Entrepreneurs creating companies are often the only ones in the company at the start.Over time, the recruited teams add massive support to the growing business.The CEO entrepreneur may or may not have all the key experiences in the early days of the business.They must learn quickly and adapt as they bring all the skills together and form the glue that holds everything together.This is no simple task and the learning curve is steep!
Becoming aware of the job requirements occurs over the life of the company.Taking time during the company creation to recognize the requirements reduces stress as one inherits different responsibilities.You will never escape the tasks until your exit and many times the duties are not assignable to others.The following are a few examples of hats you may wear over the life of your business.
- Leader: People are more willing to follow those they admire and believe capable of building a business. A required skill is helping the team visualize a great future that includes them. The team must recognize that you care for them and will take care of them: this includes their making money too. They should see you care for the investors and the company and that you believe strongly in the prospects of the technology.
- Follower: No one knows everything! Many times, you may need to provide support to the team by helping as a worker. This includes following instructions and doing your best to not hold them back or get in the way. Learning to lead and follow can help keep costs down. Why pay someone to do what you have time to help complete?
- Manager: People hate the term manager because it often implies disciplinarian and dictator. There will be occasions you must be both. It is difficult to know when to take on the less favorite roles and even harder to execute them properly. A wrong move can create strong negative reactions and reduced enthusiasm in the team.
- Funder: You started the business and may have to fund it in the early days. Even if you escaped this, a future investor may require you to co-invest before taking their money. A company running out of money sometimes needs your investment to keep the team paid and working.
- Teacher & writer: Educating the team, investors, and the world on the technology is required. In addition, you need to prepare a business plan, technical documents, legal documents, and grants. Enhanced writing skills improve reader understanding of the business and its direction.
- PR & IR: People know nothing about you or the company on day one. The only person that can provide a proper message is the CEO. This is an ongoing activity even if you hire firms to help. The CEO is the face of the company and people will invest or not invest based on what they see and hear.
- Firefighter: Got a problem of any type; you must fix it or supervise the repair. A team member has a serious issue; your skills must rise to the occasion. The company is running out of money; you must move into action. You will put out more fires in a week than many people see have in a lifetime.
- Cleaner: Many things require cleaning, including the offices. There will be days you empty trashcans, mop floors, and sweep. The bathrooms require cleaning, as does the sidewalk in front of the building. When there are limited resources, you must put on the cleaner hat. Your team will recognize you are a contributor and not just a demanding boss. Maybe they will get the message and follow your lead. If they respond well, you will never hear the phrase, “That duty is not in my position description.”
These are only a few of the hats that entrepreneurs wear.Please leave a comment and describe some of the hats you must wear!
You can follow Taffy Williams on Twitter by @twilli2861 and you can email him with questions at email@example.com or contact him via company contact info in the website. More Startup information is contained in his personal blog.