Should You Fire You? (July 2014)

I recently had lunch with a colleague and the subject of my monthly newsletter came up. I jokingly said that I should fire the guy responsible for building and maintaining my email list. Frankly, he’s not very good at it. The problem is that the guy is me. And, yes, I should fire myself from this role and find someone on whom I rely upon and that is better at it than me and have decided to do just that!

There are things that we all do in our role of running our individual companies that at which we do not excel. But for one reason or another, we have never taken the time or energy to find a suitable replacement. Maybe it is because there is no one around us who immediately comes to mind, maybe it seems like a task no one else could do, or it is so small that it doesn’t seem to be worth the time to delegate. Maybe you tried to delegate the item before but that effort failed so it landed back on your plate. Whatever the reason, I think it is incumbent upon all of us to seek to understand where we are our own roadblock to success.

Further, think about the cost of doing something yourself that someone else could do better. Don’t measure this against your hourly salary, but rather measure this against the highest and best use of your time. How much value could you generate for the business if you were operating at your maximum rather than doing something that is of less value?

For some, it may be easiest to start with themselves and for others, this may be the most difficult place to start. But, one should consider the cost of not having everyone operating at their maximum value.

Years ago when I was in a corporate job, my boss walked into my office and asked why I had our administrative assistant working on spreadsheets and performing financial analysis. Without skipping a beat, I replied: “Because she can”. I had learned that our administrative assistant was taking courses to complete her degree in finance. Not only were we leveraging a hidden skill set and helping her develop, but we were freeing up others to work at higher levels in the organization.

Every organization should seek to get the most out of every employee . . . not by asking them to work draconian hours, but by seeking out their strengths and encouraging them to grow with the company. Part of this is constantly looking for ways to bring new talent in at the bottom of the organization so that those who have been around a while are able to move into higher level roles or take on greater responsibility in order to maximize their potential and that of the company at the same time.

The effect of this over the long term is a more efficient organization that is “firing on all cylinders”. In other words, the organization maximizes revenue while minimizing cost which shows up as stronger profits on the bottom line.

Ask yourself, do you have people that you should fire from certain roles that could be better accomplished by someone lower and more cost efficient in the organization structure?

If your business could benefit from fractional CFO services, I would welcome the chance to speak with you. Please give me a call at (314) 863-6637 or send an email to [email protected]


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