When the Entrepreneur Becomes a Manager (Again)

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For those of you who switched their management position for an entrepreneurial existence will recognize that the differences will not last for ever.

As a manager (of larger companies) you have very little space to move. You have a department to protect. Your team, department or organizational unit, is part of a larger network. In that structure you are bounded by others and others are bounded by you.

You are there to represent and protect your team. You also need to conserve your organization.

If you want to change something you need to negotiate with others, for example by building coalitions. The more you try to pioneer and innovate the more you risk losing your original territory.

In smaller companies the walls between the various teams and departments can be smaller and less rigid. Especially when dealing with a company in growth. Together with more growth decreases the permanence of the structure. Whereas in larger companies the job-descriptions are more focused and specific, in smaller companies they tend to be broader and diffuse.

When you get to deal with yet an ever smaller company - up to your own size - there are even less walls and there is even less structure. If you are in the lead and as entrepreneur you have all the freedom to architect this business the way you want.

And from there it starts again; You cannot do it all by yourself so you either start working with friends, or you delegate to other third parties (to be flexible), if you want to control more and grow faster you could start hiring people sooner. You start delegating, first by splitting the business by broad tasks and later by starting to formalize the process and the organization.

There you go, back to the role of the manager.

© 2005 Hans Bool

Hans Bool is the founder of Astor White a traditional management consulting company that offers online management advice. Astor Online solves issues in hours what normally would take days. You can apply for a free demo account


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