Tuesday, January 7, 2014
The rather exciting role of the ever-important chief executive officer never was such without the key component to effective business -- management. It’s a must. You might be great with innovation, creative brainstorming, starting up businesses -- but the truth is if you don’t have the management skills, the business might “start up” just fine, but “fall flat” later on, because you’ll have no control over your workforce, period.
This is a major hurdle for your key entrepreneur, to be honest. While entrepreneurs are our budding CEOs of the future, many such entrepreneurs don’t really have that management skillset to propel the business forward after the whole startup saga. Mostly, they’re great with the communication skillset, the negotiation and creative thinking to formulate that action plan. It takes the management skill to implement that action plan and carry it forward.
Here lies the problem -- it seems that many entrepreneurs think they really don’t need a management skillset to get their businesses going. Prepare yourself for a bit of a letdown, though, as while you might have tremendous experience in your field and working with others, it won’t mean nothing in the corporate sector if you can’t maintain your business as a CEO. Effectively, a CEO is not an entrepreneur. So you must make that transition. This is why:
Get Accustomed to Hiring Employees
It’s a tough transition, because I’m sure back in the day we were all the ones sitting opposite the hiring manager with our resumes in hand. Now’s the time for you to switch the role. This time you have the other person’s resume in your hand. But you have to hire the right employees to make this work.
This takes detailed evaluation, careful deliberation and really getting to know the candidates. Handle this haphazardly, and you might just be a manager having to face constant employee issues without furthering your bottom line and profit margin, and that’s not good for business. Find the right people, interview them, hire them, and develop them to become major assets for your company, and you’ll find you’re well on your way.
Be More of a “Chief Management Officer” and Not a “Chief Executive Officer”
What does that mean? Simply put -- and this can be the most difficult hurdle for many entrepreneurs -- you have to put aside your desire to create and simply manage the business. Being a CEO isn’t simply about “executing plans.”
You’re doing the paperwork, handling employee conflict, ensuring operations. A lot of that involves just some basic oversight. You have to separate yourself from the actual workings of the business and just make sure it does work the way it should. For many entrepreneurs, that’s harder than it looks, but if you trust your employees, you trust your company to operate the right way without all your execution and micro-management holding onto the reins.
Identify the Strengths of Your Workforce
This directly follows -- your soon-to-be team of hard workers will be more than simple ‘automatons’ doing your bidding. They will have unique skills. Learn to use those skills to your advantage. Complement them with other skills other team members may have. Combine them to maximize your productivity.
Consult with a good business lawyer, too, and you might find the same such advice in getting your business running before it hits the ground after complete launch. Not only do you need to handle all the humdrum of reporting, planning, procedure and everything -- but you need to learn how to let certain people do certain jobs. And, of course, you must trust them to do it.
Being a CEO Is Hard, Make No Mistake -- But It’s a “Hard” Kind of “Easy”
In essence, you really don’t have to do anything -- but just be there! Everyone thinks a CEO does just about everything. A CEO doesn’t. They are overseers. Watchers. Even custodians. Quite possibly, the biggest piece of advice you should have as an entrepreneur-soon-to-be-CEO is to just step back and watch the business play itself.
I do understand, though, that it’s a hard thing to do, because you want to be in the trenches. This is corporate evolution, though. You’ve transcended your past title. You’ve become something more. You’re CEO. You’re a manager. So manage.
Matt Faustman is the CEO at UpCounsel. You can follow his business insights on Twitter at @upcounsel.