Most of us have fond memories of summer days riding our bikes to a friend’s house or to the ice cream store. The freedom and independence that comes with bike riding is a rite of passage for most kids. You are less likely to remember the day you graduated from training wheels to freedom, but rest assured your parents remember it. If you’re a parent, you know the joy and trepidation you experienced, when running alongside your feverishly pedaling 5-year-old you let go and watch them excitedly continue on their own. Parents want their children to be independent and self-reliant but actually letting go can be difficult.
Entrepreneurs experience the same phenomenon. Most of the entrepreneurs I work with tell me they want to build an organization that will run without them, yet they struggle to let go. They say things like, “I want to let go, but with 20 years of experience I see things that they don’t.” While that may be true, if you really want your company to run without you, you have to share your wisdom and experience without holding on to the seat and telling them how to pedal.
The EOS Process™ is designed specifically to help you let go. Build an accountability chart that defines the functions and roles that need to be filled and then assign that function to someone who gets it, wants it and has the capacity to do it. Clearly define expectations, boundaries, and time guidelines and then get out of the way. Create an EOS Scorecard™ to track leading indicators that let you know if the work is on track or if we need to solve a problem. Use your weekly Level 10 Meeting™ to track what’s working and what’s not so you can help people to grow in their responsibility. They may not execute the responsibility the way you would, but if expectations are met, it shouldn’t matter; in fact, their way often is an improvement.
The good news is, once you really let go, you no longer need to run alongside them, you can sit back and watch from the porch as they pedal your organization to the next level.