Most business owners and leaders agree with the concept that they should take time to work on their business, rather than simply being consumed by the day to day. In principle, it sounds good but in theory, for most people it simply doesn’t happen. We all get caught up, from time to time, in the next fire or seemingly urgent issue and in many cases, they can feel incredibly important in those moments, but what are the pitfalls that come into play behind the scenes?
Will anything change, if nothing changes? Running from fire to fire can seem important in a moment, but without taking the time to get away and see those fires for what they are, nothing is going to change. Being able to take a step back allows you the breathing room to put in the systems and controls, which allow you to get ahead of those fires.
Who is in charge, if you aren’t in charge? If you are leading an organization and yet are the one having to be at the center of things, then could it be that you are only leading yourself? Taking a step back allows you to reflect on whether the work you are doing is really what you should be doing. It requires you to delegate and to build the abilities of your people, in order to strengthen your organization.
How do your customers see you, if they don’t see you? If you are the one answering calls, processing orders, handling logistics, etc. and you are paying other people in your organization to be doing this, then chances are your customers see you the same as one of your employees. Taking the time to be more strategic in your thinking, gives you an opportunity to build what you want your role to be and allows you to see your organization for what it is.
What happens, when you are not there? In this moment, you might be more than willing to put in the long hours and go that extra mile, however there will come a day when, even you, will get tired. In fact, there might even be a few days today, when you wonder whether it is all worth it. If you can’t take a few hours a week away, or can’t get through a meeting or lunch without having to answer a call, then what would happen if tomorrow you couldn’t be there? Great organizations are not built on the strength of one person and if they are, they are destined to fail. Every time you take a few hours away, you are giving your team the opportunity to grow and the more you do it, the more capable they become.
The real value of a leader can be measured in their ability to work on their business, not only in their business. If you are constantly making excuses, that have you working in your business, then just consider the points above and ask yourself, what will happen if you don’t?