Entrepreneur: “I’m frustrated that I’m the one who always needs to solve the bigger challenges or come up with the ideas for innovating for the customer. Why can’t my employees step up?”
Me: “Isn’t that YOUR job? Aren’t YOU the architect of your business?
Entrepreneur: “I guess so, but why do I feel so stressed at times?”
Me: “Because your business needs more architecting. And rather than embracing that challenge everyday, you’re hoping your employees will do it for you.”
Most entrepreneurs are first and foremost business architects, but they don’t know it or fully embrace it. At their best, they architect systems that make their products, services, pricing, and cultures better and better. I believe the role gets confused a lot of times with leading people. And there may be a sense of not being a good leader without giving themselves enough credit for being an architect.
I chuckle when I hear people criticize successful entrepreneurs for not being good leaders. I’ve gotten that criticism too… and felt bad about it. Until I realized that I like, and am good at, being a business architect… the kind that creates structures that enhance peoples lives so that I can be the introverted un-leader that I am, and read quietly in a corner by myself.
So my advice to entrepreneurs is to OWN it. Be the architect for your business. Be proud of it. Embrace it everyday. And love your employees for empowering you to do it. And nurture business architect thinking for others in your organization by trying open book management.