Hey CEO Pass the Baton Already


As a small business owner, chances are you built your business on your own from the ground up. You

have a significant personal investment in the company. However, as your business starts expanding and

your clientele grows, it becomes necessary to rely on other people to get the job done and keep your

business running. You need to trust that the people you’ve hired will work diligently, efficiently and

genuinely to deliver an A grade job. Here are ways to gain that intimate respect and trust in your


These actions will help you create that environment full of trust, innovation and creativity for you and

your employees to grow in:

1.  Let Go of the Leash

Often times, small business owners want to be a part of every detail. You may view yourself as being

proactive and helpful. However, this kind of behavior conveys a lack of faith in your employee’s decision

–making which in turn causes the employee to doubt their own abilities in getting tasks done. Let your

employees take more initiative, let them think critically, let them solve problems and avoid the urge to

tell them step by step what to do. You can remain involved in a positive way by posing questions such as

“Have you thought about..?” These questions show you value their thoughts and ideas, and that you

trust them to figure out how to get the job done.

2.  Avoid Listening Autobiographically

Listening autobiographically occurs when you have a predetermined stance, and using this stance to

judge what your employee has said. This shuts down open communication. To avoid doing this, “listen

to learn”. Follow the effective sales pitch: Inquiry precedes advocacy the equivalent. Just talk

less (no interrupting!) and listen more. This will set the precedent for future, healthy

dialogue between yourself and your employees.

3.  Share Responsibility

This will probably be the hardest but the most necessary action to practice. The old saying goes “If you

want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself.” However delegation of responsibility and tasks

is essential to building trust and allowing your employees to grow professionally. Giving more

responsibility to your employees gives them an opportunity to advance in their skills. They will become

self-motivated if their role in the company continues to grow. No one feels inspired if they feel their day

to day tasks do not affect the company.

4.  Enable, do not label

Positive feedback always enables a person because it is empowering. Negative feedback only labels a

person. Once an employee has completed a task, acknowledge what was done right while pointing out

where expectations can better be met next time. And be consistent. When addressing the company, you

naturally speak with a positive and reinforcing message. Make sure that same message is clear when

speaking with an employee one-on one.