As The CEO, Are You Expendable? / by Kerri
If I were to ask you, as the CEO/owner of a thriving enterprise, ‘Are you expendable?’, what would your answer be? The automatic knee-jerk reaction is ‘Of course not. I’m the CEO. I’m indispensible to the organization.’
But, in fact, in business, that’s the wrong answer! Indeed, you, wearing your CEO hat, want to become expendable. You want to be planning for your exit from the outset, from the very beginning.
To achieve your goal of being an ultra-successful entrepreneur, becoming expendable must be part of your exit strategy.
Your big payday, when you get to cash out on your business, is when you exit (e.g., when someone else buys your business). If you are still indispensible to running the business; if all the intellectual property, goodwill and value of the business is tied up in you; the business is not buyer ready. If the business is not buyer ready, your big payday is still just a hope and a dream.
Once you decide to exit the business, one of your primary tasks is to transition day-to-day operations and transfer that responsibility to your team. To increase the value in the business, to ensure that value can be monetized you, as a successful entrepreneur, must make yourself replaceable therefore expendable.
Failure to shift responsibilities and remove yourself from any operational role is a big mistake that exiting CEOs struggle with. It’s emotional, it’s strategic, and it’s tactical.
Just as you didn’t build the company or grow the company overnight, you can’t disengage from daily operations overnight. You can’t go from being indispensible working long hours, to being expendable overnight. These pieces of your exit strategy take time. They take time to plan and implement – likely years before you exit successfully.
To see if you are ready to develop your exit strategy and/or help you plan your exit on your terms, on your timeline, request a free assessment here.