The Organizational Culture of the Startup world operates under pretty explicit rules. One of the most often preached rules is “You need to learn how to let go”.
Letting go = good
The more independence the employees get = the better
A CEO getting caught up in the details = bad
Micromanagement = even worse.
Is it surely the right thing for the company and its employees? Not necessarily.
Not letting go is not about ego, but rather about the company’s vision.
I was always involved in all of the company’s fields- starting with almost every detail in the product, all the way to its development. But, I was also constantly trying to ‘let go’.
Not ‘letting go’ is usually seen as indicating an inflated ego as well as the inability to trust others and as almost petty meddling with insignificant details. I was always finding myself caught in the tension between making sure that everything is perfectly fitted to the company’s vision and trying to ‘let go’. In the past couple of months I decided to stop doing that and went back to a hands-on approach. I’m back to designing the product, running the marketing, and mostly allowing myself to be more ‘petty’ and to not approve anything that doesn’t feel right for the company.
We’re all struggling with lack of time. Every CEO of a Startup company is left at any given moment with way too many things to do, usually an almost endless list of truly important tasks. Actually, it’s also true for every manager and employee at a Startup. When there’s a section of the company that functions wonderfully without me it frees a significant amount of my time that allows me to focus on other important issues and I really appreciate it. So, why nevertheless shouldn’t one just ‘let go’ a large part of the company’s sections and focus only on the most crucial things?
I think that the basic premise about ‘letting go’ is wrong. The assumption is that if you choose not to, it means you don’t trust others enough. My perspective is completely different — no one else has the accurate vision of how all the parts of the puzzle should fit together. There’s a profound difference between ‘good work’ and what is precisely right for the company at the moment.
Ever thought why it’s so crucial to keep the original entrepreneurs a part of the company? Why it’s difficult to replace an entrepreneur with a CEO who’s an outsider when the company’s in its early stages? Why no investor invests solely in the idea itself but mostly in who is going to bring it to life?