Where is the Place of the Entrepreneur in his Company? … when there is a Place!
Clarity is the condition for success
In a workshop I met two brothers, who were the leaders of a company. The elder brother (44) is the CEO and the other one (42) is the CFO.
Owners of the company are the father (69) with 70% and his two sons with 15% each.
The father is the founder of the company and has still an office in the company and takes part in the weekly leadership meetings.
I asked the brothers, how they lead the company. The answer was short. Our father is leading the company.
For me it´s an example of a misunderstanding of social roles around the company and in the company.
I like to be challenging — a little bit. The entrepreneur has no place in his company!
Why? We have to distinguish two different levels in a relation to a company: the ownership and the leadership. The relation of the entrepreneur to his company is an ownership.
Ownership of a company means to define the purpose of the company, to decide topics that are related to the existence of the company and to appoint a CEO or a Leading Team. If there are more owners like in our case, they build a social system of the owners, where they take the decisions.
The second level is the leadership. Leadership is a part of the company. Leadership is the task of a CEO or a Leading Team.
The CEO or the Leading Team is responsible, that all operational decisions are taken in the company. They are autonomous in their decisions. This is mostly regulated by law. The leaders of the company are responsible for the right operations to fulfill the purpose of the company.
And it makes sense, that it´s regulated like this. This saves the strength of the CEO or the Leading Team and the strength of the organization.
What I want to make clear: Ownership and leadership are two different functions. Ownership acts with the system from outside. Leadership acts within the system.
It´s no problem, when an entrepreneur or one of the owners take also the positon of a CEO or the owners take the position of a Leading Team.
This should be regulated explicitly. They get a salary for this position and they are employees of the company like all the others, too.
In a company are working exclusively employees.
In our case the father weakens his sons in their function as leaders of the organization. Very often is the argument that they should learn from the father. This is right and wrong in the same moment. They can observe how the father decides and they don´t learn how to do it without the — supposed(!) — security of the father. the idea is mostly to prevent mistakes, but to live in a reality for possible mistakes and to make mistakes is the condition for learning.
So the recommendation for the father is to choose. Be the CEO or to be an interested owner. The interested owner has no office in the company. When it´s not clear for the employees, from where comes the energy of the leadership, they organize it for themselves. They maintain the old structures, because they seem to be safe. This weakens the new functions.
Be clear in the organization of the organization. Clarity is the condition for sustainable success and a long future.
Please think about it and I am looking forward for your comments. Thank you very much.
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