When a Key Leader is Struggling, Business Coaching Can Help

01/04/2023 | Roger and Susie Engelau

Have you noticed a once-strong key leader in your company struggling?

Do you have people who are no longer performing their roles as well as they did when your company was smaller?

In business coaching it’s not uncommon to hear a business owner say, “Jim was my right hand since the company started but he doesn’t seem to keep up like he did before.”

If a key leader is struggling, it may well be that their Inspire Results Business Coachingrole needs to change vs. a failing on the part of the person.

If your organization has experienced growth over the last few years, it’s not uncommon to find that key leaders aren’t delivering the same level of performance they once did. With growth comes complexity. Roles change and the demands on a leader can be different than they were five years ago, or even last year.

Your business can only grow to the level that you and your key leaders grow. The beginning of the year is a good time to assess your company’s roles and the people in them and it only takes a few hours. It could be that there are roles that are impossible to be successful in the way they’re currently defined. You could find you’ve got great employees who just need to have their roles narrowed or otherwise changed or who will shine in a different role.

Here are steps our business coaches follow to insure key leaders are strong leaders:

  1. If it’s not already, get your org chart on paper. Then step back and determine how it needs to change to meet your current operations. Do you have the right roles for the size your company is now? As companies grow, our business coaches often find themselves helping business coaching clients to “narrow roles” in their company. In other words, when the business was small, people could wear several hats but as the company grows, the roles need to specialize more.
  2. So shed some of the work from top performers so they can have more capacity. Look for opportunities to strip administrative duties from leaders so they can focus on leading. To do this quickly and easily, ask the person to complete this 1-page “Delegation Optimizer Tool.”
  3. Lower labor costs by combining all the admin duties and give them to a lower paid individual who specializes in admin functions.
  4. Assess each person’s skills and abilities. Do you have employees who are capable of more but are being held back by their job description?

Make one of the four 2023 goals on your Single Sheet Business Plan to “Insure we have the right roles for our organization’s goals and size and get the right people in those roles.”

If you’re not operating your company from a Single Sheet Business Plan, attend a Growth Plan Workshop or make an appointment with a business coach to get yours created.

An additional activity you could do is create a “Future-Focused Organization Chart.” A FFOC is a picture of what roles you’ll need in 5 years. It insures that both you and your key leaders are reinventing role that you each shine in.

The advice to “hire slow and fire fast” is true but first make sure you’re vigilant about adapting roles as the company grows so they serve your company and your key leaders.