Do you have a second in charge?
As an entrepreneur, it is easy to get stuck in a loop of doing everything yourself. You are the owner, the administration assistant, the payroll, and the business itself. A good first step to make sure you unload yourself of tasks you are either not enjoying, or are not very good at, is to find a second in charge.
I learned that I needed a good second in charge to help push forward. You may believe that a good integrator may be hard to find, but stop to think, are they already on your team, and you don’t know it yet?
A few years back I thought I had my number two locked in, however things just seemed not to be meshing well between the two of us. My sales team was always frustrated, account managers were consistently waiting to get important details they needed, and our accounting department had similar issues which led me to be overly frustrated. I tried to hire a bad cop to handle to day to day interactions with our team, but he had a hard time having difficult conversations, so things never really got resolved. It took me a while to realize maybe this wasn’t the guy I thought I needed, and he honestly didn’t seem too happy in the role. He didn’t deal with pressure well and didn’t like having those difficult conversations with employees. I wasn’t looking for an order taker or a yes-sir personality, I wanted someone that strategically could plan ahead and that could grow my business top line and bottom line, I needed a deductive problem solver that had enough authority and conformity to hold me and my team accountable, this wasn’t the guy.
Maybe you are in a similar situation, and let me tell you, it is crucial for the success of your business to grab the bull by its horns as soon as possible.
As an owner I found it important to know myself and understand my strengths and weaknesses, and one of my big weaknesses were around building systems and processes around all our growth. I am extremely structured and disciplined; I learned that I needed a staff member around me who could be more detail-orientated to offset what I could overlook from time to time. At the end of the day, I realized I needed and wanted to be working on projects, not tasks. I am great at driving forward and at execution, but I needed a team around me to clean up the details and put the brakes on me from time to time. Someone who had enough autonomy to say hey, that just isn’t going to work!
Are you to close to your business and find yourself going back and trying to resolve conflict you didn’t create in the first place, how are you going to grow your business if you are constantly getting stuck in the weeds? If you don’t have a solid number two, you are too close to your business and not stepping into the Visionary Role, you need to be focusing on the WHAT while your integrator figures out the how. Take your time and don’t rush the process, understand your strengths and weaknesses and what ultimately you strategically need to complement you to achieving goals & grow the business.
Still unsure if you really need a second in charge?
Are you always looking at the big picture, coming up with new ideas for growth, setting your next big BHAG, or simply happy with status quo? What or who got you to where you are today and who do you need around you to help take you to get you to where you are going the next 3-5 years? Should you be the one running the day to day, are you in the weeds looking at the dew on the grass every day when you should be looking down from 30,000 feet, or do you prefer the details and systems building? Are you a natural gas pedal, do you have the right breaks around you to keep things in check, or do you already have enough defense and offense on the team? Do you have the right partner to get you out of the day to day and to focus on bigger picture? Are you naturally hard wired to do everything yourself, or do you need a Ying to your Yang? These are many of the questions I began to ask myself as I have scaled my business and grown both personally and professionally.
I needed to hire someone else to be the bad cop, and together today we have a high level of mutual respect. I want and seek open, honest feedback and that is what has made us successful working together, no matter how out of the box my ideas are, he is confident enough to simply tell me it is a BAD idea, or maybe that is something we can implement, and sometimes that is just what I need to hear.
One of my forum mates (in Entrepreneur Organization) gave me the idea of 1 day a week working remote, I started doing this and feel in love with it, now I do 2 days a week and the amount of work I get done is tenfold. I can focus on big picture movement for the organization and not have the distractions of being in the office, not to mention the drive time I save, all in all it turns out to be a productive day. Having my second in charge in place gives me the confidence that I can take this time every week, and if my wife and I decide to take a long vacation I don’t stress out that the place is going to burn down. Find your work life balance and find the right team to get you there.
- Find out if you are in a place where you need a second in charge
- Have your whole leadership team assessed to see what type of horsepower or lack thereof you have under the hood. Be confident you are seeking the right person with the right abilities for your role/team
If you want to know if you have the right number two in place, if you might have someone on your team that could do the job, or if you want to know how to start the process, you can email Cmoscarino@cultureindex.com