The Leader’s Job 

In many owner-operated businesses (this is true for solopreneurs, too), the leader feels an obligation to work the hardest. It’s the old “lead by example” mentality. 

In reality, this is how owners become burnt out, overwhelmed, and unable to scale the business. 

Without a doubt, the leader must work hard. But the leader must work hard on the right things, and most of the time those things are not office work visible to the rest of the staff. 

What is the leader’s job? 

  • Determining and refining the business’s strategic direction. 
  • Communicating the vision and direction to the team. 
  • Exploring diversification and scaling opportunities. 
  • Deepening relationships with key customers and referral partners. 
  • Creating and using opportunities to promote the company to prospective customers. 
  • Managing the financial and human resources well. 
  • Ensuring properly functioning standard operating procedures. 
  • Making sure key leadership team members understand their roles. 

The list goes on… 

The key is that these tasks don’t look like 9 to 5 office work. They mostly don’t involve sitting at a computer typing documents. They involve meetings, interactions with people, visibility at events and in the community, and other tasks that can look like “fun” or “knocking off” to the average professional. 

The leader must do these tasks, though. And if the leader piles them on top of “office work” that can and should be delegated, the leader will burn out. And then who will do these tasks? 

As the company scales, the leader must scale how s/he works. This is why good team members and strong systems are so important. It’s also why it’s so important to understand whether your business scales horizontally through volume or vertically through higher-value clients. 

If you’re the leader, don’t overload your plate with guilt-driven office work. Make sure you’re focused on the work that truly matters to make the business successful and sustainable. I promise that employees who may not understand will still be grateful to have a job! 


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