Do Not Let the Technician in You Dominate Your Business and What to do About it.
Michael E. Gerber writes in his book that in each one of us that go into business are three persons in one, i.e. the Entrepreneur, the Manager and the Technician
The Entrepreneur in us is the visionary, the one that got us into the business. That is the dreamer, the change maker, the catalyst, the creative personality. Happens to be a control freak as well.
The Manager in us on the other hand is the pragmatic personality in us. Without the Manager there would be no business and no order. The Manager in us, runs after the entrepreneur cleaning up the mess. He or She brings order in the business.
The Technician in us is the doer. That personality in us that says if you want it done, do it yourself. The Technician loves the feel of things and as long as you are working you are happy and happiest when in control of the workflow. In this state you are representing the physical aspects of the business building process. This is usually the most visible person of the entire operation where the owner’s presence is notable. In most cases the owner is the business.
Before going into business most business owners worked for someone else as a Technician of some sort. It simply became a case of the Lawyer opening his/her practice, the Engineer opening his/her Engineering firm, the Dentist opening their Dental, and the Plumber becoming a contractor etc.
As Gerber says if these three i.e. the Entrepreneur, The Manager and the Technician were equally balanced, we would have incredibly competent individuals. Unfortunately, there are few who go into business who have such a balance. The typical small business owner is only 10 percent an Entrepreneur, 20 percent Manager and 70 percent Technician.
For clarity there is nothing wrong with putting your overall on or putting on the Chef’s apron every now and then and getting things done. The problem is some businessowners find too much comfort in the kitchen or behind the bar. Their juices get flowing and they get the satisfaction from being in front of the judge arguing the case on behalf of their client.
What we need to do however is to:
(1) Realise that the brilliance of you as a businessowner is no longer on how you personally make the customer happy or argue the case. It is no longer about how well you fixed the client’s vehicle and have one more happy client. Your brilliance is developing a system that multiplies those instances of happy clients. It is about you developing and perfecting a system whereby you have a team of men and women who can do it brilliantly even in your absence. Having a system and team where they all do it better than even yourself.
(2) Build a business that gives you everything that you want but most importantly time and wealth freedom. A business which doesn’t require you to be there all the time and still delivers brilliantly.
(3) Remember one of the purposes of being in business was to free yourself from a job and to create jobs.
(4) Realise there is a job for you the owner and if you are not doing that job, nobody is going to do it. That job is to prepare your business for growth. To educate yourself so that as the business grows, the foundation and structure of the business is in place to carry that weight.
(5) Plan, envision, articulate your business’ future. Have a business that works not because of you but without you. Have a very clear picture of what the company will look like when it is finally done. Then ask yourself, how will a company that looks like that act. How will it act when finally done? Then, start acting that way and ensuring everyone in the firm acts that way. To build a great firm or practice start acting like a great firm or else you will never get there.
(6) Devote every day to developing your practice and not practicing.
In conclusion as I mentioned earlier it is fine to stand behind the bar counter and serving your customers or being at the till serving customers or in the kitchen making sure orders are pushed through. Stop the urge to think you can do it better and ‘rolling up your sleeves’ everytime and do it yourself. Spend time on getting someone who can do it better while you focus on more strategic issues. Also remember every-time you are filling the forms yourself, or doing the delivery, its time that you could be crafting to be the Macdonald’s of your industry, or the Marriott International hotel chain or the Starbucks in your industry. Till next time happy business building!!