The 3 Primary Responsibilities Of The 7-Figure Business Leader
Most entrepreneurs have some serious scar tissue from trying to make a startup work. From the long hours to the pressure of making payroll, entrepreneurs come from a place of wearing whatever hat is necessary to figure things out and keep the business from falling apart. As business owners who have grown our businesses to a $1M+, we’re used to doing everything from closing the sale on that key account to taking out the trash.
Leaders of 7-figure businesses must begin to make the transition from entrepreneur to CEO if they want to keep growing. We can no longer rely on our ability to wear many hats. As our team begins to grow, we need to take many of those hats off and relinquish control to team members. While there may not be a specific order to which hats you let go of first, if you want to grow your 7-figure business you must focus on the three key responsibilities of a CEO.
Responsibility #1 – Set the Vision
Jim Collins teaches that the number one responsibility of every great leader is to Set the Vision. People want to know where you plan to take them and how you plan to get there. Even better, people want to have a say in where we are heading together and how we will get there.
Setting the Vision entails helping everyone who comes in contact with your business understand your company’s Purpose, Values and Mission. And you never stop doing it. First, you will pull the right people together from your team to create/articulate the Purpose, Values and Mission. Then, you will spend the rest of your time as a leader constantly talking about it, teaching it, hiring and firing to it, referencing it, reinforcing it, and even pitching with it.
If you aren’t doing what’s necessary to powerfully Set the Vision in your business, you aren’t being a leader. Period.
Responsibility #2 – Build the Team
What good is a well-articulated Vision if you don’t put together the team to accomplish it? It’s obvious that you’ll want to hire A-players to help you win, but Building the Team isn’t just hiring the right people.
Yes, you will have to get really good at hiring people who are excited about your company’s Purpose, who are a great fit with your Values and who can contribute substantially to the current Mission. But you’ll also want to create an effective onboarding process to fully integrate new team members and get them on a path to high productivity quickly.
Next, you’ll discover that performance and development planning are essential to building a high-performance team. Leadership moments like weekly 1:1s and quarterly reviews will be important mechanisms for your ongoing efforts to build the team.
Finally, great leaders understand they must dedicate intentional time on building trust in the team, which requires some investments in creating a safe place for team members to be vulnerable. Patrick Lencioni’s classic book on leading a team, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, provides valuable insights into the team building work required to produce high-trust, high-performing teams.
Responsibility #3 – Secure Fuel for Growth
Most entrepreneurs are all too familiar with this responsibility. You know the drill. Constantly watching the balance of your bank account, moving funds from a personal account to float the business some money for a few days, and worrying about how you are going to make payroll this week are things you do to ensure the viability of your company..
Until recently, I playfully labeled this responsibility, ‘Don’t Run Out of Money!’. Although an accurate description for the responsibility, I have found it more helpful recently to reframe this responsibility to focus on Fuel for Growth. Entrepreneurs can see opportunities more clearly and have an investment mindset when there is plenty of cash in the bank. Abundance completely changes the perspective. On the other hand, living in the scarcity-based mindset of ‘Don’t Run Out of Money’ limits your view of possibilities and adds stress to your life.
Perhaps this responsibility is easier said than done, but ask yourself, “How could I secure sufficient capital/cash/financing to remove the ever-present worry about money and allow myself to think like an investor?” What steps could you take to find more freedom through Securing Fuel for Growth?
Clarity Breeds Confidence
As you begin to make the transition from Entrepreneur to 7-Figure Business Leader, you must have clarity about your role. You can no longer afford to jump into every aspect of the business. If you will focus most of your time on Setting the Vision, Building the Team and Securing Fuel for Growth your confidence as a leader will increase and you will see a corresponding lift in the confidence of your people and in business results.