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Are you a Fixer, or are you a Captain ⚓️

We talked on Tuesday about how “doing the thing” holds you back from the changes you need to make to grow your business. If you want to make substantial changes to your business (you know, the kind of changes that scare you), you need to let go of delivering services to clients.

Let one of my Mastermind Group member’s stories inspire you to make this shift. I highly value privacy for all my clients, so we’ll call him “Joe.”

From Fixer to Captain

Joe realized he was the bottleneck in his business’ growth.

His team is small. He has five employees and a couple of contractors. There have defined responsibilities, so everyone knows what they need to do. That part worked great.

Trouble came when they ran into a roadblock; instead of trying to solve problems, they came to him for answers and solutions. This happened a lot, every day. Every time an employee hit a roadblock of any kind, they knocked on his door to get the solution.

Joe wisely realized he was a part of this problem. He had created it!

When he got honest with himself, he acknowledged that he enjoyed this “fixer” role for a long time. He was the one who “knew it all!” He understood all their problems and what needed to happen to fix them. He felt like he was the captain of his ship, and it felt great!

With the Mastermind Group’s guidance, he realized that this is not really what a captain does. They don’t run around the ship, fixing everything that goes wrong. They steer it forward while the crew keeps things moving!

Joe knew he needed more time and space to steer the company forward. He wanted to develop new service offerings and opportunities that would increase profit. He couldn’t make headway on these areas if he were interrupted with questions from his staff all the time.

But how could he simultaneously change the culture that developed and find the space he needed?

He had to remove himself from the middle of “doing the thing,” so he could truly lead and not just “fix.”

So he moved his office to a completely different floor than the rest of his team so they couldn’t knock on his door hour after hour. 

When he told us, the other group members resisted the idea…. 

First, the group was shocked! “How could you up and move your office like that?!?”

Then they counseled caution and expressed concern that he had abandoned his team.

Then they got frustrated and said Joe was, frankly, not doing his job.

(By the way…maybe you’re thinking the same thing about Joe’s move….?) 

But all I observed from the other members was jealousy cloaked in shock, concern, and frustration. The other business owners didn’t have a personal issue with Joe’s decision. It’s Joe’s business, and Joe needs to do what’s good for him. What bothered them was they also felt a similar pain and longed to get free of the day-to-day client work to have room to think!

They were frustrated with themselves that they weren’t bold enough to try things like Joe did.

Of course, this office move solution is not for everyone, but can you see yourself in the problem? Can you see how always being the person with all the answers for your team holds you back from your big business goals?

On Saturday, we’ll talk about another way to solve this problem, but in the meantime, take stock of how often your workday is interrupted by your team’s roadblocks and questions. 

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