Every entrepreneurial leader I know of is busy. As they grow their business and add more staff, complexity crowds out their schedule and they feel overwhelmed with no sense of hope in sight. Sound familiar? Probably! So, what causes this familiar experience and pattern?
Well, one reason is that when we go from one stage of business development to the next, we often make the mistake of only adding more and more to our plates—and not subtracting. In other words, you may have been the primary sales person for the past five years, but now that you have 10 or 20 staff, they need to be both led and managed—and yet you’re still the primary sales person.
Or it could be a specific task. For ex., when you were smaller (as a company, that is :-), you may have been the one who did inventory. But now, you have a bunch of staff and yet you’re still doing inventory every week or every month.
- Or maybe you used to onboard all of your staff and do a large part of their training.
- Or maybe you used to keep the books or keep track of several spreadsheets or dashboards.
- Or maybe you used to run all of your meetings, create all of the agendas, assemble all of the packets, etc.
In other words, it’s not unusual for someone who used to do a task in one stage of a business’ development to continue to do that same work in the next stage (Note: If you didn’t read my last post on The Five Stages of Business Growth then I’d highly recommend that you do so now).
However, just adding more and more to your plate is a recipe for insanity. The better option is to always SUBTRACT before you add.
In other words, as you transition from one stage to the next, before you add anything to your plate, you should first subtract some responsibilities and tasks—things that were completely appropriate for you to do in the last stage but aren’t in this next phase of your business’ growth.
So, as you look at all the stuff that’s on your plate right now, which of those items are tasks that were appropriate for you to do in your previous stage but aren’t in this new stage? Note: All of the examples above are actual examples from CEOs I’ve worked with. In other words, don’t run by this assignment. Every leader I’ve ever met has been doing things they shouldn’t have been doing. I’m sure you are as well.
Once you create that list, the next issue is, “Who can I delegate this to?” Note: If you haven’t picked up your copy of Delegation Mastery yet, make sure you pick up a copy ASAP by clicking on the following link >>
Bottom line, if you want to find some space on your calendar and decrease some of your stress, then you’ll definitely want to become a delegation master. It’s the only path to sanity if you want to lead a fast growth business (or organization).
In addition, I’d encourage you to challenge your assumptions and the assumptions of others as to what you should or shouldn’t be doing at your stage of development. For example, back in my old pastoring days, I regularly subtracted tasks that most people would assume a pastor should do. For example, I stopped doing baby and child dedications when we were a small church and instead had the children’s pastor and her team doing them (and the dedications were much better since they were the people who actually worked with those babies and children). I also subtracted things like hospital visitation, counseling, leading ministries, etc. from my schedule—and guess what the result was? We grew 30.5% per year for over a decade. Go figure
So, what tasks are you holding on to from your last stage of development that you need to let go of? Remember, one of the most important keys to growth is to always subtract before you add.
To your accelerated success!
P.S. If you’d like to share some of those tasks with the rest of us, note them in the comments section below.