Entrepreneurs Make Terrible Managers – Part 1

But they can make great leaders!

In this current chapter of my business career I’m getting invited into many businesses. Here is what I’m finding.

The Symptoms
  1. People are mostly working really hard but the CEO’s big three audacious goals are not being achieved.
  2. The leader’s story sounds compelling to me on a face-to-face basis but the web site doesn’t do justice to the story.
  3. Sales professionals are getting to No and believe the prospect made a quality decision, had all the facts and just didn’t like them or their ideas.
  4. Any project involving inter-departmental cooperation never succeeds or moves slower than Peyton Manning running across the field with a bathrobe on.
  5. Great questions in meetings are going unanswered.
  6. Customers are onboarded in a patch work way.
  7. New employees are not consistently pushed through a six-week introduction course.
  8. Only departmental objectives are measured with metrics. Metrics requiring the collaboration of many departments are rarely measured. E.g. effectiveness of marketing campaigns for specific sales professionals, the effectiveness of sales pipelines in producing more accurate cash flow forecasts.
The Solution

You need a world-class project manager, working across the company, a fixer. The Chief Operating Officer (COO) position has emerged from the shadows as a fundamental role in getting things done. Tim Cook of Apple performed the role brilliantly supporting Steve Jobs in executing a brilliant vision. Sheryl Sandberg, ex Google became Facebook’s COO in 2008 and is now a key lieutenant to CEO Mark Zuckerberg and an essential part of the post IPO team.

However it’s not just a big company thing because I fundamentally believe the role is the key to any private company’s execution and the ability to scale. It’s the glue that binds everything together. It’s the continuity script supervisor that makes sure the narrative is consistent across the company. It’s the guy or girl that keeps the trains running on time.

Here is what it’s not:

  1. A re-sprayed CFO who does a little more digging outside of the finance team.
  2. An Operations Director who runs the factory, or who runs the IT infrastructure, or runs the logistics team.
  3. A General Manager with no knowledge of sales and marketing.

In Part 2 we explain the best solution and how it works.

Like the way we think? You’ll love the way we work. 

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