Our article last week focused on what getting something "done" means to the Entrepreneur, Manager, and Technician. In this article we will look at how you can balance, or more specifically, plan for the imbalance, of these three personas in your business. Imbalance? Yes! A purposeful imbalance.
Planning for Imbalance:
For most business owners/leaders, having an imbalance of Entrepreneur, Manager, and Technician is more the norm than having a perfect balance. Seasonal aspects of your business, employee vacations, and your personal plans can all be taken into consideration as you determine the balance of which of the three hats your business will need you to wear. Since we all know it's going to happen (the imbalance) we suggest you approach planning for imbalance in a rolling 90 day forecast based on your personal needs and anticipated business activity.
Based on the maturity and seasonality of your business and the dynamics of your personal life you can purposefully decide when a tolerable imbalance needs to exist. It's like planning to go on vacation. A vacation is generally a planned activity. If your business is small and you are doing the majority of the managerial work and you know you will be going on vacation in a few months - dialing up the amount of Managerial work will help you prepare your team for your absence. For instance you might focus on documenting some key work processes, or spend more time cross training employees to ensure your business has what it needs while you're away. In this scenario you would reduce your strategic focus, keeping your Entrepreneur and Technician in check to ensure your customers' needs are met while you're gone, and you can enjoy yourself on vacation.
The Unexpected Imbalance:
Embrace the unexpected. Don't allow yourself to get frustrated or feel guilty if you're off track with your plan for dividing your time between the three personas. If you're in the midst of a personal crisis, say an illness or death in your immediate family, your business will need to get along without you. During these times you won't have the capacity to give your business the ideal balance of Entrepreneur, Manager, and Technician. Employees get sick, weather goes crazy, and unexpected high sales (yeah!) can take place. When these situations happen you will need to make a decision on where your time is spent and which of the three hats you will need to be wearing to give your business what it needs. It's vital to note that if done unintentionally or without a pause, the unexpected imbalance can simply become an excuse for procrastinating or even avoiding certain types of work. If your unexpected imbalance happens multiple times a week then you should recognize it as a need to plan for the imbalance (see above.)
What allows for imbalance to work?
With a strong framework guiding you and your team, it will be easier for you to know your business is on the right track while you're wearing The Technician's hat because an employee is out sick, or your business is so busy it needs you to do tactical work. This is where The Entrepreneur and The Manager can set the framework for freeing you up to live with an imbalance.
- A clear written vision: a Strategic Objective that guides your decision making and shares where your business is going to be in the future. Use this document to help you decide if you are moving closer to your vision or if you are stuck in a rut of Technician work.
- A Marketing Strategy: a Marketing Strategy gives you a plan for taking action and will enable you to know what your business needs in the way of a financial commitment to advertising and in the way of action from you and your team.
- A Growth Strategy: A defined Growth Strategy that anticipates when your business needs to hire or make other significant financial investments to support growth.
- Employee Engagement: Engaging your employees in ownership of their positions and being a part of identifying solutions for working more effectively and efficiently.
- A Systems Listing: Always know the Top Three systems your business needs created or innovated, and include your team in developing them.
- Position Descriptions: It's important that if you pick up a hat in your business you know what needs to be done without missing a beat. These great tools will help you know what needs to be done and when.
So...get your Imbalance on! Create the framework that frees you up to be what your business needs in the moment, and use the 90 day Imbalance Forecast to provide your business with an overall healthy balance of The Entrepreneur, The Manager, and The Technician. Remember, you can't do everything at once, including wearing all three hats - so you need a plan to be more effective!