The genius with a thousand helpers

Jim Collins talks about the concept above in several of his books. It revolves around a leader who has been unable to foster autonomy in the team. This approach contributes to the slowing of the business. Decisions take longer, customers get scripted service, and the team learns helplessness.

It is an easy trap to get into as it stems from the early days of the business where the leader was also a doer or from the siren song of “I can do this faster, so I will just do it myself.”

It works for a while but when the company grows, the leader and leadership team add layers to the business. This growth and layering slowly move the authority to make decisions further away from the customer.

You have inadvertently created a culture and workforce of choiceless doers.

How to Fix

Creating standards and frameworks create the operating guidelines to give your teammates their brains back. It allows them to make the best possible decision in a complex and complicated interaction. That between two human beings where it is impossible to predict ahead of time what the best decision is given the uniqueness of each customer engagement.

Adapted from Shannon Susko’s Metronomics

Above is a proven growth framework I often use with my clients.

How are you providing the systems and processes to confidently push the decision down to where the information is and for that information to be driven back up to help with navigating the direction of the business?

Are you continually solving the problem in front of you or solving the problem that’s causing the problem in front of you?

For more detail on how to begin to create these frameworks, systems and processes to help predict the future of your business, here is an article I wrote a few years ago.


Be Exceptional!

Bill – Multi-certified Growth Coach, Foundations in NeuroLeadership certified, PI Certified Partner, 100COACHES member coach

(; For MA companies ONLY, as an approved Training and Development provider, Catalyst Growth Advisors can offer up to 50% off program fees. Click hereto see if you qualify.

Please click here to download or purchase my book Further, Faster – The Vital Few Steps that Take the Guesswork out of Growth.

Published by Bill Flynn

Gazelles Member Advisor and early stage startup specialist with a proven track record with 16 Boston-based startups (9 to date with 5 successful outcomes, advisor to 7 others); SMB to Fortune 500 companies. 20+ years of Senior Sales, Marketing and GM experience in industries including mobile advertising, security, digital advertising, e-commerce and IT. Core Competencies: Player/Coach, Metrics-driven, Execution-based philosophy, Life-long learner

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