Owner-managers – are you the best person for your job?

by: March 24, 2015

Owner-managers - are you the best person for your job

If you haven’t asked yourself this question, then there’s a fair risk that you’re not.

It’s fairly common for owner-managers not to worry themselves by asking this question. After all, what are you going to do about it?  It’s your business and, like it or lump it,  for better or for worse, you’re in charge and you’re not about to sack yourself.

But that’s not why you should ask the question.  The reason why you should challenge yourself, do a bit on inward navel-gazing, is so that your business can maximise its potential.  The very last state you want to be in is that of being unconsciously incompetent, where you think you’re the biz, but the reality is somewhat different. If that’s the case, your business – at best – will only ever be mediocre. 

What’s the spec?

So ask yourself, if you were recruiting for your job, what would be the specification of person you would be looking for – and express both the essential and desirable attributes. Define this in terms of qualifications, experience and skills, and also in terms of behavioural characteristics such as tenacity, self-motivation, work standards, positivity, impact on others and judgement.

Then mark yourself against these criteria.  Be honest, remember this is for your own good and that of your business.

How do you rank? Most importantly where are your weaknesses and what can you do about them? 

Some you’ll be able to self-improve, self-develop, fairly easily.  A bit of plain self-critique goes a long way and doesn’t cost a penny.  Others you may need to work out how to attain.  And a few you might consider are completely outside the realms of possible achievement…

Surround yourself with exceptional people

Let’s face it, just like everyone else in the world, you cannot possibly be the best person at everything.  The trick is to focus on what you’re good at (or readily could be good at), and employ and empower high quality people to take responsibility for the other areas.  

It’s a moving target

As your business grows and develops, so the spec of the person to run your business will change.  To stay top of your game, you need to think ahead, work out what skills you will need, and self-develop, or recruit and develop, in order to meet the new requirements.

One of the easiest analogies is to consider a great mechanic who decides to set up on their own. Initially they can do everything and the core skill sets are a) being a highly competent mechanic, b) customer service, c) a bit of marketing and sales, d) basic finances.  Then, as demand outstrips the time available, there’s a need for e) recruitment and f) people management skills. As growth continues their role transforms into more g) leadership and less doing, plenty of h) sales and marketing, and much more i) sophisticated financial management, let alone the need for j) quality IT systems implementation and k) project management. The demand never stops!

Complacency is your enemy

Anyone who thinks building a successful business is easy, is living in cloud cuckoo land. The reality is that it’s tough and, as the owner-manager, you have to possess an extraordinary range of skills and ability in order to maximise your business’s potential. And the moment you think you’re getting really good at it, is the moment to stop and have a reality check.  Complacency is the enemy of true success, so some element of self-doubt will always help to keep you on your toes.

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About Author

Paul is Zonata's founder and MD. He has a true passion for business and is massively excited by the opportunities that Zonata provides for its clients and partners. He loves helping owner-managed businesses be exceptionally successful, and enjoys the phenomenal quality of the people who work with him.

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