Developing Your Team and Stepping into Your CEO Role
Recently a potential client said to me, “If I’m not working, we aren’t gaining revenue.” Isn’t it interesting that in a quest for freedom and control to create our own way of living, we’ve instead created lives that revolve around our work? Entrepreneurship has created so many women that are struggling with the responsibilities they carry as CEOs. And we get caught between the balancing act of our desire for ambition and the pure exhaustion that comes with the full calendars and mental load. There is a time period that every business comes to where a shift has to be made, where simply following the quantity model of doing MORE… isn’t humanly possible, and definitely doesn’t feel good. Have you considered how to ensure that your business continues to thrive even when you're not at the helm? Developing your team and truly stepping into the role of CEO can help you build a lasting leadership legacy. Today I want to talk to you about the development of your team and what you need to do to step into the visionary, creative-thinking CEO position.
What Do I Do With My Hands?
Overworking and micromanaging are habits. Bad habits that business leaders develop because of good intentions. The fear of letting go of things you originally did with your own refined process is terrifying, but as you’ve continued to hire and grow your team you see how it impacts how many you are able to serve with your business. When I started working with another millionaire mama of 3 the idea of stepping back wasn’t even in her peripheral vision, she knew she needed it desperately to be able to show up for her family but actually getting there felt impossible. Her calendar was full, she was at every meeting, she took calls every day and said yes to… pretty much everything. And she did all of this because she built her business from the ground up, so it was what she had always done. The issue is, the idea of stepping away sounds good - the problem is, nobody knows what to do when they do step away because being buried in the day to day has become the norm. Understanding your role as CEO and redefining that role so it is clear and purposeful has to become your north star, if you keep doing what you’ve always done - you’ll get what you’ve always got. What you (uncomfortably at first) learn to do with your time is spend it on creating the next steps for the growth of your company and coaching your team to empower them to become better leaders.
Creating An Empowered Team
I’m a big fan of throwing things at people. No, not actual things… tasks, projects, and ideas are always getting thrown around me though! I do it at home with my kids, asking them to do something they’ve never done before - just to see if they can. And if they can’t, one of two things usually happens; 1. They ask for my help and we do it together until they grasp it. 2. They get frustrated that they can’t do it (yet) channel that frustration to figure it out. This is how my 7 year old started doing his own laundry. Oftentimes, we forget that people besides us are super smart and capable. And it’s the human desire to figure things out. When you ask someone to do something they haven’t done before, it tells them that you believe in them and raises their confidence. It also gives them an opportunity to learn something new which is vital for our brain health. AND it takes something off of your plate. Everybody wins. If you want to create a well-run, empowered and capable team… start handing them more things that matter, start letting them explore and use their creativity to bring ideas to life, ask them if they are interested in pursuing a certain project that may be outside their current wheelhouse. Will it always be perfect? Nope. *Perfection is a lie anyway but we won’t get into that here… Will they do it exactly like you do? Nope. Are either of those things you can change? Yes, you can give feedback, you can offer suggestions, you can review before it’s delivered… but you can’t do everything yourself. When your team feels confident and empowered they are more productive and do better work. So, even if the shirts sometimes end up in a drawer instead of on a hanger - you are stil moving in the right direction.
Becoming The CEO You Are Meant To Be
Let’s talk about what you really need to be doing with your time as a CEO. While this varies a bit between industries, because I work with female founders across industries - it doesn’t vary much. Right now you are likely spending the majority of your time and efforts working on things that sustain the current business, carrying out meetings and projects with customers, fostering a great client experience and upholding the expectations that you set for clients. We want to keep SOME of your time here, but we need to shift the percentages a bit. Most of my clients prior to starting with me are spending somewhere between 75-85% of their time on things that sustain current efforts, we want to bring that down to 50-60%. And we want to do that without any impact to the clientele. How? By empowering our team to step up and carry more of the responsibilities we are holding on to. So, what are we doing with that 40-50% of our time and effort now? This is growth and innovation focused. This is dusting off those ideas you’ve had and making the strategic plan (preferably alongside a mentor who can create alternate perspectives) to bring them to life.
This is for you to be the same creator you were when you started your business that got buried in doing all the work that was outside your zone of genius that now you have capable team members to do. This looks like having at least one day during the work week in which you take no calls, meetings or interruptions to focus on big-picture work. You set and protect this time as if it were a meeting with your highest level client. By making this shift to more emphasis and effort on what’s necessary for growth, you are no longer chasing the next revenue milestone by adding more hours of work to your plate. Instead, you have space to craft a clear plan on what needs to happen and who you need to become to step into that greater impact.
The Millionaire Mom Update
I couldn’t leave you hanging with what happened when we implemented this for my client. She now has space in her schedule to work on passion projects like her non-profit, has rebuilt her organizational chart and brought on more capable team members, coached current team members to leadership roles, and continued to increase revenue. Her working hours have decreased significantly and we repeat “throw it back” regularly for her to continue to coach her team instead of fixing things herself because it may seem easier at that moment. All of this has happened while working less, taking multiple vacations, upleveling her client experience, spending more time with her kids, buying a beach house AND a new home for her family. Did I mention she went to see Beyonce twice in one week? This woman is living the dream I tell you. And truthfully, you are no different than her. You are a determined, hard-working, driven female founder. Sometimes we just need some outside help to get where we really want to be. I hope this helps you to empower your team, start delegating more effectively and see the path to stepping into your CEO role. And even more than that, I hope you recognize the power and growth that comes when you give yourself the space to create and be the creative, strategic thinker that you are. If you are tired of trying to figure it out on your own and want bigger impact and higher revenue without the added hours - and you know you are at that shifting point where what got you here isn’t going to get you THERE, book a call here.