Work on, not in, your business

“Fifteen years ago, my position changed overnight from a salesperson to leading the company. I immediately started working on the business, instead of directly in the business. This proved to be a significant and positive shift for the organization.

“Historically, Coakley Brothers relied on the owner to bring in the lion’s share of the business. I inserted others to take on this role, which allowed me to instead focus on business growth, which I felt required analysis and education followed of course by implementation. In turn, this has led to the development of four new and diverse growth businesses for our company.

“Without a great team behind you, you can only move the ball so far! Many years ago a friend told me to be realistic about my own strengths and weaknesses as a leader and where you are weak to hire the best people you can find. This type of investment has provided many long-term benefits to our organization. Agreeing on goals and then empowering your managers to choose their own path to those goals is critical. Follow their progress and adjust their course only when you see it going off path. Most often they hit the mark and feel personally satisfied about their work and accomplishments. This is a rewarding experience for your employee and, most importantly, frees up your time to focus on other demands and strategic direction.” n

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