People Wore Hats That Defined Their Role

In the old days, people wore hats that defined their role … the fireman wore a fireman’s hat, the police officer wore a policeman’s hat, the ice cream truck driver wore a hat, the barrister wore a hat / wig, the army office wore a hat and their hats defined what they did … what their role was and what their position was.

“The policeman did not try to be a fireman and the barrister did not try to be an ice cream truck driver.”

Confusion Reigns

In today’s businesses there is confusion as to what each person does in a business … they are not ‘hatted’ so you have a lot of people doing jobs they are not meant to do. The CEO is doing front desk, the Operations Manager is being the CFO and the secretary is being boss. It’s all mixed up and the business and its people will suffer until the situation is fixed.

Sloppy Hatting Creates Problems

Sloppy hatting leads to a sloppy and unprofessional business … guaranteed. Sloppy hatting leads to a reduction in revenue, a loss of profits and a potential for negative cash flow.

The Board of Directors sets the direction of the business (if its a company) and the Board hires the Chief Executive Officer ‘CEO’. The CEO hires all the other employees and runs the business based on the direction set.

We have two hatted positions already:

Board Of Directors, and

The Board of Directors does not meddle in the day-to-day operations of the business – that’s the role of the CEO – “running the business”. If the board steps in and starts to run the business, then they are wearing the wrong hats … and problems will occur immediately, as there is nobody in control.

Small Business And Position Definition

Many small business owners don’t feel they have to spend time on setting position descriptions for employees as the business is too small, and everybody does everything! However, there are major functions within every business, which need to be done. As well, the ‘hatted’ position has responsibilities for outcomes within their area of responsibility and if the position has been defined correctly, it will improve.

For example, the fireman is not responsible for upholding the law, and the police officer is not responsible for the sentencing of the lawbreaker.

For a small business to take advantage of Position Descriptions the business owner simply needs to undertake the following:

1. Define The Major Areas

Sales Manager Example

The sales manager is responsible for (insert items) and is expected to achieve $(insert value) in sales per month, $(insert value) per quarter, with an annual sales goal to exceed $(insert value). The sales manager will ensure the gross profit average per sale value exceeds (insert value)%.

In the sales manager example – the small business owner could be the sales manager, the sales person, and a lot of other roles. If the owner of the business is to meet with the sales manager then this should be a reporting situation e.g. a one-page summary outlining the goals and if those goals have been achieved … the conversation is with the report and what needs to be done with that to gratify the achievement or make changes to increase performance.

With larger business the questions are simple.

  • Has the position been defined,
  • Has the position been given an overall responsibility statement,
  • Has the position been given monthly, quarterly and yearly goals, and
  • Does the position meet regularly to oversee results.
  • Meetings should be monthly where the position is working (achieving goals) and more frequently were goals are not being achieved e.g. weekly. Some businesses are more critical in nature and could meet daily.

    Marketing Manager Example

    The marketing manager is responsible for (insert items) and is expected to generate (insert number) inbound leads per week, (insert number) per month, (insert number) per quarter, with annual leads to exceed (insert number). The marketing manager will ensure the quality of leads is equal to the lead personas for each area developed.

    NOTE: Lead personas are Avatars or written detailed descriptions of ideal customers for a given area. The written description is normally one – two pages and details the persona’s lifestyle, demographics, social situation, description etc. This persona is used in marketing to correctly target inbound lead generation.

    2. Create Position Descriptions

    Standard items in a concise position description

    Position Title

    The title of the position named. As an example Police Officer, Fireman Second Grade, Chief Executive Officer, Sales Manager, Sales Person ‘Trainee’.

    Position Reports To

    The up line position this position reports to e.g. if the position is the Chief Executive Officer then the up line position is the Board Of Directors. If the position is Sales Person, then the up line position is Sales Manager etc.

    Position Described

    As an example, and if the position is sales person, then the description could be: Sales of white goods within the white goods section of the XYZ retail store. To support customers in making purchase decisions toward the company’s products and services suitable for their needs.

    Unique Duties To This Position

    During weekdays, undertake in-house customer demonstrations of the high quality ‘XYZ’ brand of white goods.


    • Daily: 1,500 in gross sales
    • Weekly: 12,000 in gross sales
    • Monthly: 51,960 in gross sales
    • Quarterly: 155,880 in gross sales
    • Yearly: 623,520 in gross sales

    [title size=”3″ content_align=”left” style_type=”none” sep_color=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”40″ class=”” id=””]Reporting Requirements[/title]

    The reporting requirements of this position are the list of reports this position needs to supply its up line position with. This could be sales reports, marketing lead reports, activity reports etc.

    3. Train and Distribute

    Train each team member on their individual position, the key areas they need to be aware of and once you are happy they know what to do – distribute each individual’s position description.

    Position Description Worksheet:

    To get your free copy of our position description worksheet, which enables you to easily set up position descriptions, can be downloaded via this Download Button.