Throughout 2019, I have been going through a leadership development program for veteran entrepreneurs. The program is offered by The Global Good Fund and the Veteran Program is sponsored by the Smithfield Foundation.
Smithfield hosted us for a retreat at their corporate headquarters. They were extremely generous with their time and access to senior leadership. I was blown away by how much time they spent with us and how open they were about their approaches to business.
To be safe, I will not share intimate details of the meetings here for confidentiality purposes. But I will share some lessons I took away.
I share often about how important it is to delegate in order to grow your business. But sometimes you have to hear it from someone else to be able to apply it to yourself.
I have been struggling recently with feeling like I was the bottleneck for certain activities at Freedom Makers. I kept telling myself if I would just be more productive, stop being so damn lazy, I would not be the bottleneck.
Hearing the CEO of a $15 billion company say it, though, made me realize that my productivity was not the point. Someone else could do those tasks. Empowering others to do them would not only alleviate the problem of me being the bottleneck, but also set us up for more growth. It also gives more ownership to the team. Another benefit is that I could then focus on more growth efforts for the company, my bread and butter.
Your guiding principles should truly guide you
When you have guiding principles that everyone knows and follows, decisions can be made and actions can be taken quickly. In essence, you remove yourself as a leadership bottleneck.
I plan to discuss this further with the core team at Freedom Makers. Freedom is our guiding principle. But how does that apply to each of their responsibilities? We need to make that more concrete.
Strive For Excellence is a new guiding principle that we have added at Freedom Makers. We need to make sure that becomes a north star for all of us as well.
Making these changes at Freedom Makers will not necessarily be quick, but I do look forward to seeing their impact.
Being a part of the The Global Good Fund and their Veteran Program has been a privilege and true learning experience. I am grateful for all of the take aways and truly feel they are enhancing Freedom Makers in a positive way.