Growing an entrepreneurially established business into an organization that plans to be successful in today’s complex and competitive business environment cannot solely depend on the personal skills of the owner, and needs to be able to accommodate additional team members with a range of relevant skills. With growth of a business, not all the skills required at can be expected to found in the founder or current business owner.
Think instead of the founder as someone that started a small musical band and is envisioning to grow into a philharmonic orchestra. He needs to find the best musicians of the needed instruments and also transition personally into a conductor. Someone who identifies and nurtures talent and works through others and coordinates them in order to accomplish the expected results or strategic goals.
If the business founder wants to become the conductor, one section of the “orchestra” may comprise of the needed accounting and financial skills eventually led by a CFO, while others who can provide human resources, logistics, IT, and so on. The point is that the business’s founder, regardless of how gifted, cannot possibly solely know and cover everything that needs to be covered.
Most entrepreneurs or business founders have healthy egos, but the successful ones are able to assess their own limits. As confident as they may be in their abilities and what they know, they are secure enough to surround themselves with the best talents that they can find, understanding that as conductor they cannot possible master and play every instrument in the orchestra; but to develop a good understanding of each musicians’ aptitude to the maximum of their potential and keep them well coordinated.
The founder’s job is to help determine and launch a culture that focuses on growing enthusiastic champions at every level. That means identification of talents at every level of their company and outside sources so that individuals are equipped not to only fulfill their own career goals but the organization’s strategic goals. Here’s a brief overview of how small to medium sized business owners and founders can perform this critical work:
Every move the owners make is thoroughly scrutinized by their employees. They have to consciously send a consistent message, loud and clear through their actions and words, about the defined values and objectives of their company. The most powerful, effective leaders today, whether founders, owners, presidents or CEOs, work through others—empowering them, inspiring them, and enabling them to contribute to the best of their abilities in ways that align with larger expressed organizational objectives.