Myself and Toby

For the first four years my business partner Toby and I shared the same title. We were both the (barely) Managing Directors.

We were barely managing because we had no obvious division of duties.  

It was confusing us internally and didn’t differentiate us publicly.

It also meant we double handled a lot of things. So we changed.

Toby became CEO and I became Marketing Manager

Why…? These quotes from our two favourite business leaders help explain it:

Jim Collins says:

At least 50% of a great leader’s time should be spent on ‘people decisions’.

And Verne Harnish says:

The leader of a growth company should spend their time on marketing-facing activity – everything else should be delegated.

Fortunately there are two of us as co-founders at Bluewire so we can share these two important leadership roles. Now our responsibilities are clearly defined.

Toby’s primary role as CEO

…is to lead our “Bluewire team”.  He focuses internally on living our core values, removing bottlenecks, ensuring our team is able to do what they love, setting goals and scorecards with our team, hiring motivated people, caring for our team so in turn they can ‘love’ our clients, fostering our strong culture.

[For the record, ‘culture’ is how well we live by our core values and how we hire, fire, promote and make decisions according to them]. Zappos CEO Tony Hseih says culture and core values are tw sides of the same coin.

‘Culture’ is paramount and should not be confused with ‘perks’ which are things like casual Friday, beanbags, personal training, yoga classes and massages at work. Perks do not make a culture. Read Rand Fishkin’s culture article for more.]

My primary role as Marketing Manager

… is to lead our ‘Bluewire community’ or ‘tribe’ as Seth Godin would say.  Seth explains that leadership and marketing are much the same thing these days.

I do mostly market-facing activity like speaking, running events, organising workshops, blogging, interviewing industry thought leaders, writing e-books and producing tools.  This is obviously an external focus.

This distinction has helped us focus more on what we love to do and it allows us to clearly divide who does what.   Plus it is a more accurate description of what we do on daily basis.

Have you had a similar experience as a business owner?


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