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Read me like a book by starting at the beginning

Remember Who You Are

Date - 10 August 2016/ Category - Personal Lessons
Personal lessons

The odds are you’re not going to be an entrepreneur straight out of university, in fact most entrepreneurs never go to university, and they work their way up and take a leap of faith around about 35.

Much like being an officer in the army, you start at the bottom, and rise to the top; but what most people don’t realise is that if you rise through the ranks your view from the top is a little different from the people that never had to make the climb.

Unless you get very lucky, when you start your business you’re going to have to take out the trash, make the sales, do the accounts and all manner of other tasks.

As your business grows you’ll hopefully bring in people better at all those things, but you can bet that if someone’s ill you’re the one who can fill the gap. In fact you’re probably the only person who can do everyone in your company’s job (not to mention some of them better than others).

Being able to do everyone’s job gives you a unique perspective on your business. You know how long things should take and how hard they can be. No matter the problem that’s thrown at you, you can piece together a solution that covers all departments because you have a unique view.

Yet there’s a perspective that says once you reach the top you should only speak to your lieutenants.

Losing touch with your business is a criminal sin, one repeated all over the world. If you lose touch with your business you fall subject to the truth filters applied by the management that run your business and you’ll never see the true picture. Your company will become sluggish and over bloated by management that isn’t accountable for its actions.

That’s why you should never forget where you came from. Ok you won’t be able to do everything any more, but you should be able to understand the basics and if someone goes off sick then you should be able to explain what they do.

There’s a great tv show called undercover boss, it’s where the CEOs of big companies go undercover and do basic jobs in their business. It’s such a great idea and truly striking both how none of the employees know who their CEO is and what the man at the bottom does in their job.

At the end of every show they cut to the CEO mandating their board to say there will be change and the board just shrugs, that’s what’s wrong with management, they say what you want to hear even when they created the problem in the first place.

Alongside not forgetting where you came from, it’s important that you make your whole business adhere to the same rule. It’s easy for some management to build their own fortresses and that’s not what you need.

You need to ensure that your whole business is accountable for their actions and that each part understands the role they play and how they are getting to the end goal.

A great way to make this happen is to not only make your managers accountable for the results they bring to the business but ensure that they are responsible for the well being and performance of their teams too; and that means asking your teams how well they are being managed.

It’s always hard to be the manager that has to do the hard thing or bear bad news, but if you understand your business then you’ll be able to see through the bias and work out for yourself who’s doing a good job.

Chapter Summary:

• Understand every aspect of your business
• Make sure your managers are accountable for results and the well being of their teams
• Don’t fall victim to the filter of management

Read our next blog post “Embrace your mistakes”.