Grow up and get a job! What about “no”?? Dare to dream, create a vision, establish a business, pursue it relentlessly. Well, that is just plain crazy! Or, is it? New ventures continue to be launched at an unprecedented rate. Fundamentally, they all begin with an idea, one bigger than any single individual can possibly perform. Yet, one individual, or small group, commits to embrace this challenge. A misguided entrepreneurial cliché is the founder who does everything in the organization. The reality is an entrepreneur who is ultimately responsible for everything getting done. And if that includes washing bottles, well, the entrepreneur is still a founder.
Stay In Your Lane/ Delegate Like Crazy
With so many roles to fulfill in a venture, the leader’s primary objective is executing priorities. Considering that an idea bigger than any individual suggests that more than one person is required, then additional people need to be involved. The productive leader must stay in her lane as much as possible. Hire employees, find interns, contract with freelancers. Acquire talent with skills and aptitude that contribute more than the budget expects. Sell the dream. Pay in opportunities. A leader who trusts no one has not earned the privilege of having followers. Effective leaders delegate. Consequently, leaders who empower followers earn the right to extract excess value from a team who has bought into the vision. Trust, but verify. Upon assembling a team with necessary skills, stretch them to maximum capacity. Then, any risk that the leader endures is offset by earning excess rewards through a well-executed plan.
Say No/ Say No Again
Proper delegation requires articulating clearly and often, “No.” Not shouting, “No!”. Simply, saying “No”. To an effective leader, small roles are not beneath her. Conversely, the greater vision requires her! By saying “no” leaders lead, then managers manage, and teams execute. Nevertheless, in pursuing entrepreneurial success leaders will eventually do work that they do not want to do. They will perform functions below their pay grade. Minimize that activity! Create guerrilla teams and identify go-to people! Resource constrained? Pay in favors and perks. Susan made the coffee runs; Susan gets to leave early on Friday. The leader who must have her fingerprints on every activity is not a leader, but a danger to the success of her venture, her teammates, and the organization’s future. Effective leaders must say “no”, so when the next major opportunity appears, she can say “yes”!
Ultimately, entrepreneurs do what they must with what they have. Make the process do the work, so the boss does not. Also, find a person where you delegate pain. Not inflict, but delegate. That person is a trustworthy soul, preferably outside the organization, that provides clarity regarding hard decisions and mistakes. Along with saying “no”, the leader must carry the burden of wrongs and share the glory for rights. If it’s hard, then do it hard. If it’s dirty, then do it dirty. Don’t worry about what others call you, as long as you call yourself “successful”. When the day is done, be sure the bottles are clean!
By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Mo Patton Sports, LLC