I’m sure that some of you are familiar with that kind of over-boss who can’t let go of the business. Some founders and business owners just cling on every bit and detail of the whole value-add-chain. This kind of dedication can quickly mutate into addiction and is as toxic to the entrepreneur as it is to the employees,
There is, however, one way of avoiding this. Ari Meisel, the founder of Less Doing, made one big statement to help and wrote the book The Replaceable Founder to convey his message with all its details. Now, what’s left for all you founders to do? Make yourself replaceable.
Wait what? But it makes sense…
When I first heard of this, I didn’t instantly understand the concept. After all, many people worked hard through their career to make themselves irreplaceable to stay in the game against human competition but also artificial rivals, possibly in the future.
But, of course, I got it all wrong. The message here is a lot more positive than it might sound at first. Becoming replaceable as a founder doesn’t mean you should quit. It means that leaders should cultivate their organizations with culture, know-how, and confidence to run smoothly – even without you present.
There is a time for everything. When you’re a startup founder with just you and nobody else, nothing and nobody could help you out. You have to tackle all the details of the business on your own. You know it best because you designed every aspect of all the processes involved. As soon as you are able to grow, include team members to help you to take care of various aspects of running the business. You should let go of some things.
The design that augments you
Instead of back-seating and micro-managing everything and everyone you need to design an organizational structure that enables people to do their job. While it’s not unusual to cling on the overall strategy of the company, you should at least think about how to be replaceable in the daily operations of the organization. Your employees are smart. They can manage on their own. Why would you have hired people who you don’t trust to get the job done in the first place?
What is there for you to do? Lots of talk happening all around us, but what are the actionable steps for you?
- Identify tasks and clarify responsibilities
- Assign tasks by making use of the six levels of delegation
- Consider skill but also personality and problem-solving capability when hiring
- Keep mundane activities out of your focus time
- Manage your email inbox like a boss with filters, rules, and workflows
- Manage your ideas and inspiration, keep an archive
- Design your organization to augment your talent
Do you think there’s something among those that you could tackle? Not everything is applicable for everyone, but I am confident that there’s something here that could help a lot of founders and business owners who are struggling with micro-management. The goal should be to go on vacation from one day to another without worrying about how everything will go on without you.
If you want to learn more from the writing of Ari Meisel, you should have a look at The Replaceable Founder, but you can also have a look at his other works if you enjoy books that might be able to help you to improve your productivity or even well being in the long run.
Do you have useful tips to share for your fellow founders or all others reading this article? Thanks for reading and make sure to submit your comments below. If you have a bit of time left, you might also enjoy the clip that I selected for you below. Stay productive and stay healthy!
YouTube: How To Do Less And Get More Done With Ari Meisel
Photo credit: The feature image has been done by Sandy Millar. The photo “passion led us here” was taken by Ian Schneider. The image below was done by Austin Distel.
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