Developing Strong Leadership among your Employees is an Important Investment in Business Value
I challenge you to create a vision of your Life beyond Business;™ to define your dreams, goals and aspirations beyond running your business, both now and in the future. Not as easy as you thought, right?
You might be thinking, “It’s a nice diversion to dream about my ideal life. But my business needs me 24/7! If I’m not there, there’s no telling what could happen. I need to be there to dodge the bullets, conquer new summits and outrace the competition!”
This is what I call “Superman Syndrome”
It may seem like a good idea to don the red cape, put that “S” on your chest, and leap tall buildings in a single bound. But ultimately, it’s poison for you and your business. Maybe you can be a super hero for a while. But even Superman has to take time off to hang out with Lois or vacation at the fortress of solitude. And unlike Superman, you will have to retire eventually.
Can your business function without you, Superman?
If you’re the only one who can protect your business or avert a crisis, then you’ve built a business that isn’t very super. It’s more like a straw house.
Remember the three little pigs?
The first two, Fred and Clarence, built straw houses that lacked solid foundations. Not the best building materials! The Big Bad Wolf blew away the houses with one quick huff and puff. Not only were they forced to move in with their brother, but they had no equity for the future.
Pig #3, Bruce, built his house with a solid foundation and quality materials. That Big Bad Wolf blew himself to hyperventilation but he couldn’t budge a brick in Bruce’s house. Bruce was able to vacation in Big Sky, Montana, volunteer at the local school, and spend hours leisurely rooting for truffles.
You have to build your brick house.
Like Bruce, you’ll have to work hard to do it. It requires a lot of planning and effort. But when you’ve built it, you’ll have much more freedom to achieve a Life beyond Business,™ comfortable knowing that the wolf can’t blow your business away.
So what are the “bricks” you’ll need?
You need trustworthy, capable employees to share leadership decisions with you – key employees who you trust to make decisions both with you and in your absence. Strive daily to develop strong employees who are capable and confident leaders.
In addition, you need to have proven, well-established systems in place so that, on a day-to-day basis, your business continues to function effectively whether you are there or not. Make sure all processes and policies are documented and contingency plans are in place.
These bricks have several benefits:
1. First, you create an enterprise that doesn’t rely only on you to function. You can take that vacation with Lois and know the house will still be standing when you return.
2. You are building a stronger asset that is worth more and is more sellable when you do decide to transition out of your business.
3. Finally, you’ve nurtured potential future leaders and perhaps even buyers for your business.
Let’s face it: you are eventually going to exit your business for good.
Wouldn’t you like the option to sell the business to co-workers whom you’ve nurtured and whom you trust?
Building a business that enables you to have a Life Beyond Business™ takes time and hard work.
Take your queue from the third little pig:
Preparation builds value and it can save your bacon.