The only way to ensure your company thrives and that you remain sane, is to delegate responsibilities and authorities. If you take on the entire to-do list, you end up doing everything but your job. You agonize over how to get the myriad tasks and projects done. By delegating, you decide who will get them done, and let them go. Just don't let them go with the functions that only you can tackle.
If the company is highly profitable, who benefits most? If you develop the company and sell it, who gains the most? You do. By default, then, you have the responsibility to ensure that you foster your company's growth and value. These are two key elements that companies need in order to compete and succeed. You can delegate everything else in the organization but you cannot hand over the responsibility for growth or value.
A-Players Can Relieve You Of The Day-To-Day
The CEO should be the Chief Innovator, a role that you cannot fulfill if you are mired in detail. You need to relieve yourself of all the day-to-day responsibilities and remove yourself from the running of your company.
Of course this comes with a big caveat - to delegate effectively, you have to surround yourself with the right people. If you have B and C players, you can't turn over control for daily operations because they will not be able to handle it. It reminds me of a scene from Godfather III, when Michael Corleone says, "Just when I thought I was out...they pull me back in." If you don't have the right delegation, you are inevitably going to get pulled back in to the daily running of the business.
If you play your A team and delegate nearly everything, they will get it done. They will handle it. They will give you the time, and the peace of mind you need to focus on growth and value.
If you are not delegating to your A players, you're actually doing them a disservice. They are not learning, they are not growing, and they are not developing. The more you keep to yourself, the fewer opportunities you are giving to your people.
If You Fail To Delegate....
You will never have time to deliver on your mandate of keeping the vision. You will not be able to focus on growth, creating partnerships, fostering the creation of intellectual property, and pursuing opportunities that contribute to growth and capital. Growth and value cannot be delegated as large concepts or strategies, but CEOs can - and should - delegate tasks associated with furthering these key missions. Others can take on responsibilities for delivering on different aspects of growth and value because they roll up and contribute, but you don't want to have someone else responsible for your fate - and these two areas really are the fate of your company.
You are responsible for growth and value, and for creating worth within your organization. If it's a task other than the aforementioned, get out and don't let it pull you back in.
Mike Harden has developed exceptional depth and breadth of knowledge over his 40+ year career as an entrepreneur, executive, teacher, mentor, and coach. Today, as one of DC's premier Executive Coaches, Mike helps good executives become great leaders. Contact Mike for an executive coaching session.