The red mist descends on some, who insist that they are the essence of their business, its very driving force. Without them, the company would lose its soul, direction, key clients, top staff… Often, they’re right; sometimes, I suspect, they’re deluding themselves. Other entrepreneurs react more reasonably, giving the question real consideration. Some even acknowledge that extracting themselves from their business is their major objective in life. “Are you the problem?” is one of the most important questions an owner-manager or company leader can ask themselves. Clearly, some people – especially in the early years of a business or when they are driving technical innovation – are essential to its success. But there comes a point when that inventive, entrepreneurial zeal is no longer the key ingredient in the business. With technology on the market, systems and key staff in position, the business’s leader can become a distraction, rather than a contributor. Also, when businesses pass through periods of dramatic change, an owner-manager (who may belong to another business era) can stand in the way of progress. True business leaders must recognise when your role has shifted, or when it’s time to step aside. I want yor views about this often delicate subject. Have you experienced such a transition? Are you currently grappling with your role in the business? Are you working for an “obstacle boss”?
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