This blogg is going to discuss the different roles and responsibilities of Founders, Owners, CEO’s and Managers within SME’s. More importantly, asking the difficult question, are you, the Founder/Owner, the best person to be driving the company?
For a company to run efficiently there are a number of essential skills that need to be present. These requirements change as the company grows and the surrounding market evolves. A growing start-up with a great product but relatively small (or no) customer base has drastically different needs than an established company with a steady and stable customer base.
Owner – The role of an Owner in a business goes far beyond managing investment numbers and calculating ROI figures. In most owner built companies the pride, passion and commitment towards the company and ”family” of employees is extremely evident. Their business in a sense is a part of their identity. In some cases it is very difficult to remove emotions and history from the decision making process.
CEO – The role of a CEO is outward facing and strategic with an overarching view, balancing the company’s current position against all of the external forces affecting the company. This position requires a level of leadership to interpret market changes and to adjust activities accordingly in the companies best interest. This obviously comes with a certain level of power and prestige but with that comes the responsibility to make the important and difficult questions.
Manager – The role of a manager is organisational / operationally inward facing and requires an intimate (deeper) level of technical knowledge and know-how. This position takes time to iron out all of the small details.
Trying to sit in all three of these seats at the same time requires us to think in very different ways. The challenge comes when a single individual is sitting in so many seats that focus and full dedication is not given to any of the three different roles.
Starting a company requires sprinting but building a company is more like a marathon. Different skillsets in different phases.
Where are your skills best suited?