To delegate & hands on CEO: striking the right balance
Nurturing and making your business successful is a far greater challenge than founding a company.
It is important for entrepreneurs to be flexible and adaptable to run startup businesses successfully. As the company grows, one must don different roles as per the need of the hour. As a CEO and founder, there are many skills that one has to pick up to be an effective leader. Amongst those, one of the most important skills is to learn to delegate. It seems like an easy deal, but it is harder than it sounds.
Let’s start at the beginning. Your company was not born in a day. It usually starts with an idea which has been there in your mind for a long time. But there has to be one exact moment where you had a brainwave to implement it. Next thing you know, you are taking that idea to the executing level which is like jumping off a cliff, and then hoping you’ll learn to fly on the way down! You started working, and the crazy idea slowly took shape and your company was born – and you became an entrepreneur.
The initial days are difficult yet easy. Difficult because you have to work 24/7 -- burn the midnight oil, pour your heart out, and sweating it out so that the company takes off. At that time, you are the one-man army. You are the person responsible for building the product, advertising about it, and selling it too. You will have knowledge about every department in the setup. This is also easy because as the one-man army, your success and failure has very little impact on others, and you have very little to lose. It is easy to reset everything and start afresh.
But once you are past this tipping point, things get interesting. You have managed to sell your product / services to interested customers and you know that your idea works. The challenge is delivering on your promises. You have to focus on reliability as you are now past the stage of building flaky prototypes. This means you need additional hands on your team with a slightly different skill set.
No one cares more about your company than you do. But it’s essential for you to take a step back and look at the larger picture. You should start focusing on the vision and future roadmap of the company. Wasting your time thinking about the smaller details of every department should not be the concern.
You have to appoint experts who know a lot about a particular role or responsibility. It is possible that they know more than you do, in their respective fields. These people will be the specialists who can help build strong teams for every department in your company. Make sure that you work closely with the new hires (especially top-level executives) and evaluate their efficacy. You have to be fully confident about their abilities, and do not make any compromises on that front. Wait till the right person comes along, and pass the baton over!
It is never easy to let go and delegate. But coming to this stage in the company means it has grown too big for you to handle on your own. This was your dream all along anyway. What started out as just an idea has turned into a reality. It is indeed an achievement and there is need to let go! This is just the beginning. You are still the captain of this ship, and it is up to you to steer her to successes that lie beyond the horizons.