We had finally started growing our team. Increasingly, new ideas and initiatives were happening around me so quickly that I didn’t even know about them anymore! At first it was a great feeling. It felt like we were a super team! But admittedly, there were times when I couldn’t help thinking, “Man if only I were the one working on that…”
One of the hardest things to do as your team grows is to let go of some things. And it’s not an irrational thought. You worked on this project from day 1. You have intricate knowledge around why each and every decision you made occurred. For example, in our company, we use Google Drive as our file system. No one on our team other than the co-founders probably knows that we used to use Dropbox, and made a conscious decision to switch after realizing we wanted more control over folder access.
But it wasn’t just our file system. Everything from our server services to how we compensate our coaches were decisions I was there for and contributed in. What comes with this is an assumption that you know so much that you’re the best person to rule on decisions.
However, while this may be more accurate in the very near term, it is not a scalable answer. If your company can only grow as quickly as you can grow in learning these things, it will always be constricted. You have to give your team the autonomy to make decisions (and yes, that also means mistakes) and let go. While it is important for you to provide insights from what you’ve learned, what you really want is to develop a team of self-starters. People who are confident in coming up with an idea, testing the idea, learning it’s not a terrible approach, iterating on it, and finally crafting a great solution for your company.
It is this type of environment that 1) gives you the best chance of scaling your company quickly, and 2) gives your team members the freedom they desire in a work environment (thus ensuring they stay with your longer!)
And plus, when you let others take the reigns, you will find out that you don’t really know as much as you thought you did!