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The One Change CEOs Can Make to Transform Your Business in 2014
As we ring in the new year, it’s common to find yourself with demanding personal resolutions and unattainable visions of success.
And at the risk of sounding cliché, I’d like to propose a single change (notice that I say single, not simple) you can make to completely transform your business and growth path in 2014.
CEOs: Make the Highest and Best Use of Your Time
Business owners, listen up! As the CEO of your company, you are still doing too many of the wrong things.
Each day, you are working in your business instead of on your business. And while keeping busy can make you feel really productive, playing task master is not the highest and best use of your time.
Believe it or not, most of your current day-to-day duties can be handled by another person. What’s more, they can do it better and faster because they won’t be as distracted by as many responsibilities.
And the less you do yourself, the more you will be able to inspire and empower others in your company. You’ll also remove yourself as a bottleneck that delays forward momentum because your people are waiting on you.
Get Focused on What Matters
It’s time to prioritize the highest and best use of your time. As a CEO, your areas of focus should be primarily limited to:
- Evangelizing and stewarding the mission, vision, and, values of your company.
- Looking over the horizon at both the internal and external competitive landscapes, opportunities for expansion, customers, markets, new industry developments, trends, standards, and so forth.
- Setting and implementing strategic goals and initiatives to move your company forward in a way that aligns with your mission, vision, and values.
- Creating and nurturing relationships with people and who will further the interests of your company’s strategic goals.
- Meeting with your senior leadership to guide their actions and help them manage your people, operations, and offerings.
- Monitoring your key performance indicators (including revenue and profit) to ensure that everything in your company is performing well – and proactively addressing those items that are not.
How to Stay at the Helm
No one is more passionate about your business than you. You are its steward, its nurturer, and its biggest fan. That’s why you are at its helm – so stay there (instead of running into the galley to cook).
Like many of today's CEOs, you may currently be mired down with tasks that require amazing amounts of your time and energy - including (but not limited to) production, bookkeeping, writing proposals, delivering services, coding, designing, and any number of other daily duties.
But you don't have to carry the burden on your own! If you're ready to shed the weight created by the myriad of daily duties that distract you from your real work as CEO, you have 3 choices to get them off your plate:
You can offload your responsibilities to another person on your team, hire someone to take on the tasks, or outsource the workload. Trust your team and let go.
This isn’t my favorite choice as a solution, but I realize that in a growing company a CEO must still wear many hats. So, if you don’t yet have a person who you can delegate your responsibilities to, then see if you can put them off until you’ve been able to work on your business.
It may surprise you to learn that some of the things you are doing simply do not need to be done. Consider your list of To-dos. Is there anything you can just drop off it? Do it now – you’ll feel so much better.
It may feel challenging for you to let go of your non-CEO duties. But, work toward further developing your own leadership skills by stepping more fully into the CEO role. And build your team around you to grow your company. Together, you will accomplish great things.
This Won’t Happen Overnight…
Creating and implementing this mental framework around your role as a CEO is a powerful way to transform your business.
Of course, it’s going to take you time, dedication, and intention to shift your focus. It will also mean bringing in the right team members to take on the jobs that you “fire yourself” from.
Bottom line: This won’t happen overnight. But it’s the perfect business initiative to take on and stick to this year. The results may just astound you!