The Eight Stages of Evolution – Stage 6
In this post, we are entering one of the most interesting a challenging phases in the evolutionary scale. Up to now, we have begun to put our trust in a management team (see stage 5), and have handed over some of the responsibility, in order to step back a little from the day to day running of the business. So what’s the next step? Well, here you will be preparing to take that one step further, and employ a director to stand beside you in pushing the business further, as you think about heading towards 1500 properties. Let’s think about what the might mean…
As we touched on in our last post, starting to let go of your business, beginning the process of stepping back and allowing other people to take control is one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do for your business. But if you think back to when you first started this thing, you should (I hope) remember some of the reasons why you wanted to do this in the first place. And I doubt that reason was to work every day God sends and have no time to spend doing the things you are most passionate about. Correct me if I’m wrong, but people start businesses to make money to have the freedom to enjoy life. To be able to help their families, friends, and causes they believe in. How many of us do this just for the sake of working for the rest of our lives? I’m guessing not too many hands raised there.
Why do I need another Director?
So; hiring a Director. Why is this important for this stage in your business, and where do you begin?
Now that you’re dealing with 1500 (or close to) properties, your business is getting pretty big. You’re no longer a one-man (or woman) show. You are part of something bigger, part of a team of managers who have departments full of staff under them. You possibly already have a few different branches within your geographic. And on your own, it might feel like a bit of a monster.
You’ll already be in a place where you are no longer engaging with staff members, and you certainly won’t be getting involved with what they do on a day-to-day. Your role is to guide the management team; it’s their job to lead the staff, without your interference!
As your management team continues to grow, and are spread across multiple sites in most cases, it’s easy for you to feel overwhelmed. And this is the point where you need someone to be with you on a director level. Because you still have some growing left to do, but it’s going to be near impossible to do that without someone to give you support in your goals, to bounce ideas off, and to ease the burden of directing your teams.
Who should I choose?
The key thing when you are ready to make the choice of who to choose as a director is to have someone you can trust. You need to be absolutely sure that your joint director is someone who can share your vision for the business, and who is able to learn its ethos and culture well enough to be able to drive it forward with you. Remember; at this level, they are your equal, which means they can disagree with you and argue with you, so it’s important to bear in mind that you need someone you are comfortable to debate the cause with on behalf of your business!
Your ideal joint director will already work for you within your senior management team. And why should you be looking here first? Well, your senior team will already have knowledge of where the business has grown from, and where it is headed. They will be acutely aware of how things work; what doesn’t work. And perhaps most importantly they will have built a relationship with both you, and all of the teams and departments.
It’s highly likely that you will have already picked out this person, without even realising it. If you have a ‘go-to’ person in your management team, who you always naturally gravitate to for guidance or advice; one who you have trusted with assisting you in the past – then that is probably the person you should be thinking about recruiting.
Settling In – Developing your new Directors
We have talked several times over the past few posts in this evolution series about the process of ‘stepping away’ from your business. Having your directors (or your board of directors eventually), will allow that to happen. And that’s ultimately what we’re aiming for.
So when you have recruited your director, you can feel that you are one step closer to achieving that. It’s likely that at this point, you go through some pretty strange emotions; naturally, it’s a difficult, stressful, and scary time. We call this series evolution for a reason, and evolution brings changes. Putting your business in the hands of someone else is without a doubt one of the biggest things you will have to face.
With this in mind, you might have some doubts about your new directors management skills. Perhaps it’s crossed your mind that there are certain aspects of their qualifications or personality which might create some difficulty in them doing what you need them to do. Try not to get too hung up on this – you are never going to find someone who will be able to sit in that chair and do the job off the bat. Sorry to disappoint, but that’s not going to happen.
Like any other member of your team, whether they are brand new or being promoted, there will always be a settling in period. They will need to be shown what is required of them, brought up to speed with future developments, and develop a whole new skillset in order to lead from the very top. In other words; it is up to you to nurture them, in order for you to get the best from them.