“For a long time, I tried to be the whole package. I put a lot of energy into making certain that I was shepherding everyone along, doing all the right things for my teams. Then I realized: You know what? If I can get some people that are really good at the things that I’m not, then I can focus on my strengths. And my strengths are in creative problem solving — all the way down to writing the code myself”
-- Vivienne Ming, CEO of Socis, quoted in “ Leaders Who Focus on Solving Problems” by Deborah Ancona and Hal Gregersen, Harvard Business Review, April 18 2018.
Few things are harder for many business owners and entrepreneurs than to admit….that they can't do everything. After decades of watching others do what they're sure they could have done better, small business leaders often act more like self-sufficient cowboys than people who trust others well enough to focus on their own strengths.
But many small business leaders fail when they try to “be the whole package.” Because we learn early on to rely on ourselves, we assume that we have to do everything that fits the conventional business leader model. Even when some of those tasks are not the best thing we could be doing, given who we are and what we are good at.
Doing the things you can technically do, but that drain your energy, isn't just being a “grown-up.” It could be denying your organization the best you can offer. And if you are trying to move your organization into an unpredictable future that needs what you uniquely offer, that could mean more than just a nagging sense of frustration.
We built Econogy Talent Group because we saw too many small businesses, including ones we owned, living with this no-win situation. Leaders needed to focus on their strengths, but hiring full-time conventional staff was too much risk to bear. Especially when their greatest need was foresight and a clear strategy for the future.
ETG’s future-ready teams allow you to focus where you can use your strengths. Whether they're guiding your strategy or helping you create new products, ETG teams allow you to focus on how you can best support your organization. As Meng found, that might mean that you lead differently, but it means you may also lead more effectively.