Situation: The CEO of a successful small software company is snowed under by day to day tasks. She wants to focus more of her time on business and infrastructure development. However, the company’s departments are not strong enough to run without her supervision. How do you free up more of your time?
Advice from the CEOs:
- The first priority is to develop infrastructure that will allow the CEO to focus on strategic development.
- To build this the company needs the right people to do the work.
- Look at the daily task list and develop or hire new managers to oversee day-to-day non-strategic functions.
- For example, offload payroll and back-end accounting to a bookkeeper.
- Look at the gaps between where the company is now and where you, as CEO, want to be in terms of your time and responsibilities:
- In addition to a bookkeeper, hire an experienced executive assistant – to keep you focused as CEO.
- The company is growing rapidly. It is time to hire a human resources manager.
- The company’s cash flow projection for the coming year indicates a substantial surplus.
- Use this surplus to hire infrastructure.
- In front of key clients, keep the impression that you are available to them; however, this is primarily for client relations. The CEO doesn’t have to do all the work demanded by clients.
- Use the lawyer / rainmaker model. The rainmaker maintains key client relationships; however, the rainmaker has staff do 90% of the work.
- The 7 States of Enterprise Growth Model indicates that the company is now in what’s called a Wind Tunnel. The critical activities in a Wind Tunnel are:
- Letting go of methodologies that no longer work and acquiring new methods that do work, and
- Hiring and training additional staff.