Your job as CEO is to make yourself expendable. This is why.

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As a CEO you have unique and specialized talents, but this role can also be lonely. Hopefully you are a visionary – adaptable, motivating and receptive. You have led your business to success through competent leadership and reliable decision-making. Or maybe you’re the one who just started the company and have the most historical knowledge. Whatever your qualities and experience, they are inherent only in you; and no matter how high and far you look, you will not find a leader who can do exactly what you do.

However, it is important to note that your goal as a leader does not lie in the tasks you devote your time to. Running a business is full of strategic initiatives and these can create long to-do lists that span everything from administrative activities to business development, and as a CEO with these types of jobs on your plate, it’s time to take a closer look at where you spend your time. time. Time is your value, and where you spend it matters.

Your job as a CEO is not to work through a to-do list, but to make yourself expendable.

Related: ‘Can you do my job?’ How – and why – to coach your employees to replace you?

Work On the company, not in the

Every year I list the 10 things I spend most of my time doing and think to myself, “Am I the best person for this job or is there someone who knows more than me, has more experience or can even do this ?” better?” Next, I pick the key points that I spend most of my time on and work on to find a leader inside or outside the company who could fill a full-time position. Our agency has grown from three to 30 to 100 to 150 by following this path of growing leadership teams with subject matter experts.

When a CEO has many different responsibilities, no practice is developed; the process is built around the CEO’s time (or lack thereof). The business can only grow if you begin to see the critical parts of the business less as a task and more as a practice. To throw off some of these responsibilities, you need to get rid of ego and control, and increase the confidence and commitment to continue hiring good people. Sometimes it seems like the income or cash flow won’t support some of these hires, but I can tell you that the reward far outweighs the risk. By working on the business rather than in it, you can empower and empower a business by diversifying skills and sharing responsibilities among strong leaders.

Related: This Business Method Takes the Risk of Failure Off the Table

Create a business that thrives on its own

As a CEO of an agency, you may wonder where you add the most value. For every hat you wear, whether you’re working on new business development or marketing, culture, or vision of the future, it can be worth examining whether you’re actually fulfilling those roles in a way that significantly upgrades your business or whether you’re actually a bottleneck. forms. your team of creating impactful results for your clients.

The point I want to make is that a great company should not be forced to a CEO. While the CEO casts a “leadership shadow” over the company that influences culture and innovation, the critical components of growth should fall into the wheelhouse of the experts (and sooner rather than later). This is especially true for service-oriented agencies that often change as the client landscape shifts in response to market changes and trends and as new agency-impact products are developed in your company.

Shift from incremental to exponential growth

For leaders, the thought of exponential growth is exciting and terrifying at the same time. But growth doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If properly strategized, incremental changes will support a fast-growing agency. The secret to this shift lies in scalability, and scalability is rooted in mindset.

Only adopting from your org chart limits you in terms of new faces and fresh ideas. While there are several benefits to hiring and promoting from within, you need to add outside collaborators from a huge pool of expertise that may be lacking. Scalability is linked to diversity, and hiring the right people for the right jobs is an investment that pays off quickly. In my experience, some of these executive hires weren’t even on our org chart because org charts don’t show any potential failures or opportunities.

If you’re a CEO of an agency that still pitches clients, takes on new business, handles finances, develops operational efficiencies, schedules events, and performs other critical responsibilities, you should list at least two or three a year and hire experts instead. Make them the leaders and owners of these parts of the business and treat them as such. Support them and get out of the way. It is essential not to see this as a cost item, but as an investment. Freeing up your time and mental real estate is essential to your ability to cast your leadership shadow even wider with a focus on culture and growth.

Related: 7 Ways to Go From a Boss to a Leader

Become replaceable

Ultimately, becoming expendable doesn’t mean strategizing without a job. It just means that when something is critical it shouldn’t be on your plate. Taking this approach will give you flexibility and manageable growth. And this mindset isn’t just for CEOs – leaders joining your company should focus on what they do best and create additional opportunities by adopting the same shedding tactic.

Hiring experts breathes life into a company and fuels the fire of innovation, culture and creativity. It’s also a way to increase your business tenfold, which often seems impossible. As a strategy, it delivers more streamlined branding and more focus than someone who juggles everything could ever offer. Prioritizing investment in experts and clearing your own plate is a valuable way to improve the spirit, performance and resilience of your business.

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