A common business management theme is for owners (especially those nearing what many consider to be retirement age) is to “work on, rather than in” our businesses. So what am I doing at 12:30 a.m. trying to figure out why we suddenly cannot update our websites with the self-hosted wordpress.org design? Surely, this work could be outsourced or delegated.
Yes, as can much of the editorial stuff, which consumes plenty of time.
I know, however, that taking on these nitty-gritty challenges can help me to understand the business more effectively and that a certain amount of technical/specialized knowledge and work can facilitate, rather than interfere, with delegation (and really lower costs while improving quality.) Besides, there sometimes is the satisfaction of solving the puzzle.
An offshore developer helped direct me to the clues about the website management problem last night, and by the time I went to bed, I had diagnosed the cause. The next stage is to delegate the specific steps to solve the actual problem — a potentially time-consuming task, or one that might require expensive consultants. This work will be delegated, efficiently.
In my opinion, solid business management combines strategy and implementation, self-directed task work with knowing when and how to work with others to solve the challenges. Even as I worked on the puzzle of solving how one WordPress theme could work while another wouldn’t, I was planning with my wife a key part of our summer Balkan/Adriatic vacation, and thinking about the strategy of both growing the business and setting the stage to begin an orderly transfer to the next generation of employees and contractors.
I believe we can, with thought, be both on the high ground and down to earth in visualizing and managing our businesses. Who says we cannot work both on and in them?