Become The CEO Of Your Business – Part 1

As an entrepreneur with big dreams, you’ll get to the point where in order to grow, you’re going to have to have a team of staff at some point (either directly employed or outsourced). Hiring, managing and delegating is both exciting and scary, so how you step up and handle these tasks will help determine just how successful you’ll be at reaching your goals. A number of my clients are going through this ‘growing pain’ at the moment. They’re torn between their desire to grow and their unwillingness to ‘let go’ because in their view, nobody else is as good at the job as they are. Building a team means one thing that many entrepreneurs fail to realise. That you need to become a leader, and whether you like it or not, this is no longer a party of one.  You are now the CEO of your business and it’s time to step into that role! So I often find myself reminding my clients that in the early days, they weren’t as skilled as they are now. Somebody took the time to teach them how to master their trade and provide the right balance of constructive criticism and positive feedback so that they too became an expert in their field. And in all probability that person required more than a little patience too!

So here are four ways you can step up and act like the CEO of your business:

1. Look At The Big Picture

Your focus should be on fixing systemic issues that impact long-term success rather than getting stuck in to micro-managing minute details. As a leader, you need to ask leadership-level questions. Instead of asking why a deadline was missed, ask what systems you should put have in place to ensure client deadlines are met every single time. Do you see the difference? Being able to look at the big picture ensures success in the long-term instead of jumping from one fire to fire, trying to put them all out.

2. Understand Your Leadership Style

As a leader, every single one of us has certain quirks that we need to understand.  Unbelievable I know! Having insight into, and embracing our habits and expectations will help you to hire the right types of people for your team and ensure you have the right players in place. This means bringing people on board to compliment and balance your weaknesses. According to the Myers Briggs test I did a while ago, I’m a ‘visionary CEO who needs a PA to provide the structure and organisation needed for me to be fully creative. It’s not that I can’t do these tasks; it’s just not my ‘zone of genius.’ I’m also very picky about grammar and spelling, so I will only ever hire people with strong writing skills. What’s great about being entrepreneur is that you have the freedom to build a team that works with your leadership style, so own it!

3. Learn How To Delegate Effectively

There is no doubt that delegating can be risky business. If you delegate without maintaining some control, you may find the final result is below your expectations.  If you’re too controlling, your team members may feel criticised and even paralyzed to the point of not being able to get the job done. To delegate effectively, you need to lead and manage simultaneously.  You need to balance inspiring, coaching and encouraging with communicating goals, requirements and the conditions around the project. You also have to be willing to make mistakes.

4. Grow Leaders Fast

The more quickly you can grow leaders within your business, regardless of their position, the more quickly your company will lead the field and grow. A leadership culture is where everyone thinks like a CEO, where everyone is entrepreneurial and proactive, focused on creating solutions rather than dealing with problems. This means that your team take personal responsibility for achieving results – be that helping to reduce waste and contain costs, creating a favourable impression with your customers or staying on to get a job completed. This does not mean that your staff are doing the job of the CEO. But what it does mean is that all your people know their role and ‘show up’ fully. And when all your team are ‘leaders without a title,’ when they think, feel and act like leaders – good things will happen to your business!

Moving from business owner to CEO thinking can be challenging, and it is a continual work in progress. But the sooner you get started, the quicker you'll grow your business, and the process will be much more enjoyable and fun.

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