A Self-Managing Company? Why Not!

Shannon Waller

A Self-Managing Company? Why Not!

Would you like to have a Self-Managing Company? Even though I haven't said what a "Self-Managing Company" is, I bet you can picture what that would mean for you—and you want one!

As a business leader, you took the risks of starting a company, building the organization, and working out how to create value for your clientele. During this process, a lot of the responsibility for growing the company naturally fell on your shoulders. However, as the business continues to grow, it doesn't make sense for you to be the only one holding that responsibility.

In a Self-Managing Company, innovations and improvements come not just from you, its leader, but from everywhere in the organization. In a Self-Managing Company, everyone is curious, alert, responsive, resourceful, and aligned with your big picture. They care about what they do; it's not just a job to them.

This path opens up a lot of opportunities and pays out in the most important dividend there is: freedom. In fact, it offers you the unique opportunity to achieve four distinct freedoms: freedom of time, money, relationship, and purpose. After all, isn't freedom why you became an entrepreneur?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is a Self-Managing Company something you really want? (If you want it, you'll be willing to take the actions necessary to get it.)
  • Are you willing to be "in charge" versus "in control"? Can you let go?
  • Do you have the communication ability this takes? If not, can you find it?
  • Who in your organization has the potential to be self-managing? Who else will you need?

It's up to you how you grow. If you want more freedom and want to evolve past your current level of success, a Self-Managing Company is really the easiest, most fun, least stressful way to do it.

A Self-Managing Company is an ideal we're always working toward. The more progress you make, though, the easier it gets to run and lead your business. You create a much better environment for yourself, a phenomenal environment for your team, and great results for your clientele.

How do I get started?

1. Have a powerful vision. Without that, there's no reason to change anything, and it'll be status quo all day long. A large, inspiring vision gives other people something to align with too—a context that shows them how their abilities can contribute to the goal you've defined.

People who are passionate about what they're doing manage themselves—which frees you up to be a leader instead of a manager. I'll hazard a guess that's what you'd rather be doing.

2. Decide who's coming along. Some people will be up for this journey and some won't. People who want to be told what to do—the "batteries not included" people—won't want to take more ownership of themselves and their role. The truth is, you're already dealing with that, even if it hasn't caused you enough pain to do something about it yet. Remember, either your team members are providing the energy, or you are.

For the right people, a Self-Managing Company will feel like the best playground ever—the work environment they've always longed for. Their ingenuity and capability will give you the confidence to freely admit what you're good at and what you're not, and to release the death-grip on the activities you have no business doing anymore.

3. Create good systems of communication and reporting. Establish the "dashboards" that will let you focus on doing what you love, and leave the other activities to people who have enthusiasm and a talent for them.

Business has been done a certain way for a very long time, and now we know enough about human beings to take it to this higher level. And why not? This is a lot less work and way more fun!


About the Author

Shannon Waller is an entrepreneurial team expert, coach, and program designer at Strategic Coach®. With the company since 1991, she’s also the creator of The Entrepreneurial Team® Programs, parallel programs for team members of Strategic Coach clients that focus on fostering a winning entrepreneurial attitude in participants. As a passionate expert on entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial teams, Shannon is a sought-after speaker, presenter, and consultant. She also co-authored the bestseller Unique Ability®: Creating The Life You Want and, most recently, wrote The Team Success Handbook, a wealth of distilled teamwork wisdom with 12 actionable strategies for working successfully in any entrepreneurial company.