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Stop Doing It All & Start Leading Your Business

By Lisa Woods (1323 words)
Posted in Leadership & Teambuilding on March 31, 2014

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I don’t have time to do the things I know I should be doing. I can’t expect others to do what I do..the way it needs to be done. My clients like to work with me directly and if I rely on my team, my business is going to suffer.


Do any of these statements sound familiar? What about this one…When I do delegate, my employees either screw up, or come to me for every little thing, in the end, it’s just easier and faster if I do it myself.


Or this one…”Trust me, I wish things could be different.”


Here in lies the difference between Doers and Leaders. Both may be forward thinkers, but “Doers” become limited when their workload saturates their time and physical/mental abilities. “Leaders” on the other hand, maintain the ability to keep moving forward without constraints. They utilize the abilities of others to achieve day-to-day outcomes and they motivate the team to take ownership in moving the business to the next level.


Conceptually this is not rocket science, however when you are running a business, especially if it is your money funding it, making the transition from “doing the work” to “leading your team” becomes exceedingly difficult. Your ability to make this transition will determine the legacy of you and your business.


Take a moment to reflect on the following question: 

If I decrease my workload each week, will the business continue to grow in revenue and profitability over the next 12 months?


After some reflection, how do you feel?


1)     The thought of it raises my blood pressure!

2)     The business will probably remain stable, but I’m not comfortable taking that risk.

3)     I’m confident my team will continue to grow and evolve the business.


Assuming you are in business to grow and improve your wealth, your confidence level over the next 12 months is very important. It determines how you spend your time, who you work with, and where/how much you invest.


Those who answered “3” on the above poll question have a high level of confidence in their business. They not only spend their time leading the business, but have the balance necessary to lead it well. They are not bogged down by “doing” and overwhelmed by the incompetence around them, instead they ensure growth. They support the organization’s path and ensure that everyone involved is doing their part to make it happen.


If you answered anything other than a “3” you may be spinning your wheels, doing too much and underutilizing your investment in your time and your employees. 


Transitioning from “doing it all” to “Leading your business” is not easy. Here are four things you can do to start.


4 Actions to Transition From “Doer” to “Leader”


1. Define a healthy balance between your work and life outside of work.


If you take the time to actually define the life you want to lead, your daily actions will either support that definition or act as red flag reminders that require you to change your ways.


2.  Ensure each and every member of your team owns their responsibilities without telling them what to do or when to do it.


Establish clear job descriptions & measurable objectives for each and every employee. This is not only for their benefit, but for yours as well. Once you write down who does what, this empowers the job owners, makes them accountable and releases you from doing the work. 


3.  Devote a considerable amount of your time developing your team and ensuring consistent quality of the products/services they provide to customers.


Check in with your customers to ensure they are happy working with your company. What’s working well, what can be improved, what other services/products would bring value? This feedback, coming directly through you as the leader will give you the communication tools necessary to lead and improve your team, as well as direct your organization toward controllable growth.


4.  Define & take inventory of the resources required to support your business.


Are your employees saturated with work? Are your external partners and/or suppliers actually making your business money? Is the expertise you have within your organization properly aligned with your business needs over the next 12 months or should roles and responsibilities shift? 


Businesses change over time…or at least they should. If you don’t stay on top of these changes, or I dare say...be the one to initiate them, you will get caught in the hamster wheel of “doing”…maybe what you are doing is not what it takes to grow your business.



One last thought to leave with you today. If you are among the “Leaders”, and answered a “3” on the above poll question, I challenge you to ask your team what they think. It’s a great way to ensure your business goes beyond your efforts and that your vision is shared.




Written by Lisa WoodsPresident ManagingAmericans.com  Lisa is a dynamic business leader & author with more than 20 years experience leading, managing and driving growth in the corporate world. Today she helps entrepreneurs transition their vision into reality. Whether they are starting a new business, or taking their existing business to the next level, Lisa provides the tools and strategic support to transition successfully. This work includes strategic consulting, business feasibility assessments, and organizational design aligned with business opportunity and leadership commitment. She helps business leaders drive growth & increase profits.


Do you have a question for Lisa?  Post it in our Executive Leadership Community, she will be happy to help: Ask an Expert



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