Exactly how much pressure does it take to hold a bird? Two hands or one? A large bird or a small bird? Agitated or calm? It is an ambiguous question with no right answer. But, there is one wrong answer, when the grip is too tight the bird is squished and dies.

Your business is your bird. Your goal is for your bird to be healthy, productive and self-sufficient. How tightly you are holding your bird is how deeply you are involved in every little thing happening in your business. Your challenge is to determine just how much of your participation in anything is actually productive for the bird to be healthy, productive and self-sufficient.

Many business people think their participation in everything that goes on is what makes their organization stronger. Since everyone, including you have limited time, tying to manage and participate in anything and everything is going to take time away from managing important things really well. Instead it is micromanaging – trying to manage it all at the ground level. Micromanaging equates to holding on too tight.

At the opposite extreme, not dealing with particular areas because “you don’t like it” is not holding on enough. You’re not providing the nurturing necessary for the bird to be productive for the organization.

Finding your right touch to hold the bird with the people you have is an art. It’s an art that changes each time you make a new hire, each time you add a new customer/client or add a new product or service. It is always changing, just like it is with a bird.

If you’re not sure if you’re holding on too tight (the most common issue), loosen you grip a little by letting something that you are typically involved in happen without you. Let people figure something out without your participation. See what happens.

Spend your time teaching your people how to be self-sufficient and capable. That is letting go a little. When you tell people exactly how you want something done, you tighten your grip, a little, and discourage them from actually working it out themselves. Is there risk, you bet. You nor your business will grow if your people don’t have permission to take initiative. Your people will be demotivated if you tell them how to do everything creating turnover.

It’s your bird. Pay attention to how it responds. Teach it to fly without you. Teach it to want to come back. When it returns, go over what happened and what could be reconsidered. Do it over and over. Eventually, most birds can fly all by themselves which allows you to move on to other things. The sooner you teach your bird to fly, the sooner your business flourishes with and without you.