Who am I as a business owner?

Most business owners wear several hats. They are not interchangeable, and you can’t wear them all at the same time. You must continually be asking: “Who am I here?”

For your business to grow and be successful, you have to eventually settle on the one with the best fit, and pass the others off.

We make a strong distinction between the following

  • The Business Owner creates the Vision.
  • The Manager creates the Systems.
  • The Technician creates the Results.

Each person requires a different hat.

All business owners have qualities of each, but where they most often lack confidence or expertise is in that of The Manager. Makes sense though, right? Most businesses are started by a technician that thinks he/she can be an entrepreneur. Being a manager doesn’t even come up in that scenario.

After careful deliberation a business owner will conclude: “What I really need to do is to hire a Manager.” It is here though that many business owners think “I can do this myself”. That thought does not leave the possibility of creating a business that can operate without the business owner being present. A business is only an effective business when the owner can stand aside and see that the vision is being implemented through a manager and the technician. It is this type of business that will create wealth for the business owner over time, not to mention the freed up time to invest somewhere else.

What a Manager Needs to Be

An effective manager certainly has the potential to take on some of the accountabilities that command so much of the business owner’s time. But how is this by itself really going to move your vision any closer to reality–and without causing too many hassles?

Back to the hats: In the development stage of your business the business owner wears all of them. You must be able to look at your business from each of the three distinctive points of view. As The Entrepreneur, you have the sole authority and responsibility to determine the direction of the business. How will the business be positioned in the eyes of its customers, employees, lenders, vendors and the larger community? The Entrepreneur must determine and constantly communicate and reinforce the company’s intention.

The business owner’s vision is The Manager’s follow-up orders; the vision is the high standard set. The Manager’s duty is to communicate, enforce and manifest the vision.

Managerial work ultimately bridges the space between the business owner’s vision for the business and the daily technical efforts needed in moving the business toward that vision. Effective managers, those who can encourage and motivate employees to reach their full potential while working on important tasks, are instrumental in building turnkey, systems-dependent businesses.

What a Manager Needs To Do

A Manager must have several critical characteristics. One is “know-how.” Some managers arrive with some “know-how” intact–knowing what to do and how to do it—getting work done through other people, i.e. technicians. Effective managers will, as a minimum, have the ability to find out how to do that. Knowing how or knowing how to find out how is one of critically required skills of a successful Manager.

Another essential characteristic of a successful Manager is the ability to communicate and implement that know-how into processes and systems that will enable people to get the desired results.

The only effective processes and systems are those that will achieve the Entrepreneur’s vision. Those processes and systems are the tools the Technicians use to get the results that fulfil the vision. The Manager does not manage people per se. The Manager manages systems.

People respond to orchestrated patterns. Within those patterns (systems and processes), people can manage themselves! People are effectively unmanageable. Systems are not.

A successful business must begin with the vision. The effective business owner creates a compelling vision and communicates it throughout the entire organisation. The effective business owner lives the vision. The effective Manager transforms that vision into systems, and delegates the tasks to the Technician. The effective Technician operates within the system to create the results that move the vision forward.

A successful business owner does not wear all the hats at once. The owner of a successful business must practice the art of discrimination. The owner of an effective business must know what hat is appropriate at any given moment, what characteristics are essential when wearing that hat, and when it is time to pass it off.

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