10 Different Roles Within a Company

The bigger your vision is, the more important it is for you to build a team. One of the challenges that people have is they want to be something they’re not. Everybody wants to be the Shaq or the LeBron or the Kobe instead of realizing their area of strength.

In this video, I talk about the following 10 different roles in a company.

There are 10 different roles within a company. I’m presenting them below in no specific order.

Biz Dev

Biz dev is someone that’s doing business development for your company.

Here’s what biz dev is. In the world of politics, an ambassador deals with relations with different countries. They do the dirty work. They get out there and talk with the political powers, the senators, congressmen, presidents of various countries. Those people may say, “We don’t really like your president,” or, “We don’t like what your president said” or “We don’t like the way this partnership or relationship is going.” The ambassador is supposed to create synergy so they still want to do business together. They work on the relationship and if it’s sour, they rekindle, and rebuild it. That’s biz dev.

Visionary

A lot of people want to be the visionary, but not everyone is a visionary. In sports, everyone wants to be LeBron James, or a Kobe. But maybe you’re a Steve Kerr, or a Steph Curry. Maybe you’re the sixth man, or the big guy that doesn’t have good footwork, but you’re strong or good at other things.

The CEO is often a visionary, but sometimes companies make the mistake of thinking that someone is a visionary just because they are the CEO. In reality, the CEO may be more of an operations person, trying to make all the systems perfect, and then people wonder why the company isn’t exploding. It’s because the person in the CEO position should be a COO, not a CEO.

Let me give you a good example of a CEO. Roberto Goizueta, the former CEO of Coca Cola is a fascinating guy to study. He’s a Cuban immigrant that went to Yale. He went from making $500 a month in Cuba to getting an $83 million bonus check from Coca Cola.

Why did this happen? For the longest time Coca Cola dominated the marketplace, but then in the early ’80s, Pepsi got 23% of the market and Coca Cola only had 22%. For the first time ever, Pepsi moved past Coke.

To give you an idea of how a visionary thinks, let’s look at what Roberto did. He came in and asked how much the average human drinks in a day. Not just how much Coca Cola a person drinks, but everything — water, milk, juice, tea, Coke, etc. He wanted a bigger market share of all beverages a person drinks in a day. Here’s an example of additional beverages made by Coca Cola:

  • Minute Maid
  • Fanta
  • Dasani Water
  • Nestea
  • Bicardi Mixes
  • Flavored Milks
  • Root Beer
  • Bottled Juices
  • Zico Coconut Water
  • Powerade
  • Simply Orange
  • Hi-C

You know what ends up happening with Coca Cola? Coca Cola went from 4.3 billion dollars per year in 1981 to 152 billion dollars per year. Today they sell two billion Coca Cola bottles per day.

Why did this happen? Not because they hired an operations guy; it was because they hired a visionary.

Operations

What is operations? It’s Systems, CRM, flow, how long it takes for the person that looks at your website to buy the product. Operations looks at how to make things work more smoothly. It may be boring to some, but it’s so critical. This is the COO position.

Finance

Finance is QuickBooks, payroll, commissions, vendor checks, making sure you’re negotiating the contracts with the attorneys the right way. CPA, accounting, financial analysis and so on. This is the CFO position.

Expansion

Expansion is someone that says, “We need to go to a brand new marketplace.” They may say, “We’re not on the east coast. What do we need to do to get into the east coast?” Then they create a strategy to make it happen. This is the Chief Expansion Officer (not to be confused with the CEO).

Marketing

Listen in here to hear my thoughts on marketing.

Legal

In every industry there are laws, and there’s compliance — making sure you’re compliant with regulations. For example, in the financial industry, it’s FINRA, it’s SEC. Legal deals with that side.

It’s important to have a strong legal team. Sometimes the Type A personality feels they don’t need any help with this. That’s a big mistake, because you need the contracting to be right. I spend a lot of money in this area, and I have no problem with it because it’s very, very critical to stay compliant in your business.

Information

What’s information? Someone that’s very good at research, someone that’s very good at studying competition, somebody that’s very good at studying trends and keeping track of changes. The information guys will give you updates on what’s going on today. This is beneficial because this helps the visionary know how to go to the next level, this helps the marketer know what adjustments to make, this helps the expansion person know what marketplaces we need to go and expand and what not to waste our money and resources on. This also helps finance know how to make adjustments.

Product Development

Product development people are wired in a completely different way. They will look at packaging and see how it can be improved. They figure out how to make things better at a better cost. It’s very important for product development people to be in communication with the rest of the guys.

Sales

Nothing happens without sales. A lot of times we put so much attention into everything else, that we forget to put constant attention on sales. Every position is important, but if you look at companies that are declining, 80% of the time it’s because a great sales manager is no longer there.

A lot of times sales people will make more than a lot of the other roles. They typically make the most money, because if they’re not getting paid, the company’s done. Sales is very, very critical.

Assess Yourself

Regardless of what you are, you’ve got to really take an assessment of yourself and ask yourself what are your top three strengths, and which one is dominant. Then also look at the complete opposite side. If you’re running a company, you’ve got to ask who is who, and ways are you lacking.

Generally, as a startup you’re going to wear seven different hats. When you get started, you may be the visionary, the biz dev, the sales, the operations, the finance, the expansion, all of these. You may have an attorney that you’ve put on retainer, but your Chief Information Officer is a guy named Google; you Google everything to find out what’s what.

But eventually, if you want to compete at a higher level, you need all 10 of these roles on your team, and you need to know which role you play best.

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