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The inside of a city bus that has every seat filled

Guest Contributor, Rob Betzel

Do you ever feel like you spend all day having to tell your employees what to do? Do your team members jump from one item to another without much focus on what is important? How many days can you be away from your business without fear that everything might fall apart because you are not there? I have struggled with these issues in my businesses before, but there is a way to help stop the struggle and allow you to take time away without all the worry and phone calls.

It starts with getting clarity about how your business is structured and what each person is accountable for in their role. To determine what the right structure is for your business and who is accountable for what, you need to ask two questions: What is YOUR ideal business structure? And, do you have the right people in the right seats?

What is your ideal business structure?

Taking from Jim Collins’ book Good to Great, we can look at a business like a bus. As a leadership team, you must sit down and get very clear about which primary functions drive your business. For most, this will be things like Sales, Marketing, Production, Service, Client Relations, Finance, and HR. These are the leadership seats on your bus. Once you know what makes up your business, you must define what each area is accountable for. These are the five day-to-day things that need to be delivered on for the business to be successful.

In addition, there is always one seat above all your major functional areas called the Integrator. This is the person who is responsible for bringing harmony to the way that each area works with the others to achieve the overall business’s vision. The Integrator also has five day-to-day accountabilities. From there you go down into each business area, define all seats inside of it that people can sit in, and determine what they too are accountable for each day. As you can see, I haven’t said anything about who sits in these seats yet – just that they must exist for the business to be successful. Only once all the seats are defined can you move to working on who will sit in them.

Do you have the right people in the right seats?

Once you have the right bus for your business, you must determine who will fill each seat. And yes, every seat must be filled by someone. To do this, you first evaluate each person to be sure they share your company values. This ensures they are a right person for the team and is the basic ticket to get on the bus. We can’t let people on our bus who aren’t right for the team!

Next, you assess the person for the seat you want them to sit in to determine if they Get it, Want it, and have the Capacity to do it – or GWC™.

“Get it” is something you can determine by talking with someone and listening to how they talk about the seat. “Want it” is also in part determined by how they talk about it and how much passion and thought they put into it. “Capacity” is a more innate thing. This is a combination of education, aptitude, and experience. They either have it or they don’t. A person may be able to develop Capacity, but it is a binary thing at any given time. The five accountabilities that you developed for each seat should be used to drive each person’s GWC™ evaluation.

Conclusion

To summarize, you must have right structure and the right accountability clearly defined and communicated so everyone knows what the business is doing and how they contribute, even when you aren’t there to remind them. With everyone on the same page, driving the bus in the same direction, I am always amazed at how fast and far you can go.

If you are interested in learning more, the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS®) is a management system that will help you get more of what you want out of your business. Feel free to check out the EOS Toolbox for many practical tools, including the EOS People Analyzer™ that can assist with your GWC™ evaluation. You can also see how well your organization measures up overall by checking out the EOS Organizational Health Checkup Tool, or you are welcome to contact me to learn how EOS® can empower your business.

Rob Betzel is a local entrepreneur and Professional EOS® Implementer serving middle Georgia and surrounding areas with Grit Consulting, LLC. He is passionate about supporting his community by growing the businesses in it.