Entrepreneurs are an amazing, brilliant, and interesting group of people. They have lots of ideas, many of which will not make it to fruition.
When an entrepreneur hits on that one great idea, the work is just beginning. Entrepreneurs wear numerous hats as they create and nurture their idea into a real company. There are risks, sleepless nights, and sometimes self-doubt gets in the way. But it eventually all comes together and an entrepreneurial start-up validates its product or service, starts to grow, and hires more people.
At some point on this journey, entrepreneurs get stuck and at EOS® we refer to this as ‘hitting the ceiling’. Their world just doesn’t feel right. Entrepreneurs worry about every aspect of their business, yet rarely think about how to manage it. And that is a primary reason they get stuck. They think the work done to establish the business is adequate to grow the company. And nothing could be further from the truth.
So what does a typical day look like at your Entrepreneurial company?
- Are you running around putting out fires all day?
- Does every prospect sound like the best customer ever?
- When a customer requests something outside your actual product or service do you struggle to figure out how to meet their need?
- Are you trying to know everything that is going on? Is there someone (or maybe several someones) in your company who is hugely productive but is a challenge to work with?
- Is it difficult for people to hold themselves accountable?
- Does everyone know exactly where the company is going and are they working toward that goal every day?
Why Aren’t You Getting The Results You Want?
It could be several issues or a combination of issues. For example, there could be multiple operating systems in place – marketing operates on one system and finance uses another. This creates silos within the company and confusion between departments.
Perhaps there aren’t any processes in place or they aren’t complete. As a result, your team operates as individuals – they all provide customer support, or conduct sales calls or hire new team members in different ways – achieving different outcomes.
The company leaders may have different ideas about the company vision; therefore, each division operates the business from a slightly different perspective and the outcome is inconsistent. Maybe the lines of communication are unclear and no one is quite sure when they hand off a project to another division.
In essence your company has hit the ceiling. It’s that feeling of being stuck, not sure what to do next, where to turn. To make matters worse, departments will hit the ceiling periodically, and individuals may also experience the same phenomena.
We routinely hear this from leadership teams. Hitting the ceiling just makes us normal.
What To Do When You Hit The Ceiling
So what should you do when you hit the ceiling? Wait it out? Quit? Look for some fairy dust to make the world right again? Well, you could. Or, you could master EOS’s Five Leadership Abilities™ so that you break through the ceiling anytime you hit it. The Five Leadership Abilities™ are:
1. Simplify. Complexity is the enemy. If you approach it that way and take it on, it will help you get clear about what you have to do.
2. Delegate. Anything you do only requires five percent of you. The other 95% should be delegated to someone in your organization for whom the skill is their sweet spot, leaving you more time to do your five percent genius work. And they’ll do theirs.
3. Predict. It is imperative to predict in the long-term (greater than 90 days) and in the short-term on a daily and weekly basis. Information is data with a purpose and a context.
4. Systemize. Define your way of doing business. In other words, document your Core Processes, those sequence of events that enable your people to do what they do,
5. Structure. Define the best organizational structure that will help you get to the next level. Create an Accountability Chart that will clarify every seat in your company and depict clear accountability.
Incorporate these Five Leadership Abilities™ into your organization and practice them every day. If you do, you will know when you have hit the ceiling, and you will break through it every time.
- Download a copy of the EOS V/TO™ to help you clarify, simplify, and achieve your vision.
- Take the Organizational Checkup™ to get a picture of your company’s strengths and weaknesses, along with a roadmap for improvement.
- Download the How to Be a Great Boss Toolkit to access free tools and resources to help you lead, manage, and create accountability on your team.