Most business owners dream of greater wealth, freedom and happiness — to exert more control over their destinies. They start their companies to achieve financial, professional and personal independence and then relax, travel, give back and enjoy their lives as much as possible.
Many owners never realize their dreams, though, because they lack the mindset, processes and people to make them a reality.
A number of key factors contribute to the inability of a business to run effectively without the owner’s hands-on presence. Understanding these factors and making the necessary adjustments will position you to make your dreams come true.
The owner is the only team member who can handle all aspects of the business. If you’ve created a situation in which you’re the only one who can run your business, you’re tied to daily operations by necessity. Your success depends on hiring caring and competent individuals with positive attitudes and then providing them with ongoing professional development so they can excel and become leaders themselves.
The owner micromanages and fears giving up control. If you believe no one else can run your business the way you do, you’re right. You’re unique, and so is your perspective of your business. At the same time, though, there are individuals who could do an excellent, if not better, job than you. Relinquishing control appropriately can be learned and is made easier once competent team members, effective delegation and trust are in place.
The owner hasn’t mastered the art of delegation or understands the value of empowering the team. Learning to delegate tasks and projects to team members is liberating for you and empowering to them. One must become proficient at crucial components of delegation to handle it effectively. Every business owner I coach is amazed at the freedom they gain, the ownership their team members take on and how much smoother their business runs once effective delegation is implemented.
Managers aren’t competent to run the business. One powerful byproduct of delegation is it enables owners to discover who’s capable of taking on a job and who isn’t. If, through effective delegation and careful observation, you discover managers aren’t capable of running day-to-day operations, you face two choices: develop or replace them.
The business lacks structure, processes and a system of practical procedures. It’s imperative to put in place a system of simple and effective processes and operational procedures to deal with the situations that will inevitably arise. The success of your company depends on it. Business owners are often surprised and always delighted to discover how easy these are to create as well as how appreciated and liberating they are to everyone involved.
The owner hasn’t built a team that can run the business in his or her absence. The fear associated with letting go of overseeing day-to-day operations can be overcome by building a team that can run the business —and run it well — without the owner’s presence. When the success of your business depends solely on you, you trap yourself into a job. When you build a competent team and the responsibility for the success of the business is spread out through a team approach, everyone benefits — including the owner.
There’s a lot to consider in developing successful hands-off leadership. But with qualified coaching and training, the thriving business of your dreams is within your reach. As you adopt a more powerful mindset; implement structure, processes and systems; hire leaders — and let go of those who aren’t — and offer them ongoing assistance in developing their potential, your dreams of greater freedom, happiness and success will be realized.
Countless businesses thrive under the day-to-day leadership of managers and team members, with the owner providing general oversight, direction and new ideas. As you release your fears and build an empowered team that can handle daily operations, this could be your reality, too.