In This Episode

If you’re a business owner, chances are you’ve either been accused of being the bottleneck or you’ve recognized it in yourself.  It’s tough when you’re the one who started the business and it was basically you doing everything at the start.  As you grow and add more people to your team, it can be difficult to let things go and entrust your team to get things done.  Especially to do things the way you’d do them.  So what’s a business owner to do?

This “bottleneck” challenge is one we address with nearly every one of our coaching clients.  Most aren’t surprised to hear that they’re the bottleneck.  The discussion usually quickly evolves into the question, “how do I stop being the bottleneck” or “where do I start?”

One of the fun things about owning a business is that it continues to evolve and grow.  This means your duties as the owner continue to evolve as well and unless you’re aware of this and purposeful about making some changes, you can wind up as the bottleneck pretty quickly.  As you might imagine, this can lead to challenges and frustrations for everyone in the organization.  We usually attack this situation from two angles: i) Functional Org Chart, and ii) Leadership and DISC styles.

The Functional Org Chart helps us identify what are the key functions that need to be completed within the business.  But it does this without putting anyone’s name in the box to start.  Just getting definition on what the different functions and roles should be.  Once we are clear on that, then we can start plugging names into those boxes.  One of the big eye openers through this process is realizing that there might be some holes in the current organization in terms of skills and background to perform certain duties.  Another common discovery is that you have too few people doing too many things and this balance of duties needs to be reshuffled.

On the Leadership/DISC style front, we help the owner and all the key people better understand their natural behavior style using a tool called Extended DISC.  When it comes to behavior styles there aren’t any good or bad styles, it’s more about recognizing which styles are more natural for you vs. ones that might be a bit of a struggle.  When we combine this insight with our Functional Org Chart we can usually start to create a plan to help get more people involved in different areas of the business where they have natural strengths.  One of the biggest benefits of this is to release the pressure of the owner being the bottleneck.

A final point we covered during the show today was defining what your role as the owner is which can be boiled down to three words: Plan Direct Control.  If you’re in the role of Planning Directing and Controlling, chances are pretty slim that you’ll be the bottleneck because what Plan Direct Control enables you to do is work through and with your team vs. them all having to wait for you.

So if you’ve been accused of being the bottleneck, or you know that you’ve been struggling with this, perhaps resetting your organization and your team with something like a Functional Org Chart and DISC behavior styles can help get you and your team moving in the right direction.  Enjoy the show!

People, Companies and Resources We Mentioned in the Show