In the four decades I’ve spent in the business world, I’ve watched patterns repeat with well-meaning business owners who aren’t able to succeed as CEO of that business.
If you’re feeling you’re not getting the results you want from your business or your team members, you may be falling prey to one of the three common traps. It’s worth understanding what put you there if you’re going to climb out and move forward.
Three Traps You May Be Stepping Into
Let’s start by examining what those 3 traps are:
Trap #1: LACK OF LEVERAGE – You find yourself sucked back into the swirl of activities to get the job done.
Why are you in this position? It is either because you’re trying to control all the details of what needs to be done vs. focusing on the results you want to get, OR the people who are responsible to do the task aren’t qualified, don’t understand the scope of the task (i.e. expectations), have poor time management, don’t understand how to prioritize, and the list goes on.
It is important to determine what the answer is to WHY the task isn’t being done as expected (quality and timelines), before you can move forward.
Here’s some insight into what you can do so you don’t fall into this trap again.
Once you have clearly articulated the WHY and gone through this process, then let the person who is responsible for the execution of the task run with it; be open to their process. It is entirely possible that person will find a better way of accomplishing the task. Remember it is the RESULT you desire. Release it and empower your people. Inspect it after with an open mind and you might surprise yourself that it was much better than you had even anticipated!
Trap #2: NOT DELEGATING – You’re hanging on to things that should be assigned to others to execute.
Boy, if we had a dollar for each time we’ve heard the following phrase, we’d be rich:
“It will take me longer to explain to someone else how to do it than it will to just do it myself, and then I know it’s done right the first time.”
Listen, if it’s a repetitive process, and you could pay someone a lower hourly rate to get it done, then you need to STOP DOING IT!
Yes, it may take longer to explain the first time and YES you might have to explain it more than once. If you have the RIGHT person and you have a documented, trained procedure you’ll be able to step away and either focus on your revenue-generating activities or go spend time on the golf course! LOL.
You will experience a great sense of RELIEF and wonder why you didn’t do this earlier. Revisit your Vision of where you want the business to be and what specifically you will be doing as the CEO, then stick to your role and responsibilities. It isn’t always easy, but you can do it.
BE the CEO you desire to be – that certainly isn’t one who hangs on to every task that needs to be done in the business. Having leverage is also very gratifying when you witness your team stepping up in their level of accomplishments.
One common phrase we always repeat is, “Hire right the FIRST time.” Also, recognize that as your business changes, sometimes your team has to change. Don’t be afraid of change and understand no one said it would be easy, but you have to just BE the CEO and do what needs to be done.
Trap #3: NOT MAKING KEY DECISIONS
Are you feeling like your business has stalled like the old jalopy? Is it just putt, putt, putting along? This is a common trap that CEOs and team members all fall into. They hold on to false beliefs that if they keep doing what they are doing, and maybe just work a little harder, they will be ok.
In order to achieve more, you have to do something different or change up how you have been running the business and/or your offerings of products and services and people. Adjustments may be in your market expansion into a different geographical area, target market, or services/products.
What you change is based on the type of business you have. Now, let me challenge you with the REAL way to get out of the TRAP. It is to challenge your thinking and ask yourself, “What am I truly believing and why am I not making key decisions?”
Remember Growth and Fear cannot work together. You must have BELIEF in order for GROWTH to follow. Don’t be fearful to make key decisions that will benefit the business. Be strategic, do your research, pull in advisors and move FORWARD out of the trap.
Your Homework this month from me is to:
- Identify YOUR traps – what has been holding you back?
- Consider, what do you really WANT?
- Make a decision on what you will do and by when!
- Take Action – don’t look back. Remove the rear-view mirror and ONLY look through the windshield. Your future is before you.