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How do I build an organization? What does that organization look like?

The first step to defining an organization is to build yourself a model. You need to have an idea of what you want your organization to look like. Define what departments you think you need. Meaning you need to have a good understanding of what hat are needed in your organization.

Then decide which hats you are going to wear and which hats you will have your team wear. In the corporate world that’s known as delegation. The temptation is to think you can do everything yourself and this assumption can get you into trouble. It’s critical to understand the hats you’re going to wear and what hats your team will wear. Delegation is a key leadership skill and building the right team with the right skill sets and then delegating the responsibility appropriately is, like I said, critical to success.

Once you have defined the overall organization the next steps is prioritizing them and determining what are your critical roles that you need filled. The critical roles that you need should correlate with what hats you’re going to wear. The list of typical hats within a small business can get rather long. You’re going to have the owner hat; you’re going to have a sales, or a sales manager. You’re going to have to do marketing. Typically there is a critical need for an administrative person.

You have to inspire people. You have to empathize with people and understand that they all have lives and they’re all people. You have to be the paycheck writer. You don’t necessarily have to write the paychecks yourself, but you are the person that is paying the bills and one of those bills is writing all of these people a paycheck. You also have to be honest and the best communicator. Having honest communication within your business is imperative.

The last hat that you’ll probably wear, or that you will wear, is the decision maker hat. This is critical because as the owner of the business, as the person who is responsible for everything that happens within the business, everyone that works for you is going to come to you looking for answers. They’re going to want you to make decisions and you have to be able to evaluate the situation, make a rational and reasonable decision, and then stick to it.

If you make a wrong decision and you get down a path where you determine that this is the wrong path and we need to backtrack and take a different route, you need to be accountable for that. Own up to it. Say “hey guys, I made a decision, it was the wrong decision, we need to backtrack, we need to go this way,” and you will be amazed at the respect that your team gives you simply by being accountable, being an accountable leader, making solid decisions, and then sticking to those decisions.


Blue Pen Success is an Entrepreneur training program based on the tried and true My Own Business Inc. (MOBI) training. MOBI allows certified graduates to teach the course. I decided to “teach it by creating an online video series of the courses for free.

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