Get your roles right and the rest will flow

By Edward Plant

Research has shown that the average worker only works two hours and 53 minutes in every eight-hour working block.


That’s three out of eight hours which means you’re paying them for a bit over a quarter of their time.

Crazy, isn’t it?

I think the issue of productivity is especially relevant for couples in business.

What we often see with the couples we work with is that they are not always working as effectively and efficiently as they could be.

This usually means you are double handling stuff and you end up giving unclear messages.

In order to overcome this problem, you need to get clear on your roles as the directors and the leaders of your business.

If you get this right, you will enhance your own productivity and your team’s productivity and get bigger and better results.

If you don’t get this right you get confusion, communication is hard, there’s uncertainty around your focus, clarity is lacking and results are slower.

What I’ve found with a lot of husband and wife business owners that I’ve worked with is that the reason you haven’t done this (and you know you should have) is because you really don’t know how to.

The other reason is that it’s a bit hard. You might find it challenging to write down a job description or to get really clear on what you and your partner’s roles are.

I’m going to give you the formula that we use with our clients plus a worksheet which takes you through the process in more detail.

We make this process super simple by using the acronym ROLES:

  • Review
  • Orientate
  • Lead
  • Evaluate
  • Separate

Let’s get into it!

How to get clear on your roles in your business

1. Review

The first step that’s really essential is to review exactly where you are (the worksheet available via the button below makes that really easy for you).

In this review you look at what your business can do …

  • How’s the business working?
  • What’s working well?
  • What’s not?


Based on what you’re currently doing, consider how your can recalibrate / orientate / pivot / adjust a bit to make sure that you’re doing the most effective things and you’re not getting sucked into stuff that you hate.

Orientate it and recalibrate.


If you have a team, there’s no point in you thinking to yourself, “OK, I’m just going to start doing this,” without letting the team know, your partner know and setting up a transition phase that leads everyone into those changes.


Evaluate how the changes you have put in place are really going.

There’s no point just implementing it and assuming it’s going to work.

You need to adjust it, change it and continually evaluate how it’s going.


You need to be able to put boundaries in place.

Make sure that all of this area is really clear and delineated so that people know where they’re working.

That’s how you implement ROLES into your business and the results of that will be huge.


Could you use some help getting clear on roles in your business? We offer a complementary 15 minute call to help you understand how to implement these steps in your business. Book your slot here.


About the Author

Edward is the Co-Founder and Lead Strategist at the Institute for Couples in Business. When he’s not nutting out smart strategies you’ll find him hanging out with wife and business partner Rebecca and his sons Samuel, 4, and Charles, 2. For the past seven years Ed has been working with business owners to double profits, halve hours and build self-sustaining business that thrives with or without you. Ed is also author of #1 best-seller Lead-The-Ship and a sought-after guest speaker who often gets mistaken for Prince Harry.