Guest Author Drew McLellan, CEO at AMI
Written to the boss. However…
You want to scale the agency. You want to spend more time on new business. You want to be able to take a vacation and not check email. But you’re too caught in the weeds of client work to do any of that.
The subject line of this message is not a rhetorical question. Most agency owners and leaders ARE a bottleneck for the team. Which is one of the biggest barriers to their agency’s growth.
Why are you the bottleneck and why can’t you get out of the weeds?
It’s one or more of these reasons:
- You’re doing work that isn’t really your job but no one else can do it as well as you do
- The project/issue is thorny and no one else feels confident to step in and tackle it (even if they can)
- You won’t let go (I know…not you, but other agency owners)
- You don’t know how to teach your team how to do what you do
- It’s comforting to do work you’ve been doing for years and can do without breaking a sweat…it feels good and it’s fun for you (so you hoard the work…again, not you but others)
What is the downside?
- Your team is frustrated because they’re waiting on you but won’t speak up
- Your billable rate wasn’t factored into the estimate so you’re tanking your profits
- You aren’t actually growing your team so they’re more valuable and capable
- You aren’t doing your actual job
The ONLY way to solve this problem is to train and trust your team to do the work you hired them to do (or hire someone if you have a gap). And then you actually have to let them do it.
What does that look like?
- You set up regular mentoring/training meetings and coach your team
- You let us (or someone else) train them at live workshops like our RE:Think Innovation/Big ideas workshop in February or our AE bootcamps (advanced in June and entry level in August)
- You do some team learning/training with on demand courses (AMI has some, LinkedIn, Market Motive, etc.)
- You just stop doing the work and let them flounder around until they get it right (how many of us learned through baptism by fire)
So…how are you going to solve this problem? Or are you content to be stuck? If you can solve this in 2022, you’ll never look back.