BLUF: Should I try to self-promote myself to a non existent role in order to (I hope) help the company?
Large picture: I work for a private company manufacturing IP technology devices. There are three layers of management - the owner, department heads and team leaders. The owner is a superb engineer with excellent accounting skills. I currently head the SW development department. The other department heads have varying (usually low) interest in management and are more technically inclined. I have joined the company 14 months ago and have made large improvements in the SW development department, setting up metrics, and delivering projects ahead of time with better quality than before.
Problem: I think the company may be more successful if better communication, accountability and management were introduced. I feel that my managerial skills are underused in my current position. I am overdelegating and am more of a coach to the team leaders in my department than having to make detail decisions. My thinking is along the following lines:
Option 1: My position is secure, I have made improvements to my organization, will continue doing so, and should limit my endeavors to my department.
Option 2: Leave (possibly staying for another year to improve the longevity factor on my resume.
Option 3: Talk to the owner and try to cooperate with him on creating the role of a general manager, leaving to him the HW development he is in love with and is extremely good at, while I try to manage the operational, sales and other departments) .
Option 4: Option 3 with me simply starting taking the responsibilities instead of pre-wiring it with the owner.
Option 5: unknown to me, I am open to suggestions
I would be most grateful for any and all suggestions and ideas. English is not my first language and while I tried to be clear and concise, please do ask for clarification if needed.
What's the worst that could happen?
If you can demonstrate that your successes are directly related to your ability to communicate, provide accountability, and manage, then I recommend you talk to the owner. The owner may agree with you that a GM is needed, but he could decide to open it up to external candidates. So you need to provide conclusive proof that, by promoting you, he'd be saving himself a lot of trouble.
Unsaid in your description above is your relationships with your peers and with others below you. If those relationships are in good shape, you're in a stronger position (theoretically). If they're not in good shape, you may want to repair them first.
There's a possibility that what I've said here is irrelevant. In that case, I would ask you to ask yourself, "What's the worst that could happen if I approach the owner?"Unless it's death or immediate termination, I'd go for it.
Your Peers' Second Choice
Assuming your peers would select themselves as the first choice for the GM position, whom do you think each would name as a second choice? If the majority of them would say you, then have your discussion with the owner. If not, build better relationships with them first.
I thank you very much and apologize for not having done so earlier.
The topic is even more important to me now that our CFO has been fired - my boss willhave even more on his plate.
I will try to have a conversation with him and see what it brings.