Ceding Control to Your Team

By , The Solo-CEO: Content Marketing Strategist

Solo-E Certified Solo Entrepreneur Expert

Terri Zwierzynski - The Solo-CEO: Content Marketing Strategist

I thought I was doing pretty good. I’ve had a solid team of professional support dating back over 6 years. My support team is often the envy of other solo entrepreneurs. And so it came as a surprise when I realized that I wasn’t already doing all that I could to make use of that team!

You see, all those 6 years, I’ve been managing the team. As the team has grown from three to over six various professionals assisting me with customer support, web design, server management, newsletter editing and much more, my job managing them kept getting bigger and bigger, taking up more and more of my time. And I started getting less and less strategic work done.

And so, I hired a coach to help me transform my team. At least that’s what I thought I was doing! But as I now understand, the real transformation had to happen in ME. I needed to trust my team, to let go of control over every aspect of the business, to let them work without looking over their shoulder.

The other part of the transformation was even more of a surprise. Now that I have this autonomous team, what do I do now? I’m still figuring that out. And I’m sure there will be more lessons and transformations as the business continues to grow.

This didn’t happen overnight; I now understand that there are stages or phases to having a team, growing a business, and really being a Solo CEO. I share my story as I hope it will give you some insight into where you are in your stage of business/team evolvement. I’d love if you shared your experiences in the comments below!

Terri Zwierzynski, MBA (UNC-Chapel Hill) became a corporate refugee in 2001, after 15 years of servitude employment. After her initial shock at being unemployed, she vowed to “never work for an idiot again!” and decided to be her own boss (and try to live up to that vow!) She launched Solo-E.com in 2003 to provide a quality selection of online resources for building a Solo Entrepreneur business, from hand-picked, proven, truly Expert coaches, consultants, trainers and implementers - mentors she personally trusts.

© Copyright 2010 Terri Zwierzynski
6 comments on “Ceding Control to Your Team
  1. Ryan Biddulph says:

    Hi Terri,

    Letting go and trusting is an aspect of leadership most struggle to embrace.

    Many reach leadership positions by being control freaks. In many ways this mindset benefits successful people but past a certain point you must let go and grow. Do the best job that you can do with your team by preparing them and let them prove to you that they can take control.

    It shows tremendous confidence in yourself and your team to do this. The confidence of a true leader.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Ryan Biddulph

  2. Thank you Ryan! I know a lot about being a control freak (ask my kids!) and that has been difficult to let go of, and yet necessary for the team. I appreciate your insight on that 🙂

  3. Clark says:

    Thanks, Terri, for sharing your story and providing valuable insight. It truly is difficult to let control go and delegate power to subordinates. I’d like to recommend a new book by Andria Corso called From Gatekeeper to Trusted Advisor. It is based on the wisdom and insight of senior business and HR leaders in numerous companies of all sizes in a variety of industries. A great read if you’re interested in how to lead a team like yours how to become a respected, trusted one at that.

  4. Thanks Clark, it sounds like an interesting book!

  5. It’s tough to let go of that looking-over-the-shoulder management. Sounds like you found a great coach though and I have a feeling you won’t be wondering what to do with yourself for very long. *smile*

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