Are you a top executive? What you should and shouldn’t be doing
Each organization has its own, unique personality and resources. Executives may work on a variety of levels depending on the available management support. Generally, top executives do not double as functional managers, but in smaller organizations, it is not always possible to have skilled managers for every organizational function. This can pose a danger for the future of the organization, as we shall see.
Top Executives are responsible for directing business activities strategically
The key word here is “strategically”. Think of the game of chess. The player has a birds-eye view of the board, and not only has to determine what his or her next move will be, but also has to keep an eye on their opponent’s moves. If the player were playing the role of one of the chess pieces, the strategic view would be lost.
This is the sort of problem that top executives may have when they are directly responsible for certain routine activities. They become so busy with directing these activities that they no longer have a strategic view of the whole business. They become “pieces” in the game instead of strategic captains.
You CAN find ways to overcome tunnel-vision
Many executives will tell you that they know full well that they aren’t giving the medium and long term strategy for the business much thought, but they don’t see how they can ever find time for that. To put it brutally, they’re so busy surviving today, that they aren’t planning for the continued survival of their organization. There is a very real risk that the business will underperform or even go under.
What is the solution? Develop and make use of your resources! In particular, your management resources need to be developed. Each organization is unique, so there is never one easy answer, but there are several possibilities:
- Upskill talented employees so that you can delegate.
- Examine business processes to identify areas that are unnecessarily complex or just unnecessary.
- Develop a culture of creativity and freedom of expression within the workplace.
- Identify strategic points of control.
Do you need help?
If you are a top executive or business owner who is unable to find time for strategic management, it is time to make changes. If you are unable to see a way to maintain organizational efficiency when you move your attention away from routine matters, your organization needs outside help.
Before you invest large sums in recruiting additional managers, you need to take an impartial look at your existing resources. You may be surprised to find that with a little coaching, the skills you’re looking for are already present within your organization.
Your goal is to develop your staff so that they can efficiently take ownership of business functions thereby freeing you up to focus on the future of your business, working towards specific strategic milestones that lead to important business goals. You should only need to intervene in business functions in exceptional circumstances.
If you are feeling “stuck” it’s time to get help. Executive coaching will help you to develop talent and provide you with impartial guidance from a new perspective.