At some point after a new company gets started up, every great entrepreneur reaches a point where he or she realizes that, for the business to grow to its full potential, it's time to bring in a real manager--someone who can take over the day-to-day operations while the entrepreneur continues to set the vision and inspire the troops.
However, entrepreneurs and managers often speak different languages--if they speak at all--which can make the transition difficult at best, and impossible at worst.
Zishe Schnitzler is founder and CEO of The Clear Advantage, leveraging his corporate experience into a company that specializes in helping Orthodox Jewish and Yiddish-speaking entrepreneurs realize their big ideas. According to Zishe, because of the different inherent nature of entrepreneurs (big picture thinkers) versus managers (detailed action thinkers), communication can easily break down.
The good news is that it doesn't have to. Says Zishe, "When it's simply an issue of communication, that can be easily rectified. The secret is for both sides to take, at least for a moment, the side of the other. In this way they can understand what the other side of the fence is like--be it the entrepreneur or the manager. They suddenly have a better appreciation for how the other has the common good and greater success in mind and fully in focus."
So, how can entrepreneurs and managers work better to turn former's dream into the latter's to-do list? Zishe suggests a simple, 5-step approach that he uses to help his clients turn an entrepreneur's vision into an actionable strategy that the manager can implement--to everyone’s benefit.
Step 1: What is the entrepreneur's dream?
The first step is to find out what the entrepreneur's dream is, without any judgment. After all, if we have put men on the moon, can send an email around the globe in a split second, and have solved some of the world’s most perplexing medical challenges, anything is possible!
Step 2: Ask good questions. Then ask them again!
Once the vision of where the entrepreneur is heading is understood, the next step is to ask questions--a lot of questions. Says Zishe, "In my practice, often, it is a modified version of the same question, asked several times over a week or two."
Step 3: Hunt down the detail givers
Start writing the details of how things function, until hitting the first roadblock. Then go back to the entrepreneur and ask, "How about this particular sticking point…how are we going to make it work?" It is the entrepreneur, not the manager, who always comes back with the solution.
Step 4: Repeat as often as necessary
Once the first challenge is overcome, then continue until you reach the next roadblock. Go back to the entrepreneur yet again, getting his solution to the current issue holding them back. Repeat until all the major issues are overcome.
Step 5: Create the game plan
Eventually, a comprehensive game plan and strategy will emerge from these discussions, with detailed steps for how the entrepreneur’s vision will function in a practical, real world environment. Once that is done, the manager will be able to function--or rather, to soar!
Says Zishe, "As an entrepreneur, you need to share your vision with your managers. A good manager can run with your vision if you give him the time to plan the details for you. Just be sure to be there for him, using your gift of vision and creativity to answer questions on implementation and strategy. This will help him avoid the potholes and actually move forward from your very intoxicating vision and transform it into something successful--and sellable!"