In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins talks about how important it is to not only get the right people on your bus (metaphorically speaking), but also get them in the right seat. This is something we talk about a lot here at SFF. As the company grows and changes we need to evaluate whether we are all sitting in the right seats. We have found that as times change, sometimes roles need to change too. Interestingly, it’s been my seat that has changed this year. Though I’ve always been the bus driver, I’ve had to redefine my role in the company.
I thought I’d challenge all of you to look at the role you play in your company and whether you and your employees are in the right seats. When was the last time you consciously evaluated the role of each person in your company? Are you driving the bus? And if so, are you heading in the direction that you intend to go? I encourage you to really think about this. Not only do we need to set annual goals and budgets, but we also need to evaluate periodically if we’re on the road to meeting those goals. It’s easy to get distracted with the day-to-day running of the business. As Michael Gerber explains in The E-Myth, are you working IN the business or ON the business? If you haven’t read it in a while, I’d encourage you to review this classic handbook for small business owners. We all get into business to do what we love, but after a while we have to stop doing what we love and really focus on running the business. That can be hard to do.
As you take the time to evaluate the various roles each team member is playing, also think about whether you are each capitalizing on your strengths. I’ve learned that it’s important for me to assess my team’s individual strengths and it’s also important for them to evaluate them. Sometimes our strengths are not something we’re particularly passionate about so it’s also good to consider interests. Just because someone can do something well doesn’t mean they want to be doing it. If they want to be doing it, they’ll be much better at getting it done.
Some of the smartest business owners I’ve met are the ones who don’t try to do it all. They realize they are better served by letting someone else handle things that they don’t enjoy or just aren’t good at doing. Personally, I know I could probably change the oil in my car (you can find U-Tube videos on anything) but I’d rather not. My mechanic is good at what he does and much more efficient than I ever would be so why should I bother? Go over the list of duties you’re responsible for and see if you are the best person to be handling them. Then have your staff do the same thing. Depending on the size of your organization, outsourcing may be the best option. Sometimes you don’t have anyone on your team qualified to handle a particular duty. In today’s marketplace, you can find a source for just about any need.
Here at SFF, we love what we do! I’ve worked diligently to develop a dedicated, hard-working team to assist you with your accounting needs. Even if you think you can do your own accounting, reevaluate whether this is the best use of your time or if it would be better spent building your business, overseeing your staff, marketing your product or service, developing new ideas or taking time off to enjoy your family. We all need to remember to play to our strengths and our passions and let someone else handle the pieces we don’t want or need to do. Who’s driving your bus and is everyone on your bus in the right seat? Do you know?