Thursday, September 16, 2010

Learning to Let Go - Don't be a "Bosshole"

By: Chad Cohen

The last thing I want is to be known as a “Bosshole.” But it’s hard to let go. When it was just two of us building Fish Consulting into the franchise and consumer PR boutique firm we are today out of a rented closet, we had no other choice than to do it all ourselves. Writing, brainstorming, client calls, creative design and even taking out the trash were our responsibilities and ours alone.

These days it’s different. We have an amazing staff. When I say amazing, I mean an exceptional group of young, talented, bright, smart and creative people who have helped redefine our agency and allowed it to thrive. They are in one word - awesome.

For entrepreneurs however, its natural to want to be in control and hard to let go. The key has been, at least for me, to teach myself to trust my team. They are so good at what they do that sometimes I simply forget to step back and get out of the way. I don’t need to respond to every email that I am cc’d on nor do I need to add my edits or thoughts to every piece of material generated. If the clients are happy with the work, why can’t I be?

There was a great list in the “Going Forward” section of the September 2010 edition of Entrepreneur by Cheryl Cran, a leadership consultant and author of The Control Freak Revolution, which was the inspiration for this post. I felt I would be remiss if I did not share.

Letting Go …

The label gets tossed around a lot, but are you, actually, a control freak? If any of the following statements describe you, Cran says, we’re afraid to say yes, indeed you are:

• You’re proud of never taking vacation time
• You feel angry when others let you down
• You’re always “swamped”
• People ask you a lot of questions (because they’re afraid they’re not doing it right)
• You actually believe no one else can do what you do
• You check in with employees so much they look annoyed to see you

In order for our business to grow, or any small business for that matter, sometimes you are your own worst enemy when it comes to efficiency. For me, and maybe you, it's often good to remind yourself that it's ok to let go and let your teams do what they know how to do best. It’s either that, or you end up becoming the “Bosshole” and nobody wants to be that guy.

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