Are you a bottleneck?

The more decisions that must go through the entrepreneur, the more of a bottleneck he becomes.

Just because you are capable of wearing many hats, doesn’t mean you always should. While self-sufficiency enables is critical to getting started, entrepreneurs incapable of delegating tasks inevitably become bottlenecks in their firms’ growth. Routing all info and decisions through one person is expensive- decisions and the information necessary to make them should be pushed down the ranks whenever possible.

I know of two partners at a shipping company that could not figure out how to break through double digit millions in revenue. Despite working harder than ever, the needle refused to budge. A quick look at the firm’s organizational structure revealed the problem instantly. Even with 70 employees working on 8-10 separated projects, every single “scoping” decision ran through the two founders. Without the courage to delegate “core” functions, the founders had inadvertently become the bottlenecks in their own firm’s growth! For a firm to grow, entrepreneurs must hand off their existing responsibilities in order to focus on newer, more value add activities.

Questions:

How many tasks pending do you have?

What percentage of your to-do list gets completed every week?

What is your average time to respond to internal requests? External ones?

How many direct reports do you have?

What would happen if you fired yourself?

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