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Sunday, 13 December 2009


It’s the cry of the leader who just can’t let go, who considers that if he/she dives in to do the job, then it will be done right and, moreover, quickly.

How many times have we heard the cry? Worse, how many times have we said it ourselves?

I recall a Vistage member some time ago, who started a business when he was very young and, perhaps not to his surprise, but certainly to everyone else’s, it was successful, to the extent that he had developed a (at the time) unique product and sales were beating £2million. Not bad for a twenty something.

However, not only was he the sole owner, he was the sole leader and consequently, everyone reported to him. In addition, sales had started to flatten out.

The inevitable happened. He started to experience “upward delegation”, that phenomenon which moves the monkey from one back to another and preferably the leader’s.

To give him his due, he had read some books on management and he decided that he would have to build a management team if he were to grow the business, so he recruited.

He told me: “I was fed up of being nagged for decisions all the time so I decided that we would have a Sales Director, an Operations Director and a Finance Director. What is more, I accepted that they wouldn’t do the job as well as I could but I had to accept that.”

“In fact, arrogant as I was,” he said, “I persuaded myself that even if they did the job only half as well as I could, then it would be worth while”.

“So what happened?” I asked him

Slightly shamefaced, he said “I soon discovered that not only did they do their job as well as I could, they were actually far better because they were dealing with their own function, in which they were expert, and I had to do it all and learn how to do it at the same time”.

The company went on to grow by about 700% and he bought a Ferrari and a boat.

And the moral is? As we say in Vistage, “No-one is as smart as all of us”.
Building a business is a matter of building a team of like minded individuals all of whom have the same objective, to make the business successful.

You might just finish up with a Ferrari and a boat.

Check the Vistage blog at www.vistageblog.co.uk
Contact me at ivan.goldberg@vistage.co.uk

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