Author: Ben Walker
Leading the way to more time with family. You can’t be all things to all people – so why try?
“I can’t give you the secret to success but I can give you the secret to failure – try to please everyone”. Someone famous said that a very long time ago and it is as true now as it was way back when. But we’re all guilty of it in varying degrees in a variety of roles. However, the guiltiest slice of the population would be small business owners. Our guilt isn’t as overt as some cases but it’s a sneaky guilt that may well be stifling your business growth and available family time.
The big difference between guilt and innocence here is probably leadership versus operational focuses.
When you’re just starting out, it may well be just you and a laptop with a borrowed printer, making you the head of customer service, operations, admins, finance and marketing. That’s a lot. At first, in many cases, it’s absolutely necessary to run this lean (and in doesn’t get leaner than one person and a laptop) but ultimately it’s not sustainable. You can’t expect to be all things to all people.
Let’s work as a team and do things my way… wait, I’ll do it myself!
This is “operations” in “leadership’s” clothing and it never looks, feels or does any good for anyone. You’ve probably seen this on countless shows where a restaurant owner, for example, tries to run the kitchen, the front of house, the dining room and do the books. Then an exceedingly angry British chef has to scream at them until they allow others to take the reins – at least in their own departments/sections.
Alright, what has this to do specifically with saving me money or tax? Nothing! But it does have everything to do with saving you “life”. At Inspire we’re not just obsessed with saving your tax and stabilising your cash flow. The reason we’re here is to help ensure families of small business owners get to enjoy more of their life together. The other elements are simply the “how to”. If you are in charge of everything, regardless of the roles held by others in your team, you… will… not… have… time… for… anyone… else.
Role Clarity is the key
And the key to role clarity is a clear vision and the establishment of an appropriate and hopefully inspiring culture. This is leadership. Sure there is mentoring, guiding and inspiring but at the end of the day, not much good is going to happen for very long without a leader that has set the vision.
Ideally, everything else belongs or is owned by everyone else. Again, role clarity is key here. It can’t be just a case of you at the pointy end of the pyramid coating your desk in Teflon and tilting it towards your team. By understanding the nexus between needs and talent resources within your business you should have the people on hand to service and enhance every facet of the customer experience and operations. This leaves you more time to spend with your family. And of course, you can and should try to be all things to them.