By Russ Holdstein
If you are chained to your desk, you may be missing the most important ways to grow your business … connections.
When I was running my company my number one goal was growth. So I spent most of my time at the office planning, organizing and controlling things – just like they teach you in business school. Oh sure, planning, organizing and controlling often meant putting out fires and handling crises, but I believed that being in the middle of the action and working hard was the best way I could grow my business. Now I know better. Working with a broad range of entrepreneurs as I do today in my role as an angel investor I’ve discovered a more productive way to drive company growth. The most effective CEOs I know spend more time outside of the company than inside it. They find good people to run the business on a day to day basis and then they concentrate on building relationships. They meet with strategic partners, key customers, suppliers, bankers, investors, prospective customers, prospective partners, prospective merger partners, etc., etc. They attend industry conferences, they talk to the press, they search out new technologies and they make political and community connections. You should lead your company this way too. Not only is it a more productive use of your time, it’s also a lot more fun. And it’s more suited to the strengths of most entrepreneurs. Let’s face it, planning, organizing and controlling are not activities that stir your heart. I’m certain that you would rather be out there singing the praises of your company to someone who could really help you grow rather than back in the office being a mediocre manager. So stop trying to run your company more effectively and get outdoors more often. Leverage your company’s opportunities by doing what you do best. At the same time, with no additional effort, you will also gain powerful strategic overview that will help you guide your company in making the truly important long range, big payoff decisions. © 2008 Russell S. Holdstein All rights reserved.