Let's face it, CEOs notoriously pile too much onto their plates. But spending so much time bogged down in details robs leaders of the opportunity to optimize and test, to invest time and energy into ventures they have true strengths to cultivate - in other words, doing what they should be doing to grow the company.
Some get so bogged down that they become completely ineffective in the role of CEO. Tucker Max -- the infamous inventor of "fratire," authoring books like I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell -- recently acknowledged his faults as CEO of Book In A Box , a company he started to help people write and distribute books, and went as far as firing and replacing himself with former Headspring Software president JT McCormick.
Of course, leaders don't have to go to that extreme - but what can CEOs on the go do to develop an effective hands-off relationship with their own marketing departments? They should provide project managers to clients on the regular.
Project managers just make the lives of customers easier, especially for those CEOs who find themselves stuck in the role of doing everything for everybody, unable to leave their businesses in the hands of others, and fighting to balance personal time.
Below are some ways to go about hiring and handling the ever-essential project managers for your company:
1. Clearly define the role of the project manager before you hire.
If you cannot clearly define the role that a project manager is supposed to perform, then you are not ready to hire. Often, CEOs believe project managers should be brought on due to excessive busy-ness , but once they have taken the leap, they struggle to find a purpose for them.
When envisioning an optimal role, a good point of reference to use is your bookkeeper's assignments. As a revenue-generating role, the bookkeeper's day-to-day is exactly the future you should plan for your project managers. You have hired them to manage the crucial details of your projects, and when your timelines are upheld and your milestones are met, your goals then become scalable.
2. Don't be afraid to recruit the college kids.
CEOs might want to consider hitting up local colleges to capitalize on young, hungry and nimble people who have the advantage of existing and training on the cusp of discovery, as they are privy to the latest developments and improvements in their field.
Vinnie Fisher , founder of Total CEO and Fully Accountable whose mission in life is to un-trap entrepreneurs from the business operations and develop them into the complete leader of their company, says that college kids love to play with data and are not so worried about protocol or pleasing executives.
"These are people who have the desire to learn how to do their job," he says.
3. Promote existing talent from the inside.
CEOs might also discover team members in their organizations who want to try their shot at project management. To best support your co-collaborators' visions, be open to the possibility of allowing people to try on various hats to determine what fits and to experiment playing to their strengths.
When a dedicated project manager steers the helm, the feedback and direction received may include more compelling value and could even lead your company to greater success. Keep those greener around the gills a little closer to you as they learn the ropes, but also allow them to flourish under their own discoveries and ideas.
4. Concentrate on character over confidence and foster an atmosphere of growth.
Fisher encourages firms to hire project manager possessing character over confidence. You can train a new hire or a person moving into a different position and teach them the tools to handle their responsibilities -- but sometimes, goals are best realized only after a person has worked in the role.
Working in the wild enables increased retention rates among workers, so don't insist your project manager climbs the ropes according to your vision. As you move forward ready to load up your project manager's workload, remember the benefits of being specific, of distilling job responsibilities and communicating as well as listening to expectations -- then have faith and step back confidently.
During this time ofbig data, successful businesses depend on the deployment of numerous tests to measure results and shift strategies and processes -- all of which are changing constantly in the face of increasingly particular consumers. There are just too many factors to keep track of, and a CEO shouldn't be charged with aggregating and interpreting insights. It's not a prudent undertaking for someone at such a pivotal level to take such a deep dive.
So, if you're a CEO who is drowning in the details at your business, you don't have to be Tucker Max and fire yourself. Follow the steps above to find and foster that project manager - then you'll be free enough to maybe even watch your business flourish.