Work on your business
By: Carlos Jeer, Marshalltown Area Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Director
Do you believe your company’s success hinges on how well you prepare your budget, the kind of product you have or your customer satisfaction scores? Yes, those aspects do matter – but ultimately business will just be as good as the employees performing the work. Business wise, it makes more sense to hire smart people to add value to your company as opposed to resorting to the antiquated command and control model.
Autonomy in the workplace goes a long way to promoting and fostering creativity and innovation. As long as an organization has a clear trajectory and plan laid out, the leadership should be providing direction and oversight of its execution. David Ricardo, a British economist spoke about comparative advantage which has to do with matters of trade and relates to a country’s ability to execute economic activity in a more effective and efficient way compared to other nations. This principle can be applied to management, we must capitalize on what we are poised to do best. If your role involves being a manager then by all means, manage but leave the human resources to your HR Director.
Time is a finite resource and with the plethora of activities already in a manager’s calendar, it is important to know how to allocate time and resources appropriately. For example, consider a startup that is currently expanding. In the beginning the Founder & CEO most likely wore many hats if not all of them, from marketing and sales to coding, graphic art and fundraising. One day the company is able to fill those roles, vice presidents, directors and coordinators now roam your building, looking to maximize and perform the job they were hired to do. It is not unreasonable for the Founder & CEO to believe they can do a better job than the staff (which may or may not be true). The question is, should they? No, their time would be best spent pursuing growth opportunities for their company and strategizing their next move in the market.
Analyze your company’s mission, vision and overall strategy, even though management styles diverge across the board, remember that the way you approach it can make the difference between growth and stagnation. Even though success is in the details, it is important to know when to delegate, provide feedback and step in when needed. Are you working on your business or in your business?