Scaling a business means multiplying ourselves, our product, and creating processes that make things run smoothly. You do all of those things through operations.
If scaling a business is a desire that you have, I want you to look inward. Ask yourself if you are using a directing style or a leadership style. Your answer to this will help you with navigate your next steps.
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For the past several episodes, we’ve been talking about hiring; both how to set your business up to hire, and how to know when it’s time to hire.
Today, I want to help you identify if you are operating in a director style, or a leadership style.
Directors vs. Leaders
First, we should make some distinctions between director style and leadership style.
Directors give specific instructions, and have very defined roles.
- They closely supervise tasks of people who work for them.
- Their communication is mostly top-down. They have knowledge and they hire teams and tell them exactly what to do.
- The team members are often inexperienced and need a lot of direction. It’s a good fit for both sides, because there is a symbiotic relationship; one side likes to give direction and the other side likes to take direction.
- The director closely monitors the progress, and is very tactical and hands on.
Someone who operates in the leadership style is able to have a vision and communicate it.
- They value autonomy, and are less controlling on the outcome because they allow others to own it.
- They are naturally positive which makes them great motivators.
- They are good negotiators.
- They do PR for their vision very easily.
- They have the ability to plan and forecast for their business.
- They are strategic rather than tactical.
Example of Director Style
Most of us start the business in the director style. An example is a service based business, such as a coach or consultant. They started their business because they have a skillset and a passion that they could market. Over time they found they needed to multiply themselves, so they started to bring on team members that had the same competency, so they could help more people. Their team was likely entry level talent (because that’s what they can afford) and they gave them a blueprint. This is the agency model, and it can be a very effective way to build a business.
“The director mindset is not bad, but it can be limiting.”
Ask yourself, “What is your vision for your business or your role in the business”? If it’s bigger than what you are practicing today, consider moving into the leadership mindset
Two Ways to Move From Director Style to Leadership Style
- If your vision is to move out of the owner/operator space and into the CEO role, you are going to have to step out of the day to day. This is why a Director of Operations (DOO) is integral to helping you scale your business. With a DOO, you can focus on forward facing activities, such as creating content, creating relationships and selling. If your vision requires you to move into this role, you will need to navigate your team growth by pulling in people you can trust so you can truly remove yourself from being the “deliverer”.
“Replace yourself so that people in your team can work autonomously.”
Bring people on, develop them, and start trusting them. If they understand your brand and you don’t need to oversee them, then you are moving from the director to leadership mindset.
- If you can’t develop the talent that you want, consider bringing in experts from other industries, such as marketing or sales experts. Hire for this expert talent when you realize that you don’t have all the knowledge that it takes to get you to that next level.
“When you start to step out of the directing and into the leading, you are going to have to be surrounded by people who have depth, skill and aptitudes that are different than yours.”
Scaling Your Business
If you want to scale your business you will need to remove yourself from the day to day, and instead rely on people and processes; your team, automation, and your brand to do the work.
If you resist getting out of the day to day, take some time to look inward: Are you capable and ready? Do you need help to step into leadership and release control? Are you equipped to support yourself so you can move forward? The answer to these questions will help you to figure out your next steps.
If you are finding yourself in the director style, and aren’t sure why, consider taking the Kolbe A Index.
Weekly Ops Activity
Do you feel you are in the director phase or the leadership phase? Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 (1 being directing, 10 being leadership), and report your score in the Ops Insiders Facebook Group. Also make sure to cast a vision for yourself and indicate what will be required of you… then share it with us!
Previous Episodes Mentioned
Episode 30: How To Break The Bad Habits of Hiring
Episode 31: Ten Questions to Answer Before You Write a Job Description
Episode 32: Step By Step To Onboard Your New Hire
Episode 33: How To Set Goals To Measure Your Team’s Performance
Episode 34: What to Do Before, During, and After Firing
Episode 35: Pricing Pet Peeves & How to Set Pricing as a Service Provider
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