For years I have helped my restaurant grow. Mostly in the usual ways; cooking food, selecting wines, and (minimally) directing the staff. For much of that time the GM took care of the front; handling the difficult customers, handling the difficult employees, being the stickler for procedure and detail. When the GM left active duty I adapted some of her systems, let some fall by the wayside and developed some of my own.
Now it's time for me to grow the restaurant in other ways. Starting Saturday I will have enough cooks on staff that my presence in the kitchen isn't needed. This is a first for the restaurant. This is not to say I won't spend time in the kitchen, just that my body isn't needed to cover a shift. This frees me for other things.
I've been reading a lot and finding the works of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi quite inspiring. One of the biggest things that struck me from his book, "Good Business" was the following: "A manager who is good with dealing with emergencies may become so dependent on having fires to put out that he never proactively develops his own programs or his own vision, and when because of his success he gets promoted to a higher position has no idea what to do."
Obviously, in a sense the restaurant is the fulfillment of my vision, but the above really rings true. It's time to stop putting out fires and learn how to keep them from starting to begin with.