risk Brings Opportunity
If you want to make your company more valuable, there are 3 things you must do:
- Improve Earnings
- Increase Growth
- Reduce Risk
Reducing risk involves many facets but the universal one is reducing owner dependence. It makes sense when you think about it. If your company can’t function without you, how can a new owner feel confident that it’s worth what they’re paying?
Every time I talk with owners about whether they represent single points of failure in their businesses, I hear the same thing. They know it’s an issue. It worries them. They wish it were different so that they had options. Is that true for you?
The first thing we work on with business owners is to reduce owner dependence risk. The transformation takes many forms including strengthening your leadership team, helping you identify which meetings and tasks you can and should delegate, and documenting the things only you, as the owner, know.
Sometimes Opportunity Is Scary
What I continue to witness is that as the dependence on the owner decreases, the performance of the business increases, and… owners become anxious and unhappy. Wait, what?! It seems like having less stress on being a single point of failure, having more income, having a better performing business, hitting your goals and milestones, and having more time for your personal life are all GOOD things.
But there is a dark side to all these wonderful changes: You might feel like you’re losing control because you aren’t doing the same things you used to. The anxiety and unhappiness feelings are real. In some cases, the feelings are so strong that owners sabotage value creation initiatives, hurting themselves and their companies.
Now that we’ve named this unfortunate side effect, we can attack it.
Show me a business owner who doesn’t wish he or she could work ON the business more than IN the business. Well, this is that moment. As the tasks you used to handle yourself shift away from ones the business depends on for daily operations, bandwidth opens up for you to work on higher level activities including strategy and growth.
As businesses get larger, daily oversight is typically handled by the President or COO, separately from the person sitting in the CEO role. Regardless of your company’s size, if you are going through value creation then you’ll experience this shift to some degree. It’s awesome, even if a little uncomfortable.
You’ve Got This
Ok, so now that I’ve hopefully convinced you this change isn’t a bad thing, the next question is clearly, “Now What?”
Perhaps you already have a wish list of things you’d focus on if only you weren’t bogged down in the day-to-day. Or you might have no idea where to start because a daily operations role is all you’ve known. The solution for each owner is different. The one that’s best for you is the one you’ll have the easiest time adopting. In other words, the changes to your schedule and focus will stick when the new agenda feels natural and aligns with your wants, needs, and comfort level.
Sources for owner inspiration when becoming “more CEO” can include books, mentors, role models, and peer groups. When working as an advisor, we outline a path forward for the role customized to you as the owner. Another good option might be working with a business coach.
The important thing to remember is that as the roles of your management team grow and evolve to handle more of the day-to-day business operations, your role as owner needs to evolve as well. Go ahead, become more CEO!
To learn more about how we help owners manage their “What Next?” with continued success and growth, reach out for a conversation. Book an obligation-free Discovery Call or shoot us an email at [email protected].
BizOps Solved works with business owners to make their companies more valuable and their lives better.