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The front page of the Seattle Times sports section on March 20, 2017 had a picture of Seattle Sounders co-owner Drew Carey carrying the MLS Championship Cup as fans and he marched to the game. On the radio that day I heard a discussion that included:

  • How one of the announces was at the game and pre-game march and said the trophy was passed around amongst the fans.
  • One of the other announcers comparing this to when the Seahawks Super Bowl trophy was and is on display there’s a “guard,” he was the only one allowed to handle it, and he only touched it while wearing white gloves.

Think about this as you create policies for your employees. Is your company one where the owner is involved in everything (being the guard)? Is the owner a bottleneck because everything goes across his or her desk? (This also applies to any department head and his or her reports.)

Or is your firm one where the employees get to handle the trophy? Meaning, the employees get responsibility, the ability to make decisions, and the ability to learn from those decisions.

I’m going to state how it’s better policy to have the employees involved versus a bottleneck, which we also call a dependency. Whether you believe me on this or not realize if it’s ever time to sell your company the buyer will be interested in this. They want a competent management team and employees who can get things done without babysitting.

If you’re skeptical about this, here’s a short example. A client owns a firm in the trades, is looking to buy a smaller firm, and we found what appeared to be a good target. However, one of the supposedly experienced tradesperson can’t be sent to a job on his own. The owner must take him to the job, go over the job with him, and then he’s okay. This was a deal killer as my client doesn’t have the time or inclination to babysit like this. Let your employees “handle the trophy.”

“If I don’t go into work a little scared, I don’t have any interest in it.” Mary Tyler Moore

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