One of the greatest challenges for most business owners is to get away from the business for rest, refreshment, and strategic planning. As a business coach this is my ongoing challenge to owners of small businesses. One reason this is so difficult is because we don’t understand the 3 levels of work in our company. Let me explain.
Level One: Tactical and Technical Work
These are the daily tasks and activities that enable us to deliver our products or services. If we’re in manufacturing, it is making the widgets. If we’re in retail, it is serving and selling to the customers who walk in. If we’re in professional services, it is doing whatever we do to deliver value to our clients. If we’re in sales, it is the actual selling activity.
In other words, these are the “technical” things you do everyday to fulfill your promise to your customers. Technicians are doers, and most owners of small businesses find themselves right here most of the time – doing, doing, doing. Sometimes exhausted from all the doing!
Level Two: Operational and Manager Work
The truth is that every business needs order and organization. The better organized a business is, the smoother it will operate. The manager is the one who organizes and brings order to chaos. The manager is the one who goes to Home Depot and buys stacking plastic boxes, takes them back to the shop (or office), and makes sure everyone has everything they need, easily accessible, to most efficiently do their jobs.
In other words, the manager makes it possible for the technicians to do their jobs, and to do them in the most efficient, profitable manner. Once a business owner moves from being a “solopreneur” to having employees or sub-contractors, they MUST learn to be managers. The problem is they (too often) are still doing the technical work PLUS managing the work of others. Also, they may not have the best systems or processes to get the jobs done in the most effective way. As a result, having employees creates MORE work, not less.
Level Three: Strategic and Leadership Work
Unfortunately this is what is lacking in most small businesses. The owner is too busy doing and managing chaos that they do not have time to reflect, think, strategize, and plan. They often don’t even have time to rest, nurture their family and important relationships, or envision a better future.
This is why I coach owners of small businesses!
My mission is to help business owners and executives achieve exceptional performance in the businesses, and to live rewarding lives. I do this by helping them understand what it means to be a leader in their business. I help them pull away from the business on a regular basis to grow as a leader. I help them create systems so their businesses can run more and more without their presence and their perspiration.
Leadership is the most important work of every business owner, but it is typically what is most missing!
Leaders create vision, strategies, and systems. Managers develop people and run the systems which execute the strategies to fulfill the vision. Technicians do the daily work of the company.
In reality, most business owners do all three. However, the goal MUST be to do more leadership work and less technical work. It is possible, but most of us need someone to help us, to coach us, so that we can gain a clearer vision and focus for the future, and so that we can build and implement strategic systems.
Business ownership should be about fun and fortune. It should not only enable you to create wealth, but most importantly, it should give you the life of your dreams. Are you living your dream, or does life feel more and more like a nightmare?
Business owners, take initiative! Take action to develop yourself. Engage a proven business coach to help you get focused, get relief, and make the changes necessary to create the life you really want!