You cannot do everything yourself. You may think you can. You may feel you have to. But without a strong management team you will struggle to realise your vision for your business and meet the challenges of growth.
Building a strong and capable management team relies on communication, trust and shared vision.
However, many business owners fail to communicate their vision clearly and struggle to give up control. Consequently, they impede the ability of their management team to drive the strategy and share the responsibility for business growth.
So, what can business owners do to develop thriving and successful management teams?
As an owner it’s paramount that you share your vision and roadmap for the future but also remain open to contributions from your management team – even if that means adjusting your course.
You need to entrust your management team with the strategy. Give them license to align their specific role and responsibilities with the plan so that they in turn can engage their teams in contributing to the wider objectives.
It’s critical that business owners trust their senior management to implement the strategy without constant oversight. Our latest research reveals a disconnect between the perceptions of business owners and their senior management. Findings show that 42% of business owners believe that their business would not survive beyond a week without them. While 87% of senior managers believe that they would be trusted to run the business in the owner’s absence. This suggests that there is work to be done to align owners and their teams.
Part of enabling your management team to drive the plan is showing that you don’t have all the answers. Sharing your concerns, doubts and acknowledging that you aren’t an expert at everything gives your management team an opportunity to step up and share the responsibility for solving problems and driving growth.
However, being open and honest often means showing your vulnerability and our research suggests that 52% of business owners surveyed, struggle with this. Masking your concerns can hinder communication and leave management team siloed. This makes your senior managers less likely to step up and take on the day-to-day running of the business which in turn leaves you or on your own to run the business and drive the strategy – you end up back at the beginning – doing everything yourself.
Strong management teams are often made up of strong willed individuals. While the ability to operate as a team is vital, it’s also important to encourage your management team to think independently and critically. This will encourage your team to generate ideas, solve problems, challenge the status quo and drive change – all of which is vital to achieving high growth.
For many business owners your company is your lifelong work; you’re deeply connected to it and stepping back is difficult. Investing in a management team that shares your vision can make that process a little easier but also give you valuable time to plan for the future of your business and occasionally, just maybe take some time out.
If you want to find out how fit your business is or read more about our latest study on business planning, communication and management teams, visit www.hwca.com/for-love-or-money
T: 0208 549 5137
Surrey offices in Esher and Godalming