It’s Not How Anymore, But Who?

As the company grows, and the number of employees and projects multiples, the founders and members of the senior management team will find it increasingly difficult to stay involved with day-to-day details of operations.  This can be a frustrating, yet necessary, step in the evolution of the company and the founder or senior manager involved and it is necessary for him or her to learn how to trust the other people in the company organization who will be handing the details.  For example, the initial question asked by the CEO may change over time from “How?” to “What?” and then finally just to “Who?, at which point the CEO will be relying on a senior manager or other key employee, or a particular group or department, to come up with the strategy and implementation plans necessary to deal with a particular opportunity or problem in the company’s business environment.  This does not mean that the CEO must or will completely delegate details to others; it simply means that the CEO must learn to be selective about the areas in which he or she will spend the most time.  Most successful CEO’s will have one or more projects in which they are heavily engaged because they recognize the area as being of significant importance to the company and they believe that they can make a substantial personal contribution.  Intense involvement, including a large amount of interaction with other managers and employees, is a good way for a CEO to train others about how he or she sees the company and its preferred cultural values.

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