You walk in to your office, what is the first thing you do?
I work with entrepreneurs every single day, and for a lot of them, the morning routine looks exactly the same — they enter their offices with their phones glued to their ears.
It is eery how the “walking into office” behavior is the same for so many different entrepreneurs I know. Irrespective of the business they are in, or the stage their businesses are at, they all walk into their offices the exact same way. Putting out a fire. Either it is an unhappy customer or it is someone from their team giving an update on the task they discussed the night before — it is always a firefight. And that is how businesses get tangled up.
You are on the call getting updates on the fires you are trying to put out, you get off the call and get into a quick meeting with the stakeholder who can essentially help put out the fire, and then the actual process of putting out the fire begins — with you being in the thick of things as and when it happens. Before you know it, half the day has passed you by, and you are left with just half the time to get actual work done. And as the week comes to a close, you are left wondering why is it that you weren’t able to get half the things done that you had put on your plate for the week. You think about it for a while, and then as the new week begins, it is more or less the same story playing on repeat. Over and over again!
One of the main reasons why you find yourself in the middle of this mess is hidden in that italicized section above — “with you being in the thick of things”. Instead of proactively driving the business forward, you are allowing yourself to be pulled back reacting to the events of the day and the week before. And that happens because you have built yourself a business where you need to be involved in everything, at every step of the process. And that is exactly what a leader is not supposed to do.
I recently had a health crisis and was out of commission for 2 weeks. This wasn’t the first time it has happened…