December 20, 2016

How do the E-Myth roles apply to the Manager?

When Jason realized that Augmented Reality was going to be the next big thing, he knew he’d be a fool not to act on it. Providing people a digital way to interact with the physical world around them (think Pokemon Go) – it just seemed like too big of an opportunity to pass up. Jason quickly pulled together his resources and assembled a pretty impressive team.

Within weeks they had a workable prototype and funding for at least a year. Not even six months later, they had even more funding, and the interest of two major clients. Within the E-Myth roles that I discussed in my earlier post – Entrepreneur, Technician, and Manager – Jason was a spectacular Manager. He had a great team of programmers working on a variety of functions, and like any good Manager, he took on his own share of work. Not only was his team ahead of schedule, but that also freed them up to work on some additional features that would make themselves more attractive to their potential buyers.

Sadly, just months short of using up their funds, Jason’s clients got cold feet and backed out. His investors also decided to back out of the project because there were no potential buyers. Jason scrambled to find more customers, but because they’d been so focused on the needs of those two potential clients – the platform they had developed was of little use to anyone else.

Jason failed in a number of places, but for the sake of the E-Myth roles conversation, the biggest mistake he made was in not having an Entrepreneur on his team. Jason was a skilled Technician, and an even more talented Manager. But, because he didn’t have a dynamic visionary on board, no one saw that they were tasking themselves into a corner until it was too late.

Technicians are great at putting their heads down and getting stuff done. Managers are great at delegation and tying up lose ends. Those two make a great team, so great in fact that Jason’s company didn’t even realize that they were missing a major component until it was too late. They needed an Entrepreneur to drive the business forward, someone whose natural mode of operating wouldn’t have allowed them to corner themselves like they did.

If you are a small business owner, and your natural strength is the Manager role, consider the following:

  • Make sure the Entrepreneur role is filled on your team. This person will have natural strengths and ways of thinking about things that don’t come naturally to you.
  • Technicians are doers – don’t bring them to the same meeting as the Entrepreneur. All of the much needed “idea talk” could be frustrating to the Technician. To keep everyone happy, let your Technicians do what they do best – get things done. Let your Entrepreneurs do what they do best – brainstorming and keeping the momentum moving.
  • A good Manager knows when to delegate, and when to do things themselves. Make sure you clearly define the roles in your company, and that the work is properly distributed. If any of the particular roles (yours especially) is stacked a little heavy, and you can’t spread it around – it’s time to consider some additional help.

"Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." – Philippians 2:4 (ESV)

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