Yes, you heard me… a true sign of successful leadership and business ownership is when your role becomes redundant because your business or your team is able to run without you.
In my business and executive coaching sessions, I often ask business leaders and business owners what changes they would have to make to work themselves out of their current “job” within six months to a year?
This is such a useful exercise. Think about it. As a business owner, you will no longer need to work, but you will still enjoy the profits from the business. As a leader in a business, if your division is running without you, you could be given more responsibility and a new leadership role within the business. At worst, you could outgrow the business and move to a more challenging role elsewhere.
The most likely scenario is that you will not exit the business completely, but you will be freed up to explore other opportunities, grow the current business and pass on your knowledge and skills to others as a true leader.
And the worst possible outcome is that you free up your time, upskill your team, share the load, and get some processes in place to increase controls and efficiency.
So what are you waiting for? How do you make yourself redundant?
Vision, goals and planning
A business can only run on auto pilot when everyone in the business tasked with performing the day to day operations is on the same page, knows exactly what needs to be achieved and what they need to do get there. Your vision and goals cannot be in your head. It needs to be documented, planned, discussed, adopted, visualised and visible, lived and breathed.
Systems, processes, KPIs
Similarly, the processes and systems to get things done cannot be reliant on the leader, who is the only one who knows how to do something, the only one with authority to do it, and the only one with the skill and knowledge. Document all the processes. Centralise files and records so they are accessible. Systemise routine operations to save time and delegate. Implement key performance indicators (KPIs) for all employees. KPIs help you control standards, quality, service and expectations without having to micro manage.
Upskill the team
For your business to run without you, you need to trust your team implicitly. This is not always easy to do, but many managers don’t trust their employees because they haven’t invested in them and upskilled them to the point where they can be trusted. Dispense with the “half brief” and communicating on a “need to know basis”. Include the team in all aspects of the business so they feel obliged, welcome and confident to take ownership of the tasks. Give them the training, knowledge, background, resources, incentives and support to do more than what they are employed to do. Delegate. Give them mandates and authority to make decisions without you. Your team needs to do more than work for you. They need to make your role redundant because they run the business for you.
None of this is possible without a significant mind shift in your head-space. Stop being self-employed. Don’t surround yourself with people who need you and drain you. Contrary to what you might think, you are not the only one who can get things done properly. Ditch the notion that what you earn is directly proportionate to how much time you spend at work. You need to aim to make your role redundant!
The fact that we are an indispensable part of our businesses is not a measure of our success as a business owner or leader. It’s an indictment.
If you want to take your business and your professional development to the next level, you need to ensure someone can take over what you are currently doing. I can help you achieve that. Contact me.