Working On The Company Vs. Working In The Company

The C-Suite has a lot on its plate. From managing people and projects to growing the business, executives are often faced with the challenge of maintaining balance between working on the company and working within it. Leaders who are willing to get their hands dirty in the day-to-day are often respected more than those who refuse to take on daily operations with their employees, but it can be tough to do both.

So, how do good leaders know when to step away from business development to lend a hand? And vice versa: How can executives keep an eye on the bigger picture while also dealing with the ins and outs of daily activities?

There are several things that leaders should keep top of mind in order to get in the trenches with their staff while keeping a finger on the pulse of the company overall.

Focus on supporting your people first.

A good leader’s top priority should always be, first and foremost, to hire the best people and continuously determine ways to keep them motivated. Don’t forget why you hired them. Support them but let them do what you brought them on to do. If you hire the right people for the job, they should be better at it than you. Herein lies the balance executives strive to achieve. if you find yourself doing something day-to-day for which you hired someone else, you either have trust and micromanagement issues or you hired the wrong person for the job.

This piece also relies heavily on executive support, not only professionally but personally as well. It’s important to remember that life happens, so have a sense for what’s going on with your team. This should be a no-brainer, as leaders who take a genuine, vested interest in their employees’ lives outside of work are naturally the most respected and well liked. Yet, very few C-Suite executives follow through on building personal relationships with staff despite the fact that it’s these relationships that make employees want to work harder for the success of the company. Truly caring about your people is a win-win, companywide.

Read on Chief Executive to see more of John’s tips.