Do you ever ask an employee for something you requested several days earlier and get a puzzled look? Or get the response: “I didn’t know you wanted it today.” Or even more baffling, the employee tells you: “I don’t know how to do that.” These are the kinds of answers that cause many owners to hesitate when delegating.
This is the first installment in helping you fully develop and implement Org Charts and Position Agreements, which support a culture of ownership within your business.
There is a certain point in every business when you realize you need to organize your people more effectively. And it can happen with as few as five employees—although it’s even better if you recognize the need when it's just you, the owner.
If, after reading part one and part two in this series, you’re starting to see the value in better understanding your financial performance, then we’re in a good place to move forward. If you’re thinking, “Sure, that all sounds good, but there’s no way I have time to put this much energy into tracking and thinking about my money—nor the ability to pay someone else to do it,” then you need to stop and reconsider. A relationship with your numbers is a key ingredient of your success, but there are some tools you can leverage to reduce the technical work significantly.
This is the season for planning for the new year and we’ve been talking a lot about it. If you haven’t started yet, it’s not too late to create your Annual Plan. We have a six step process to get you there. If you really want your business to look, act, feel and perform differently a year from now (Is there anyone who doesn’t?), then plan for it, put a stake in the ground, take in what the past year—or your entire history—is showing you, make a commitment to lead your company in new directions. And then act, small step by small step.
As an owner of EMyth and its Board Chair, this is a meaningful time for me. October is National Women’s Small Business Month. My 35th anniversary at EMyth is a few months away, having spent the first 17 years building the company into a global brand with my former husband, Michael Gerber, EMyth’s founder and best selling author of The E-Myth Revisited, and the last 10 years as its Board Chair.
The day you decided to stop working for anyone but yourself was probably glorious. No one to tell you what to do and how to do it. Life suddenly had promise, imagining yourself spending every day doing the work you’re passionate about. Until… until the day you realized that instead of your boss dictating how you did one thing, now you had a dozen things coming at you that you weren’t counting on and, frankly, didn’t know how to do: sales things, customer things, employee things, money things, production and delivery things. And, the saddest thing is that you found yourself with as little control over your time as you had before you went into business for yourself.
John Lennon gave us, “Yes is the answer,” and I get what he means. He was talking about saying yes to love, embracing life, and seeing opportunities instead of limits—all important and valuable in building the kind of world we want to live in. But what about saying “No?” Is there a place for that, especially in your business? Have you ever taken a moment to consider what you really want and need to say No to right now?
Imagine what kind of workplace your business would be if your employees thought to themselves:
- "I’m excited about my work.”
- “This is a place where I can achieve my goals.”
- “I feel safe. It’s okay to make a mistake, and I will learn from it.”
- “I have some great ideas on how to improve things. I can’t wait to share them with my manager.”
Before I dive into this final article on systems development, I want to thank those of you who have written to me during the course of this series. Your participation in this process has made writing this series so rewarding. In particular, I want to thank Bob C. who provided the inspiration I needed for this last piece.