The company does $15-20 million in annual sales and the owner has taken a fancy to being “one of the guys.” He thinks it’s fun. And I’ll bet it is fun. The problem is a top customer commented to one of the management staff about this, as follows:
“We’ve never seen anything like him. We’ve never seen an owner making deliveries, stocking, or pushing a broom from a company big enough for a project like this. If he’s doing that, who is running the company? Based on that and other things I don’t know if we can recommend using your company again”
So let me repeat the headline, what’s worse than an owner dependency? Well, maybe an owner who doesn’t impress his customers (or his staff). An owner who should be seen as a leader, not a doer. An owner who should be keeping customer relationships tight, managing cash flow, motivating his people, etc.
When I and others say owners should reduce their dependency it means they should concentrate on growth, vision, and strategy not doing menial tasks.
“Self-righteousness feels good for a moment, but only in the way that peeing your pants feels warm for a moment.” (Author) Nadia Bolz-Weber