Sunday, March 7, 2010

Trust Your System

I might as well just say it; I am a control freak. It's not that I desire control of my life in all scenarios, but I sincerely need control over my fantasy baseball team. Now that you know this deep dark secret hidden in the recesses of my personality, imagine how difficult it was for me to miss one of my fantasy drafts yesterday afternoon while I was watching the Raiders bring home a state championship. Obviously, being at the game was a higher priority than drafting my team, but I did have a hard time not wondering how my team was surviving at the hands of the mindless computer draft machine. This year was only compounded when we went grocery shopping after the game and delayed my viewing of the same team for another hour. However, when I finally rushed in the door and popped open my laptop to find out the fate of my future champions, surprisingly, everything turned out all right. I had pre-ranked all of my players using the tools that Yahoo provides to hopefully ensure a team that I would be proud to call my own. However, this sense of anxiety taught me something about business and the hazards of entrepreneurship. As an entrepreneur, it is virtually impossible to be in control of every aspect of the business by yourself. At some point, you need to put your trust in the systems you have put in place to do the job just as well as you would if you were there. Just like I had to put my trust in the ranking system that I had customized, the entrepreneur also needs to trust in employees to bear some of the burden that a start up business requires. If you fail to do this, you ultimately run the company into the ground because the responsibilities of micromanagement will rise and eventually overwhelm a single person. In my freshman business class, we read a story about Mrs. Fields. Although Mrs. Fields has become a very powerful brand, the original Mrs. Fields had a hard time letting go of the company and allowing it to grow. As a company that thrived on a homey feel, she decided that it was her responsibility to ensure that it happened in every single store. Obviously, this stifled the growth of the company and eventually led to Mrs. Fields losing control of her company that she desired to entirely control. So, any entrepreneur or future entrepreneur, remember that even if you do not have complete control over your company at all times, it can turn out all right, and you will still have a good shot at the championship.
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