You wear a lot of hats in your business, don’t you!
- Hats that define your roles.
- Hats that move you forward in your business.
- Hats that distract you from your work.
- Hats that make you a fireman!
Some hats you’re really good at and they fit you! You’re the high paid expert with all the right answers. But others are very boring! You can think of a thousand reasons NOT to put it on. If you were honest, some of those caps are way out of your skill-set! You do it because it has to be done. But the truth is you’re not good at it and you know it. Or it’s a hat anyone could wear…but you always put it on! Admit it… You’re stacking your hats!
There are a few hats you wear that really bring in the revenue. When you’re working in that one, the company is making money! Revenue is coming in and everybody is happy. It fits and feels good! You really enjoy putting it on, squaring it around and going to work! It’s your image and makes you feel great!
There are some hats you probably wish you could throw into the trash! And others that you would gladly share with someone else! As a matter of fact, you have tried many times to get rid of one of those hats, but the rest of the staff or issues keeps bringing it back and putting it square on your head!
Getting unusual clarity about your assigned or assumed roles and responsibilities is key to efficiency, productivity and success.
If you are a business owner, according to Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth, you wear at least three categories of hats;
- The Technician is someone – a bicycle mechanic, computer programmer, cook, (Private Investigator) etc… – who is an expert in his or her craft. The technician is happiest doing the work they are good at and ignoring the rest, which is, in the end, a recipe for failure.
- The Entrepreneur is the dreamer, the one who sets out to do something new, who reaches for the stars. The Entrepreneur lives in the future, thinking about what could be (rather than in the present). The Entrepreneur is often frustrated by how slow the world seems to move.
- The Manager is the detail-oriented one, who dots the i’s and crosses the t’s, the one who remembers to pay the bills, and wants a well-organized world with no surprises; a world where things happen in an orderly, predictable manner.
That would be great if it was only three hats. But do you find yourself looking at a dozen different business caps: HR, CEO, CFO, forecasting, sales manager, sales person, bookkeeper, courier, admin expert, maintenance, marketing director, computer expert and the list goes on and on and on. Something pops up on your email and hands you another cap that distracts you away from what you doing. Screaming, it says…”Right now… put on this cap and take care of me! I’m important and urgent!”
But what if you’re not the owner! You just “work here.” There is still a good chance you are wearing several hats. OK.. quit laughing! We all know you ARE wearing hats that your boss doesn’t even know about! His beloved company would go down the toilet if you weren’t taking care of some really important things that require a hat!
Let’s Clarify Your Assigned or Assumed Roles
Did you know the number one employee complaint is unclear job description and expectation? That’s right. Most employees do not have a clear idea of exactly what their superior expects of them. They live in a foggy blog of “I think so” job responsibility.
The number one complaint of employers is “My employees are NOT doing what I hired them for!” Most employers are frustrated because employees are doing everything else besides what they were hired to do!
It gets worse! Because position responsibility is not tied directly to income producing ramifications, hours upon hours of busy-work cost you in a big way! There are a lot of hats that have no productivity benefit and it sabotages business profitability. In English, what I’m saying is you have highly skilled professionals or tech experts wearing part time hats as file clerks and paper shufflers. Those hats are eating away at profits.
Focus on What Matters – Wear the Right Hat
Getting focused on what matters most is critical to surviving as a business. It’s about making sure you keep the right hat on. Not necessarily the hat you like the best, but the had the make you the most productive! You have to constantly ask yourself the question, “What is the most productive thing I can do right now / today?”
Hats should fall into three categories;
1. Primary Responsibilities – When I have this assigned hat on, I’m the most productive for my company. My marketable skills are being used at their optimum level. These hours are billable. Somebody is getting paid! Or at the very least, an employee is doing exactly what they were hired to do…and that has an immediate impact on the business running efficiently.
2. Secondary Support Responsibilities – This hat supports my ability to wear my primary hat. It has a direct correlation to helping me do what I do best! But I can take it off in a minute should my primary calling pop up! This may include research, returning phone calls, email or proposals.
3. Ongoing Responsibilities – I ONLY wear this hat after I’m done with the others. It NEVER or rarely takes time away from Primary or Secondary. But administrative work still has to fit into my schedule somewhere.
Make sure you or your staff is clear about where they should be spending their time and priorities. Ask them to recite back to you what they think you want them to be doing on a daily and weekly basis. Let them know what is first, second and third on that priority list. That gives them the tools to make great time management decisions quickly!
The barrenness of busyness is the number one enemy of a busy professional.
DON’T EVER let someone just drop a hat on your head!
You CHOOSE the hat you wear!