Thursday 22 July 2021

The Skills Needed In Being A Company Director

#directing and #leading a #business #forward for #success
The Skills Needed In Being a Company Director 

The Skills Needed In Being a Company Director

Having director in your job title is highly desired, but few people thing about what it really means. Apart from the legal responsibilities and added pressure of running a business, it is also a difficult role, often with little or no training or support. Suddenly you are in charge of everything, where the buck really stops, and everything you do is observed, judged and analysed. The decisions you make dramatically effect the whole business, and often or not not making a decision has the biggest impact upon the success of otherwise of a business.     

Directors have many roles to take on board, from leading the whole operation, the big picture of where the business is going, through to working with other senior people and ultimately taking ownership of achieving results. Directors are also responsible for taking charge of staff, developing and implementing succession planning and being seen as the public face of the company, directing is an all encompassing role requiring new skills to ensure success.            

Directors are ultimately responsible for all elements the business, not just the bit you like and know well. Being a director is about owning the whole operation. 

Director 100 Day Challenge 

Directors and owners of business are also responsible for taking ownership of where the business is going. This often overlooked role is vital, the 100 day challenge often determines success in publicly quoted companies (FTSE 100+) but is true in virtually every company. The director 100 day challenge is where a new leader has their business honeymoon. But it is not the time they get to settle in but the time they get to come up with the future of their department, their team and ultimately the business.

This is the window of opportunity directors and new senior people get to start to lay down where they are going and to turn their promise into a tangible vision of where they are going to take the their division or business during their tenure.  During this small window they have to connect and built their leadership team, secure existing roles and outcomes, meet the stakeholders to reassure and listen to them, as well as start to formulate where they are going. 

That window of 100 days is given to them to allow them the space to take ownership of the role. It allows leaders to get their feet under the table, assess what is really going on and who is whom within their organisation before making any real changes. The need for change has already been explained to them, that's why they are there, but what, how and when is left up to the new leader to assess and implement.  

What is the role of being a company #director by Richard Gourlay, what and how to be a business director

Directing is a Difficult Job

Directing is a difficult Job, rarely supported or understood. It is very different from being a manager, yet the most common people promoted up to direct companies are good managers. Yet the roles are very different, directors create and direct the plan, managers manage the delivery of the plan.  

The key questions every director needs to answer and keep asking and answering are: 
  1. Where are we going?
  2. Why? and finally 
  3. What is my plan to get us there?    

For every business, for every department having a well thought out detailed and deliverable vision is the single biggest role anybody in a leadership position must have and be able to create and deliver effectively. Knowing where you are going is the key role people look at leaders to deliver.   

For a director it is about making change happen to deliver tomorrow's results.  Directors must lead the organisation of where they are going. That means making tough decisions about what to focus on, who is going to do what, or even stay in the organisation should that be needed. Some decisions are therefore tough job in making change happen.

If a director has no vision for their business, how are they and the people they lead going to find their way?

Determining the direction of a business with a clear vision is down to the director to achieve developing and being able to communicate and convince people of where and why they are going in that direction. people like Steve Jobs developed his clear vision of the future in the same way as Graham Honeyman who turned Sheffield Forgemasters around in 6 months from a loss making business into one the world's finest high-value steel makers and went on to grow it through his clear vision and leadership. 
It is difficult to lead successfully with a clear vision, supported by a demonstrable plan to turn its into reality, fail to plan and you are left with a dream of what might have been. Fundamentally it is up to leaders to make things happen and lead from the front towards that goal.  

"If you don’t make things happen, things will happen to you"Lanes Company

For Directors Standing Still is NOT an Option

Role of being a director, requires directors to have and deliver change and a successful business plan by Richard Gourlay

If anything happens it is you who is being viewed as to your response, assessed and judged. A do nothing approach to the directing role is seen as abdicationwhile the Don't Panic Carry On approach leaves everyone wondering what your role is. 

In every sector of every business the only certainty is CHANGE. Are you at the forefront of that change or follow that change, but you cannot ignore it. Someone, the person in charge, has to move that business forward.       

"Every time we've moved ahead in IBM, it was because someone was willing to take a chance, put his head on the block and try something new."
Thomas J. Watson, executive

To make change happen, you need to plan it out and engage with everyone so they know not only what they are doing differently and how, but most importantly of all why. 

Why standing BACK is vital for Director Success

To go forward successfully then firstly step back and give yourself some space and time to  see the big picture of where your markets are going and where you want to take your business. You need to remove yourself from the fighting in the trenches role of day-to-day business so you can start to evaluate where you want your business to go. 

Use appropriate planning tools to assess your position, your options and the opportunities available to the business. If you need to know more about planning tools, then drop us a line (click here) and we will be delighted to discuss your needs.  

Good planning does not only see what's in front of you but also sees beyond the horizon of where your markets and industry are going, so you can start to see the foreseeable future, with various degrees of confidence. Turning dreams into reality, from Steve Jobs to Graham Honeyman you have to have a dream and create a workable plan to turn it into the reality you can deliver.

"So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable."
-- Christopher Reeve, Actor

Looking to learn how to take the guess work out of your business success? Then get in touch to discuss your development programme, click here: 

Directors role documents from Business link 

Contact Cowden: @ Learn more about Richard Gourlay

Role of being a director by Richard Gourlay NED and business advisor


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