How to Keep Leadership From Bottlenecking Your Business

It can seem a little shocking to say that leadership could be responsible for bottlenecking the growth of their business.  Their whole goal is to make the business grow, so how on earth could they be the ones responsible for causing it to stall?

It comes down to one simple thing, not wanting to release control over tasks that others could easily take on.

It is critically important for first-chair leaders to build a management team below them that they can trust to lighten the load.

There must then come a point where this leader releases their responsibility to the person they are training.

Let’s say a leader wants to develop a person to take over as their VP of sales, at some point they are going to have to be able to say, “I’ve taught you everything I can teach you, I trust your skill set, I trust your ability to handle things, and I’m going to have a release of this responsibility and you are now the person.  I’m going to support YOU, you aren’t going to support ME anymore.”

This also comes with the understanding that this new manager will never do the job exactly the way the first-chair leader would have and that HAS to be okay.

They may even find that this manager does the job even better than would have themselves! 

Now, this isn’t to say that the first-chair leader isn’t capable, the manager just isn’t getting pulled in six different directions like the first-chair leader.  This is simply a single area for manager to focus on and thus they are able to produce better results.


It all comes down to simple math:

One person trying to do six jobs will never produce the quality of work that six people with only one job each will be able to do.


First-chair leaders also have to take it from the mentality that they don’t want their people to feel like they are on an island with no help or support either. 

They should make it clear that they are still there, but that the employee needs to take the responsibility and own it.

If the employee has an idea, great!  They should be able to bounce it off of their leader, but then it is the employee’s responsibility to the go and execute that idea.

But what if a leader has a hard time meddling and can’t seem to stop? 

The first thing is for them realize that they are doing it and that it’s a problem.  If the leader doesn’t see it as a problem, then the whole system will stay broken and become pointless.

Next, they need to acknowledge that, yes, they could easily jump in and do that one job well, sometimes maybe better than the manager and sometimes maybe not, but that they put that manager in that position for a reason.

Then the leader needs to realize they are stealing the manager’s ability to do the job and that the leader themselves needs to take a step back.  Their getting in the way only breaks the very process they are trying to establish and is ultimately NOT what they have been building towards.

The first chair leader must also make their manager aware that it is their responsibility to tell the leader ‘no’ should they start trying to step in on to the process.  And the leader must be okay with being told ‘no’ and stepping out.


If a leader is not HELPING they are HURTING, and if they are hurting then they need to be out.


Whenever a first-chair leader pulls back and says, “Alright, sink or swim, I’m not jumping in”, that’s the point where they finally have that release to say, “It’s yours.”

It can be a hard place to get to but worth it in the end.

At Whirks, we are here as your partner, to help guide and instruct you or whomever you have placed in the position of handling your payroll.  We take a proactive approach to payroll, making sure to keep you as informed about needs we see for your company as possible.  We would love to talk with you about any concerns you may have, you can setup a quick 15 minute phone call with us by clicking here.