Executive Depression Archives - Page 2 of 2 - TurnAround Executive Coaching

Leadership has a hidden cost of loneliness. Many CEOs are excited by the chance to be a leader or the chance to make a difference with a great product or service. The raise in pay certainly feels good too!

 

Various studies have been done that show that deep feelings of loneliness permeate the leadership job. Example – You suddenly have to deal with a manager who is not doing the right thing and there may be no one in your agency who should know about your inner struggle to choose the right course.

One category of loneliness is about planning to handle bad things that may not happen. Examples may be a financial risk that has not yet happened, a key resignation looming, or funds that may be missing. Imagine telling anyone on staff that payroll may not be paid but don’t worry because it is still just a risk.

There is also the loneliness of unpopular decisions. It’s easy to make most decisions. That’s surfing. It’s those other decisions where you need to take a risk and a stand.  That may be magnified if people perceive your leadership as a support to a group of stakeholders. Gay presidents, women CEOs’, persons of color as Chairs of Boards can face double burdens to defend some leadership decision if a stakeholder group is surprised by the decision.

I’m also speaking from personal experience leading agencies for 30 years. And that’s why I’m in coaching now. You’re probably watching this because you need an outside voice to help you get clarity, keep you on track with the decisions that you’ve made and be available during dark hours.

It’s not only for peace of mind. Think of all the wasted leadership and sleepless hours on loneliness. Your company mission and money will bounce up when you can place your energy where it’s critically needed.

If you want One Minute TurnArounds by email, please sign up!

GDPR – Your email is collected by an automated system so that the One Minute Manager posts can be sent. You will be invited twice a year to a two hour Scaling Up workshop for CEOs and EDs. Annually, you will be offered an Ebook and asked whether the resources of TurnAround Business Coaching are helpful.

A maximum of 10 companies per year develop a relationship for Business Coaching to turn around their company or scale up past a growth barrier.

wine.jpg?fit=500%2C350&ssl=1

I picture my work with a glass of wine and a cup of coffee on my desk. When I start the day, I reach for the coffee. I decide what tasks to do today and I place any of the hard, nasty ones at the top of the list*. I think you know the kind of work that I mean.  I hate to respond to regulatory orders for audits and information so that needs to happen with coffee. Fire someone – definitely coffee.

 

At some point in the day, I can switch to the glass of wine. What’s the difference?

 

Reaching for wine is when I’m working on the stuff that I’m really good at and love. I’m thrilled to spend time out of the office thinking about the whole company. I’m good at the Strategic Plan and building systems to protect the company. That’s why I consult in these areas. It’s drinking from the wine glass.

 

Do you ever stop drinking coffee?

You can kill off your zeal and joy by only drinking coffee. We all have some hard tasks that need to get done. The trouble starts when you never have time to get to the wine that revives your vision and gives you new energy.

 

We are all exactly equal in one way. TIME

Maybe you read this as owner of a 10,000 worker company. I direct 150 staff. The President directs 4 million workers in the Executive Branch. It doesn’t matter. We all came in early this morning with the same exact amount 10 hours to work. The day marches forward for princes as well as paupers.

You are probably doing some coffee work that wastes your essential leadership time and robs the joy.

  

Outsourcing

I listened to one leader who tries to outsource everything except his core strategic tasks. What a fantastic idea! In my workday, I need to get more contracts for my company and build relationships with owners. Or I can spend the day hunting for the last audit and certificate of incorporation. Which use of my limited management 10 hours will move the company forward the most?

 

Outsourcing Benefits

  1. The company that accepts your outsourcing knows how to do that one task
  2. You don’t have to hire excess capacity or worry about hiring/supervision/unemployment because everyone is working for the other company.
  3. Some outsourcing reduces criticism

 

Outsourcing Cautions

  1. Choose an outsourcing company that is similar to your size. ADP is too big for most companies and they don’t really need your money.
  2. Plan how to measure whether the outsourcing is effective and how often to monitor. If you fire the janitors and bring in a cleaning company, you will need to have clear measurements of success, monitoring, and fraud control for theft. If you just give some strangers the keys and go back to your Strategic Plan, plan for a lot of coffee in days ahead 🙂
  3. Be careful of agencies which do so many kinds of jobs that they know a little about a lot of things. That’s like hiring yourself 🙂
  4. Watch for business changes and make sure that the contracted outsourcing still meets your needs. I use Netflix and recently got Amazon Prime. Suddenly, I wonder why I am still paying monthly for Netflix which I don’t watch that often.

 

10 Good Outsourcing Examples

  1. Payroll and Human Resources with a company such as APS. For us, APS is not too large so we can always speak to someone. Payroll is not that complicated for a payroll company. The software calculates taxes and pays employees. It’s ok not to watch them too closely since the employees and IRS are also watching. Many will also store required company documents and appraisals, training videos, time off requests. Etc. If it’s easy to use, then there is no downside to outsourcing.
  2. Janitorial – your part time janitors may be the worst. Few really want the job and janitors know more places to hide than the building inspector 🙂  Sadly, the janitorial company has similar trouble so you have to set this up carefully.
  3. Legal and Audit – you probably already outsource this
  4. Consultants for planning, cash management, and fraud – me 🙂 Very effective if the practice areas match your needs. Be careful with consultants who think they can do everything.
  5. Consultants to renegotiate loans, contracts and fire long term staff. Sometimes a fresh start is needed but consultants can be a buffer.
  6. Food – I’m amazed at service companies who run their own kitchen with all the problems of spoilage, regulations and staff. Outsourcing can’t be worse than what you are doing.
  7. Transportation and office equipment – lease everything and let someone else worry about repairs
  8. Clerical – we use Dropbox to store all corporate documents. 137,000 files today. A staff member in Indonesia labels them. I don’t have a filing cabinet in my office.
  9. Social media – there are a million eager workers in other countries who know more than you do about Google Analytics. Give it away
  10. Accounting and Accounts Receivable – an accounting and budgeting package always balances. You don’t have to check the assets against debits and credits! Once you have accidentally dropped a major line in an Excel chart from the SUM function, you will outsource and never look back

 

Conclusion

You are probably hesitating because you have seen some expensive quotes for outsourcing. True. So it comes down to three choices

  1. You hire another executive level staff member to take many of the coffee tasks while you save your 10 hours for leadership $$$$
  2. You burn yourself out and don’t advance the company because your life is all about the coffee jobs and you don’t even look at the wine. Company hires new CEO $$$$$
  3. You outsource and pay for some of the costs by reducing some operations staff and one less supervisor. $$

The coffee jobs are required but not essential. The wine jobs are all about the leadership and joy of the job. You have to find a balance that works for you and the agency. Outsourcing is one tool to take the 10 hours you are given today and invest it wisely. Start today.

If you want One Minute TurnArounds by email, please sign up!

GDPR – Your email is collected by an automated system so that the One Minute Manager posts can be sent. You will be invited twice a year to a two hour Scaling Up workshop for CEOs and EDs. Annually, you will be offered an Ebook and asked whether the resources of TurnAround Business Coaching are helpful.

A maximum of 10 companies per year develop a relationship for Business Coaching to turn around their company or scale up past a growth barrier.

 

 

*Tracy, Brian. Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler, 2007. Print.

They say that your 20’s are about career discernment, 30’s – overcoming failure, 40’s – accumulating money, 50’s – accumulating power, and 60’s – guarding reputation.

While there is no perfect age for leadership, strategic planning is always about managing risk. Age tends to dampen our risk appetite. It’s a reasonable feeling. I started a company which failed after two years when I was 35 years old. It took a while to get hungry again – but I had time as a salad while my risk appetite recovered.

If you’re 63 and your best judgment leads to failure, there may not be time to recover your reputation. That is understandable. Unhappily, your aversion to risk can increase incremental business failure. “There is tendency for risk management process to fail incrementally over a long period of time.”  (Fadun, 2013:231)

The people who lead are often at the age where their risk appetite keeps their company from the table of opportunity.  “Risk is an essential part of business because firms cannot operate without taking risks.” (Ibid, 225)

If you are in that exact situation, then Strategic Planning empowers you to the leadership need of the hour without forcing your risk appetite to accept what it cannot tolerate.

  • Your low appetite Strategic Plan will choose one or two big ideas but have unusual sensitivity to choose what NOT to do. Many younger leaders fail because they try to do everything. Sears is floundering as its management tries anything. They briefly attempted to be a pawn broker and then purchased “4,000 charcoal smokers and grills, almost 10,500 beer-can chicken roasters” (Duprey, 2016:1) What a tragedy.
  • Your Strategic Plan will force the big ideas to yearly and quarterly goals and to daily reporting by team members on how much they moved the success needle. You will be less tolerant of team actions that are not tied to the Strategic Plan.
  • Your Strategic Plan will probably hoard more cash so that you are succeeding in your stewardship while setting up another future win after you leave. Platinum reputation anyone?

We tend to fail by our strengths. We overuse them and then eat the bitter fruit. Overusing your low risk appetite will keep you from noticing as the company table has less and less food for anyone. Claim your low risk appetite, write your Strategic Plan to leverage it’s perspective – and make your later career so good that you bore the kids with all the stories in retirement!

If you want One Minute TurnArounds by email, please sign up!

GDPR – Your email is collected by an automated system so that the One Minute Manager posts can be sent. You will be invited twice a year to a two hour Scaling Up workshop for CEOs and EDs. Annually, you will be offered an Ebook and asked whether the resources of TurnAround Business Coaching are helpful.

A maximum of 10 companies per year develop a relationship for Business Coaching to turn around their company or scale up past a growth barrier.

 

Fadun, Olajide. “Risk Management and Risk Management Failure: Lessons for Business Enterprises.” International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences 3.2 (2013): 225-39. Web.

Duprey, Rich. “Kmart to Sell Liquidated Goods: How Long Before Sears Merch Appears? — The Motley Fool.” The Motley Fool. N.p., 02 Mar. 2016. Web. 03 Mar. 2016.

%d bloggers like this: