Client – “This business simply would not survive without Mary! She is here first thing in the morning, she’s here last thing at night, she does all the books, all the staff come to her when things go wrong”
Coach – “So why do you think we are in the financial mess that we are in right now?”
Client – “Mary is snowed under – she is bringing the books home at night getting the accounts ready for the accountant for 2012”
Coach – “Interesting, how come you do not know your financials yourself, every week?”
Client – “Thats Mary’s area”
Coach – “what system are you using for accounts, and also what system do you have to testing and measuring and what KPI’s do you have in place”
Client suddenly realises that he is not in control of the business and that his over reliance on Mary has got him into this situation.
This is a true story. Mary was not a bad person, she was 100% committed to the cause. The problem with Mary was that she lived in a world of fear. Fear of losing her job. Fear that if she showed someone else how to do a job, that she would be out of a job. Fear that if a system was put in place, she would not be needed, Fear that by putting an accounts system in place she would lose control.
Mary did not realise that the business had grown over the years and that she could not do everything. The business needed systems and it needed resource but Mary was trying to do it all. And by this stage she was not managing anything well and the business was in decline. But very often the owner, who has come to rely so heavily on Mary, is afraid to upset her. Not good!
Remember – it is your business. You must take responsibility for Mary, for what she does and how she does it. Yes it may be difficult but ignoring it will cost you your business.
Systems ran by people are what successful businesses are run you. How many systems do you have?