Positioning yourself effectively within your business or nonprofit organization is a crucial factor in determining its success. Understanding the primary roles people play in a business is essential for growth and development.
In the iconic business book, “The E-Myth Revisited,” Michael Gerber lists 3 main roles people play in a business:
I like to say it this way:
According to Gerber, the focus of an entrepreneur should be to “Work on your business, not in your business.” In this blog post, we will explore these roles through the lens of leadership and examine how transitioning from a doer to a manager and ultimately a leader is vital for long-term success.
3 Primary Positions of Entrepreneurs
The Doer: Learning and Growth
When starting a business, it is common to begin as a doer or technician. As a small business owner, you often have to wear multiple hats and handle various tasks yourself. This hands-on experience is valuable as it allows you to learn every aspect of your business. By immersing yourself in the work, you gain a comprehensive understanding of the processes and challenges involved. However, it is important to recognize that this role should not be permanent.
The Manager: Delegation and Systems
Transitioning from a doer to a manager is a critical step in business growth. Managers create and oversee systems that enable the smooth flow of work within the organization. Instead of personally handling every task, managers delegate responsibilities to capable team members. They focus on building efficient processes, empowering employees, and ensuring that operations run effectively. By stepping back from the day-to-day work, managers have the capacity to think strategically and drive the business forward.
The Leader: Strategic Direction and Culture
At the highest level of the organizational hierarchy is the leader. Leaders are responsible for overseeing the managers who, in turn, oversee the doers. Their primary focus is on setting strategic direction, cultivating a positive company culture, and investing in top-level managers. Leaders understand the importance of multiplying themselves by creating other leaders who embody the organization’s values and vision. They provide guidance, inspire their teams, and make decisions that steer the company toward success.
Moving Beyond Personal Felt Needs
It is common for individuals to get stuck at the level of their personal felt needs– where they find the most self-worth or value. However, true growth requires moving beyond these limitations. Let’s revisit the example of a pie business. An aspiring entrepreneur may have a deep passion for making pies and feel that their personal involvement is crucial for the business to thrive. While this may be true at the beginning, holding onto this mindset can hinder growth.
Embracing the Transition
To experience substantial growth, entrepreneurs must transition from being solely doers to effective managers and inspiring leaders. This shift involves letting go of certain tasks and empowering others to take on responsibilities. By developing robust systems, delegating effectively, and focusing on the bigger picture, entrepreneurs can position themselves as leaders who drive the vision and culture of the organization.
Embracing this transition is essential for sustainable success and continued growth. Understanding the key roles of the doer, manager, and leader will help your business develop and grow. While starting as a doer allows for learning and hands-on experience, transitioning to a manager and ultimately a leader is crucial for long-term success. By embracing this evolution, entrepreneurs can create efficient systems, empower their teams, and guide the organization toward strategic goals. Remember, to truly thrive, it is important to move beyond personal felt needs and embrace the opportunities that come with each role!