Being on the top of a company is not just a power spot or a spot you hold on an organizational chart. It is, more importantly, a strategic spot, an actual place that you position yourself. You are on the top for a reason. Yes, it is because of your title, your accomplishments, and what you contribute. However, it is also a very forgotten mindset of where you need to be when looking at the company, the operations, disruptions, and opportunities. You are on the top because you need to be looking down on the company. As the leader of a company, you need to position yourself so that you are not stuck in the mix of everyday operations. This is a common practice of small and mid-sized operations. These companies' operators, owners, and managers get a mindset or a routine that they have to be in the mix to accomplish anything. However, the truth is that you can only do very little when in that spot. You will end up developing forward sight, meaning that you only see what is in front of you. Resulting in reacting to just that what you see at that moment, in your vision, and making narrow vision choices. If you are looking forward, you are not able to see the entire picture. You cannot see how all the parts are working together or how the problem you see may be a product of something that is not even related to what is in front of you.
By looking forward, we are referring to a familiar role that many small and midsized company owners fall into. It is when they are stuck in the business doing daily operations, putting out fires, making knee-jerk choices, and being reactive to their surroundings and situations. They end up not seeing the entire picture, but only what is in front of them at the moment. This forward-looking is detrimental to the business, the moral of ownership, and eventually the team. Every bit of growth and momentum the business and the owners started stops; it eventually becomes survival mode, every day for everything.
By looking down on the business, you have opened your field of view. You have strategically placed yourself in a decision and problem-solving position and are no longer focused on what is just in front of you. You can see the how's and whys of situations. The opportunities start to present themselves, and solutions for problems begin to be easier to see. Your dream and passion begin to become something that you can now develop into why you are doing what you are doing.
This step up and out, is one of the most challenging developments most owners have to learn. Those that do and master it become leaders of their company and move the business and success forward. Those that don't remain to look forward, resulting in slowed or minimal growth and eventually burnout.
Here are a few steps that can be done to facilitate how you look at the operations
Have and use strong policies and procedures - I am sure that we all have an employee manual, but do you have a managerial manual? Do you have a policy and procedure manual? We get stuck in the daily operations because we hold all the knowledge and have only halfway communicated it to our teams.
Empowerment – You have hired people to do jobs, so let them do their job. This is a hard thing for some owners to do especially as they start to grow and have to focus their attention on issues that are more related to their level as an owner.
Training- Take the time to create and implement a good training program for all positions.
Not knowing your position – As the leader and owner, you were not given or told your position in the company, and it depends on you to find it.
Not knowing your costs or having a budget – Take the time and run your numbers so you can make educated decisions.
Not having strategic thought and planning – Put plans in place that are centered around strategic thinking. If you do not know or understand strategic thinking and planning, learn it.
Use resources- Do not be a know it all, recognize your weaknesses and where you have holes in your abilities, and get help from outside resources.
The steps that we mentioned can all be done, and getting you in the position of looking-down is very attainable. Call us, email us, come by the office to have a quick meeting, and help you see where you are what we need to get you there. Our mission is to create partnerships that use strategic thinking to continue our client's success.