Are You in Too Many Seats?

Office chairs

If you’re like many entrepreneurs, you started your business with a great idea and did everything yourself. You generated sales, delivered your products or services, handled the finances, managed customer service and emptied the wastebaskets. As your business grew, did you fully remove yourself from most of these functions, replacing yourself with a more energetic, competent version of yourself? Did you begin with those things you weren’t good at and didn’t enjoy, or happened to be good at and didn’t enjoy? Did you “let go” once the new person was in place and established their competence?

If not, you are likely in multiple seats. Being in more than one seat is an uncomfortable and ineffective place to be because no matter how competent you are, you can’t serve both roles 100%. It leaves you and your team overextended and holds the company back while exposing it to greater risk.

What can you do if you’re in too many seats? Use the tools below to move every leadership team member to one seat, allowing you to grow your business effectively.

Three Tools to Help You Move Into One Seat

Tool #1: The Accountability Chart. Use the EOS® Accountability Chart to map out your organization in its simplest, most effective structure looking forward 6 – 12 months. Then, list the ideal roles and accountabilities for each seat. A common problem most entrepreneurial organizations face is that they adjust the business structure around their people as opposed to creating the best structure for the health of the company first and adding people second. A good way to determine this is to remove names from the Accountability Chart and give it a hard look.

Once you’ve got the structure “right” for the future, only then do you begin to see who you have to fill each seat. Is anyone’s name in multiple seats? If so, you need to find someone else who is uniquely gifted to occupy that seat over time. This could mean promoting someone, hiring someone and of course, given your 6 – 12 month timeline, it has to work with your budget and overall plan.

Tool #2: Delegate and Elevate™. After you’ve identified the seats and accountabilities, you may be able to simply delegate some of the accountabilities to another person within the organization. This could mean dividing the roles and adding them to other, current seats. If you are working 120% while functioning in two or more seats, you must find a way to delegate 20% so over time you can give one seat 100% of your attention. Delegate and Elevate the tasks you don’t like and happen to be good at or don’t like and are not good at, elevating yourself into one seat filled with roles you love and are great at.

Tool #3: GWC™. GWC stands for “Get It, Want It, Capacity to Do It” and is the way we determine if someone is fully capable of fulfilling a seat. Ask yourself these three questions: Does the person Get It, meaning their DNA or hard-wiring as a human being is ideal for this seat? For example, you wouldn’t put a salesperson in a finance role and vice versa. Do they Want It? Be honest here. You wanting it for them is not enough. You shouldn’t have to remind, threaten or beg them to want to do the job. Do they have the Capacity to do the job? Do they have the skills, expertise and time required for the job? You can’t confidently delegate or promote someone unless you get three “Yes” answers to GWC.

Expect to Evolve

As your company grows, it’s important that your structure grows with it. Most companies revisit the Accountability Chart every year or two as they grow. It’s the best way to see where you’re constrained and exactly who or what is holding your company back.

Once you have clarity, you can delegate or hire for the seats you need until each person occupies only one seat. Remember, your company will grow, discomfort will be gone, you’ll perform better and spend time doing the things you love and are great at. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

How strong is your company?

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