The hardest management skill to learn is …

Everyone loves a Backseat Advisor

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Alberta Venture’s Next Step program has brought together four Alberta companies and several hard-hitting business advisors. Over a year, the companies will seek advice from these advisors to run their companies better and make more money. All of them will then share their thoughts – pleasurable, painful and personal – for our readers to learn from.

The program has been so successful that everyone thinks they should be an advisor for the companies. So we’re opening up the field, with a blog called Backseat Advisor. Here, we’re asking a series of questions that our highly-capable business readers can chime in on.

We recently asked: “What’s the hardest management skill for a business owner to learn?”

Jennifer Arnold, co-founder of InnovaMap, in Ottawa, provided this thought:

“I believe the hardest management skill for business owners to learn is knowing when to step back from micro-managing their business,” Arnold writes. “In the early days of business ownership, the owners have no choice but to be active in all areas of the business. They need to be the “go-to” person for everything because there are so few employees to share the load with. Once the business is established the owner can then focus on their expertise and passion which should be selling their services or product to bring in the clients and grow the business. What trips up most owners is not wanting to let go of the reins, because now they feel like the expert in all fields from having done it. Accepting that you need to step back and let the real experts do their job is tough.

“I learned the hard way, as many business owners do, by exhausting myself trying to do everything. There are only so many hours in the day and if you spend most of them looking behind you to oversee everything then you are not looking ahead and preparing for the future.”

Great thoughts, Jennifer. Now: What do you think?

You can also tell us on social media: #AVAdvisor

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