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Your strength as a leader may come from stepping aside. Here’s why.

Your strength as a leader may come from stepping aside. Here’s why.

Cathy Lindemann, WISe Small Business Coach

Have you ever watched cheerleaders when they form a pyramid? There are always several people on the bottom to build a stronger base. Growing your business depends on your ability to create a network of talent from which your business flourishes. To do this, you need the confidence and self-reliance necessary to step out of the way and invite others in. 

This is not an easy task for many entrepreneurs. We are passionately driven for success and sometimes we unreasonably expect ourselves to be the solo base. 

“It takes a lot of self strength for a business owner to trust someone else with work. You may discover they can do it better than you. But all businesses are better off when everyone contributes to the best of their abilities.” - Cathy Lindemann

This month’s business challenge is to consider how your business processes need to be distributed in order for you to take a one week vacation. Here are a few suggestions on how to let go for business growth. 

Identify the skills sets needed to build a solid foundation for your business. Depending on your business, you may need experts in finance, contracts, production, manufacturing, marketing, sales, facility management, and human resources. While you may have knowledge in all these areas, you likely don’t have the time or inclination to complete all that work. The best decision you can make is hiring people for the skills you do not have. Invite others in and share the workload. 

Determine what role highlights each person’s skills. You probably know your own strengths and what work you're passionate about. You may already have a team and vendor partnerships distributing the workload. Take time to consider if any of these individuals could step into a new capacity or take on a broader role. The harder insight is to see where you may be holding others back. In those cases, it is time to step aside and trust them to contribute. 

Empower your team and partners to contribute. Once you have identified the skills you need on your business staff and the people are in place to do the work, it is time to empower them. Be clear about your expectations and share why you believe they will be successful. You will reveal your strength as a leader when you show that you trust and rely on them, and respectfully step aside and let them work. When they outshine your expectations, congratulate them with genuine pride. 

Depending on yourself to do all the work for your business is not realistic. Real leadership invests in others to construct a base of talent. Show your true strength by relying on the people around you and grow your business from there. 

How do you identify as a strong leader? What are your biggest struggles as a leader? Share your thoughts in the comments! 

Cathy Lindemann is President of Evolution Creative Solutions and on the Steering Committee for WBENC Ohio River Valley and Founding Member of WISe Wellness Guild. Cathy specializes in helping small businesses become "unstuck" for immediate growth and supporting strategic growth through WISe partnerships. Follow Cathy on Instagram @lindemanncathy, or connect with Cathy on LinkedIn at

Header Image on Pexels by Alexander Suhorucov

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