It is such an accomplishment to grow a successful business from the ground up with your own two hands and to see the progress of each department. However, while every other aspect of the company has grown, entrepreneurs must keep in mind their leadership skills have to expand as well. Going from leading yourself, to one other person to a team of skilled employers takes different types of leadership skills. Below are a few tips to help make those adjustments:
1. Learn to manage managers.
The most important parts of this transition are clarity and training. Be clear with your new managers about what their personal and team responsibilities are and how you expect the level of effort to be split between responsibilities. Secondly, make sure they have the learning resources and support to become effective managers.
2. Transition from presence to process.
When a startup is young, leaders tend to be hands-on and physically present every day. Once a company scales, however, a leader’s physical and mental presence needs to be devoted elsewhere. One study shows managers waste up to 80 percent of their time on things that have little to no impact on their companies’ long-term value — and micromanaging employees falls squarely into that category.
Thus, it’s key to transition your leadership skills from presence to process. Do this by applying organizational processes that ensure clear communication — communication effectiveness is the key ingredient of successful leadership, especially when founders aren’t able to bump into everyone on a daily basis.
3. Prepare to address administrative duties.
As your team grows, so will your administrative burden. At some point, you’ll have to decide whether you’re going to continue handling all this paperwork yourself of if you want to hire an administrative assistant to handle it. Doing neither will leave your employees out in the cold.
Tasks such as expense reports and payroll can be taken off your plate by a full-time (or virtual) administrative assistant. Consider the time and effort you’re currently spending on these things; then consider all the things you could be doing.
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