We all have roles inside of a company. But as a leader, what is far more important than any title is being whatever is needed that day. Sometimes this means your role is to be a CEO, to be a co-worker's friend, to be an expert, or to be the martyr and take the brunt of the blow, even if it wasn't yours to take.
If you are a founder, you must be willing to step out of role positions. Sure, you may be an expert at marketing, but when you pigeonhole yourself into this role, you are actually doing yourself and your business a huge disservice. Begin to oversee the entire ecosystem of your business and show up where you need to in a way that doesn't actually attach you to any particular role.
It's time to stop being the quarterback, and start being the coach. Take it upon yourself to know each of the players, know where they are, and then communicate in a way that inspires scale without having to be attached to the day-to-day roles.
Want to step away from your daily role? Here's how:
1. Develop a desire.
The reality is some people are meant to live within one single role, and they thrive in this specific zone of genius. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. After all, companies need these people in order to have innovative products, excellent customer service, and powerful process flows. Yet, as a founder and leader, you must want more for yourself.
Spend time creating a vision for what you want your future to look like and generate a deep desire to build this image into reality. As a serial entrepreneur, I quickly had to build a desire to be more than a CEO, and in doing so, recognize the value of stepping away from the roles I was holding.
2. Create an expanded mindset.
While most people work in the business or on the business, very few people actually work above the business. When you do this, the organization itself becomes the product and the lens through which you work shifts. You begin to see far beyond internal product goals and can imagine a greater future.
I currently own multiple companies that I work above, and in doing so, have created a larger mission that expands beyond the products and services each one individually offers. For founders, one way to do this is to begin thinking about what would create value in terms of an exit.
Shift your thoughts from how will this product be a great purchase? to how will the business be a great purchase? And in the meantime, bring on people who can manage the day-to-day demands.
3. Trust your team.
In order to release your role, you must build a foundation of trust. By instilling trust in your team, you breed other leaders and instill a sense of confidence in your company that propels everyone forward.
If you don't trust your team to do a good job, then you need a new team. And if you don't trust your team, there is likely a personal mindset piece that needs to be faced. Perhaps you have a fear of letting people in, of losing control, or of your own self-worth. I have met many leaders who aren't willing to relinquish their control or roles because there is a fear that if they aren't doing the work, then they aren't worth anything. You must face the truth of your trust in order to expand yourself.
It's time to be the leader who can't be categorized and stop limiting yourself to what is written beneath your name on a business card.