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When we talk to business owners and leader about issues they are having in their businesses, one of the overarching issues they face is “wearing too many hats” and doing too many things. Most often they feel this is the only for them to make sure and keep things running the way they want to and to minimize their risk.

Do you wear too many hats in your business?

How do you know? Often times we are all guilty of not seeing the forest for the trees in many aspects of our business. This usually translates into doing too many things and not focusing enough on the areas you are best qualified to handle. The primary issue is risk. Most leaders feel they can’t manage or keep their risk in a tolerable range unless they have their hand in just about every aspect of their business.

Lack of focus actually increases your risk.

The result is not being able to focus enough in areas of your strength…which actually increases the risk to your company. Every business owner or leader has individual strengths…usually the ones that were paramount when you started or got involved in your business. But over time these strengths can become minimized because time is spent in more areas of the business. This lowers your ability to excel at what you were good at when you started your business and over time can increase the overall risk to the business.

Getting back to your “WHY” helps you get refocused

Step back and think again about “why” you started this business or “why” you decided to be a top leader in the business. What was it that attracted you and got you excited about being involved in this particular business. But more importantly, ask “why” you were particularly qualified to run it or to be a leader in the business. It was because you have some very specific strengths. Strengths such as being able to lead people, being an awesome sales person, being over the top focused on delivering an awesome customer experience, knowledge about how to do the product production, an expert in the services you are offering…the list goes on. There is some reason you are here…what is that?

When you go back to your roots you can start to see what your specific strengths were at the time of inception or joining the business. Are you using these now…full force…all in on using these skills and attributes of why you are here in the first place? This is a great time to do a “personal self-inventory” of what you are doing today and what your specific skills and attributes were when you started/joined the company. This self-analysis can be very insightful as to whether or not you are doing what you should be or if you are wearing too many hats.

Time to get back to the beginning…

Sure, businesses evolve and this requires you to do more things…but are you doing so many new things (outside of your best skill sets) that are diluting your ability to excel at what brought you here in the first place? I recommend every business owner or top leader do this self-analysis at least annually. And if you feel you can’t do it and give yourself an honest answer, get an outsider to help you with the assessment. I do this quite often for other leaders since I have a very objective view of most businesses and can offer them some honest and insightful looks at how they are leading today as compared to when they first began.

The Opportunity…Delegate to Lower your risk and stress

Once you have finished the self-assessment of what you are doing now as compared to when you started, you will definitely see some differences. If they are significant, you are probably increasing the risk and stress for yourself and the business. If they are pretty much in alignment with what your skill sets were when you started the business, congratulations! You have most likely found a way to capitalize on your strengths and delegate your weaknesses.

Being an effective delegator will do wonders for helping you lower the overall risk of the business and lower your stress and anxiety levels. As I often say, the CEO of Ford Motor Company (or other major car manufactures) has no clue how to personally build a car…that isn’t their strength. But they are usually incredible leaders and delegators and can get people who are experts in their areas to build it for him/her. This should be the mindset of you as the Owner or key leader in the business.

The overall risk of the company usually goes down significantly when the top leaders do what they do best and find others that are experts in other areas to do what they do best. This focus on finding people with the ideal skill set and allowing them to shine is one of the best ways to grow a business and to lower its risk. If you are the CEO, President, or Owner and aren’t delegating as much as possible, you are raising the risk of your own company. Start delegating, start lowering your company’s risk.

What to do next…

If you ever have any questions about this or any other aspect of your business, just ask and we’ll be happy to answer them. Or if you want to understand succession planning in more detail and how you could start planning for a successful move, I’d be happy to meet with you (complimentary of course) to discuss it further for your own particular situation. And if you found this helpful and are thinking of someone you know who could benefit from this post, please help them out as well and share this with them.

I hope you have found this helpful and given you a different way to look at your business. If it has, please share this with others inside your company and your colleagues who are running or leading other businesses. Our primary mission at Generations Law Group, LLP is to help everyone find productive ways to lower their business AND personal risk. This is just one way you can start to do this…but it will tell you a lot about you and what has happened over the past few years with regard to your business risk. Let’s make sure your risk is as low as it can be while you continue to grow.

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