- All entrepreneurs get lost in the details of the business, but that approach is not scalable.
- Having a CEO performing CEO duties is crucial to the health of the company.
- By focusing on the big picture, entrepreneurs can more effectively identify what they want to accomplish and how to go about it.
All entrepreneurs have probably heard the well-worn advice “Work on your business, not in it.” It sounds like just another corporate cliché, but it’s a necessary caution because any entrepreneur is in danger of getting sucked into nitty-gritty employee work instead of assuming the big-picture CEO role. Take it from me.
There was a time when my inbox overflowed with questions and a steady stream of people visited my office looking for help. I had trained my people to come to me when they had problems because I feared what would happen if I wasn’t involved in every detail of the business.
For entrepreneurs, it’s easy to get stuck trying to fill every role at once: The company may need its founder to manage day-to-day tasks in the early phases of its development, but there comes a point when that founder needs to be more of a captain and less of a sailor. Studies increasingly show that companies where founders assume and continue to play the CEO role perform more innovatively and profitably over time.
Their transition into full-time leadership requires trusting the employees they’ve hired to execute defined duties that contribute to the long-term health of the company. These are people with skills and expertise who know the expectations of their roles and how to go about getting their jobs done.
When a leader instead operates by simply giving his or her team all the answers – what I call leadership through expertise – it’s often about