Situation: The CEO of a company is finding it increasingly difficult to maintain the passion that she had when the business was young. Day to day work feels like having a monkey on her back with too much time spent on sales and business minutiae. Too little time is spent on strategy and growth. How do you maintain the passion for your business?
Advice from the CEOs:
- Look at what you like and don’t like – delegate what you don’t like.
- Delegate activities which are inappropriate for a top executive – like answering the telephone when others are present to do this.
- Get everybody in the same boat – get them rowing in unison.
- Delegate more responsibility – with the understanding that others will make mistakes. When they do, they must understand their responsibility for repairing them.
- Prioritize tasks as they are delegated to reduce conflict or confusion.
- Strengthen relationships with key suppliers and customers. This is a strategic move to reduce future risk to the company.
- How did you get the monkey off your back?
- Ask managers and employees for their input – have them develop solutions. If they push back that they don’t know how or don’t have the resources, let them know that their job is to provide solutions, not just to identify problems.
- This takes time and patience, but if the CEO is steadfast this can yield results in a surprisingly short period of time.
- Reduce time spent on sales. Become the closer – the only person who can do that little something to close a sale.
- Have the others do the heavy lifting our qualifying the customer, developing the solution, crafting the proposal and presenting this to the customer. Limit the CEO’s involvement to reviewing the proposal prior to presentation, and to acting as closer ONLY if sales can’t do the job themselves.
- Learn to take time off – develop other interests. This is the first step in being able to take longer periods of time off.