We want to be unstoppable kings and queens of industry. We want to be Renaissance men and women in our market. We want to do it all and it’s killing us. There’s no pride in doing many things adequately when you could be specializing on a few things and having your team members follow suit. Together you will stand taller and will crank out a stronger product.
I mean, think about Eddie Murphy in the Nutty Professor, in those scenes where he plays all his family members. Or actor Tyler Perry — not the entrepreneur Tyler Perry — in his movies. It always made me wonder whether they were difficult to work with — why else would you intentionally play so many roles yourself when you could have, you know, a real woman play a woman. A movie isn’t a one-man or -woman show, so why wouldn’t you bring in help or ask for it when you need it?
That’s at the heart of a recent smallbiztrends.com post, or, more specifically, the psychology behind why people cling so tightly to these self-imposed obligations:
Once the business begins thriving on its own, you need to delegate those responsibilities to other employees so that you can focus on higher-level tasks and because, frankly, you are probably not the best person for every job. [But] letting go of key operations can be very difficult for a business owner. Whether you over-manage to make sure people keep doing things “your” way, or to insist on having the final say on every single project, the result will be the same.
So how can you combat that? They recommend you put it in writing — what you want and expect from others. That means setting goals and making people accountable. And — guess what — one of your goals can be for you to be less of a control freak. Steve Jobs was an iconic leader, but he also had a terrible temper, infamously. Also, stop comparing yourself to Steve Jobs. There was only one of him, and as the post I’m referring to suggests, if you feel you are being outnumbered or marginalized by your own company, you should think about joining a group to brainstorm on management strategies and for planning.
And if you’re expanding and already employ such proactive employees, well, then you’re doing something right already. Give others a chance to also shine.
In short: Don’t be a Klump.
David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a comedy-writing instructor for Second City. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.