Anthony Davidson

Your role in the business

What happens when your skills and abilities to set up and grow a business are not sufficient to take it to the next level? A key challenge facing many business owners is determining their future role in the business and how they can best contribute to its success.

Today’s Owner Manager Program explored the different stages of the business lifecycle and changing leadership roles that business owners play to build a sustainable business. As a startup, owners are the doers and decision-makers. But as the business grows, their role changes to delegator and direction-setter. With rapid growth, the role again changes to that team builder, coach, planner and communicator. As the business enters a new phase of sustainable growth, this role shifts to that of strategic innovator, change catalyst, organization builder and culture leader.

For many owners, this can be daunting especially if they lack the knowledge and skills to take on these new roles. Enter the management team. Successful business owners understand their strengths and limitations, and build a management team with the capabilities to take the business to the next level. Picking the right team members makes it easier for owners to let go and take on new roles because it instills confidence and trust. But learning from “bad picks” is equally important because it make owners more committed to finding the right people for each stage of the business.

What are potential new roles for owners who lack the leadership or management skills to take the business further? Often owners will step back from leading the business and take on an operational role. But this can be counterproductive and undermine the new leader. Another solution is to take on “strategic projects” that leverage your existing skills and experience and make a valuable contribution to the business. Depending on your motivation and willingness to develop new skills, taking on a proper director/Board role in the business may be the best solution to protect ownership interests and contribute to the future direction of the business. The final solution is to consider your exit from the business and the timing of it.

Ultimately, these decisions are up to you as an owner. Being clear about what you want and how you can best contribute makes the decision easier. #strategy #leadership #businessowner