Holidays help delegation no end!

I went on holiday last week. In the past going on holiday has been a hugely traumatic experience. I try to get everything ‘done’ before I leave, then phone into the office every day to make sure business is going well and check that people are where they’re supposed to be, doing what they’re supposed to be doing. Ultimately, I spend each day waiting for the almost inevitable call that something, somewhere, has gone tits up.

I’ve exaggerated slightly, but it’s very difficult for an entrepreneur to let go. When you live and breathe your business you sometimes get the feeling that the place can’t survive without you and, in the first few years at least, that is often true.

Let’s give thanks, then, to the management team! Over the past 12 months we have created a management team of eight (for a staff of 50) and employed two non-execs for a board of six to put some solid structure into the business. We’re almost six years into the Broadbean story and it’s only been this year we’ve had a real need for this type of structure – 18 months ago we had less than 20 staff – but it’s totally changed the business for the better.

I’ve promoted the people I think are right for job. I’m not in the least bit concerned about age or how much experience people have, indeed our youngest manager is just 23 and runs the vital client services operation. The entire management team has come from within the business, there were no outside hires.

It’s been great for the morale as it shows that hard work is noticed and rewarded and that our small company can offer excellent career progression. In a lot of companies I know our people wouldn’t be given the opportunity and responsibility they have, not because they’re not good enough or can’t do the job but because there would always be someone ahead of them in the pecking order or they’d be deemed to have a lack of management experience.

It’s an amazing feeling knowing the business has come this far. It allows me the opportunity to spend time out of the office when I need to, exploring new markets and securing the difficult first deals in new territories. I’m working on cracking the US at the moment, generating revenue before we take on the costs.

My team have done me proud. My business partner was away at the same time as me, scouting for offices prior to our launch later this year in LA, and the office not only ran perfectly but I came back to find four new employees and solutions to two major problems that had cropped up while I was away. I felt like the proud parent, “they’re all grown up and don’t need me anymore”.

As I wipe a tear from my eye, I sit at my desk and realise that this emergence of top level talent in my business has left me without much to do.

Maybe I’ll go back to Ibiza for a few days.

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