PRO-vocative IDEAS from PRO
President's Resource Organization
We are pleased to introduce a FREE new service, the PRO-vocative IDEAS e-letter. Each issue will bring you a Thought PRO-voking Idea designed to help you run your business better. (Next month, Golden Handcuffs.) If you don’t want to receive these monthly emails, just click the Remove button below.

These ideas don’t come out of an Ivory Tower, but from the real-life experience of entrepreneurs like you. At PRO, Presidents’ Resource Organization, the owners of small businesses gather monthly to share problems, and work towards solutions, based on their own lessons learned. PRO members move their companies to the next level, through this peer group interfacing.

Here’s an example of a PRO-vocative idea and the discussion leading to it: 
Work ON your business today, not IN it,
so it's there for you tomorrow.
Member Problem: 

Bill wanted to move his company to the next level. He hired a very competent General Manager to take over many of his daily activities. After several months, Bill came to the PRO, very pleased with the job his GM was doing, but asked, Now, what is my job? What is my role?

PRO Advisory Board Recommendations:

Keith-- I understand where you are coming from. We all get stuck in the trenches as great doers and do not see what our true responsibilities are now that we no longer have to do the things we are so good at doing.

Linda-- I always felt my role was to be the leader and to go get the sales.

Scott--The role of the owner or president is more than getting sales. You are really the captain of the ship and therefore have to have your hand on the helm. This means you watch the weather and keep your company away from danger and steer your company into areas you can take advantage of. In short, you watch competition, technology, distribution, etc and create the strategy for the business.

Jordan--I agree, but your job is also to recognize the personnel skills your company needs and to train and recruit those people who can implement and help define the strategy.

Eddie-- I also believe your role is to create and maintain the company culture and most importantly, to make sure everyone understands and follows your core beliefs.

George--These are all good points. In addition, I feel my responsibility is to make sure the process we follow is repeatable. It is necessary to make sure the selling and operations methods are repeatable and not based on the skills of one person out of a million.

Susan--I am always concerned about communication to the employee group to make sure they understand our goals and are on the same team. I spend a lot of time on internal communication and "management by walking around."

Facilitator's Comment:

It is evident from this discussion the role of the owner or president is much more important than being a great doer if the company wants to go to the next level. We often talk about working on the business and not in the business. Now Bill is working on the business. He left the meeting feeling that his charge was as follows:

  • To communicate the core values of the company, its beliefs and goals.
  • To be aware of the changes in the business environment that would impact his company.
  • To create the strategy for the business to take advantage of these changes.
  • To be a leader. This means breaking the status quo.
  • To build an organization that would support the implementation of the strategy by having the right people in place. Please note, not just to have good people, but the right people who can implement the goals.
  • To make sure the processes are repeatable.
  • To make sure all of the right resources are in place. This includes human resources, funding capabilities, intellectual resources and physical assets.

This list of responsibilities takes insight, and planning. These are much different skills than being great doers.

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Just because you’re in business for yourself doesn’t mean you have to be in business by yourself!