All Articles Leadership Management What's one thing you have purged from your life in order to be a more effective leader?

What’s one thing you have purged from your life in order to be a more effective leader?

5 min read


The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council, an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and e-mail lessons. Read previous SmartBlogs posts by YEC.

Scott Ferreira1. Micromanaging tasks

To be a more effective leader, you can’t micromanage — which can be particularly hard for perfectionists like me. The reason you hire people is to divide and conquer, not so that they can do something and then you can go fix it and do it better. Let them do their jobs, and if they mess up, explain how they messed up and have them do it again. Guiding them will be very important for the long run! —
Scott Ferreira, MySocialCloud

2. Crowdsourcing decisions

There has to be a balance, but when I purged the need to crowdsource every decision to my mastermind group, accountability partner, friends and colleagues, I became more decisive as a leader of the business. Getting feedback and opinions is important, but not at the risk of putting your business in the hands of people who have no vested interest in your success or failure. — Kelly Azevedo, She’s Got Systems

3. Being a perfectionist

Over the years, I’ve learned that people are going to do things their own way, and that way might not be 100% the same as I would do it. Details might occasionally be missed, and sometimes revisions will need to be made. But when developing people, you have to be willing to let some things go for the greater good. Then you will have a generally solid, dedicated team member. — Alexandra Levit, Inspiration at Work

4. Staying silent

A good leader effectively communicates with his peers, direct reports and the organization as a whole. When people are left in the dark, they can make assumptions that are distracting. This does not mean that everyone should necessarily be privy to all information, but a clear and consistent communication strategy helps avoid distraction. — John Berkowitz, Yodle

5. Using my cellphone

I gave up my cellphone three years ago after realizing it was a huge distraction. Not having one was a great filtering process for only talking to people who could move business forward. I’ve recently received a new cellphone as the business has evolved to the point where I don’t have to work as hard as I used to, but I’d suggest the same for any entrepreneur who needs to de-clutter life. — Liam

6. Being comfortable

Comfort can be a dangerous thing for an entrepreneur. There’s no such thing as a safe lead in the business world. Running your company will put you in an array of situations — some of which will be outside your areas of expertise. Abandoning your comfort zone and embracing these opportunities will cause you to make some mistakes, but more importantly, it will also allow you to learn from them. — Charles Bogoian, Kenai Sports LLC

7. Being in charge of smaller tasks

For the first two years of Modify, I ran our Facebook and social media efforts. I handed this off, and two things resulted. I empowered the team to own what is our most important channel. Then, I found significantly more time to focus on the greater leadership needs of the business. Creating time for yourself to think and listen is as critical as any other behavioral change. — Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

8. Being shy

You can’t get the information you need to lead without walking up to people — even those you don’t know — and asking questions. That means eliminating any shyness you have, at least in a business setting. It takes practice, but make sure that you can walk up to anyone and start talking business for long enough to get answers to your questions. — Thursday Bram, Hyper Modern Consulting

9. Watching TV

It’s surprisingly easy to avoid. I catch really big sports games with friends and totally watch every episode of “Game of Thrones” on HBO GO, but otherwise, I don’t watch a thing. I have so much more time! — Derek Flanzraich, Greatist

10. Having an ego

Ego can kill a company’s potential faster than anything else. By ditching your ego early on and empowering your co-founders to do the same, you gain a culture of better listeners, more receptive managers and more rational decision-makers. Think of it like a baby: if parents refused to do the dirty work, admit their mistakes or delegate tasks to better-suited people, the child wouldn’t thrive. — Heidi Allstop, Spill

11. Scheduling meetings more than one day a week

In an effort to streamline my days for maximum productivity, I limit all external partner, client, customer and friend meetings to Thursdays. Each of my other days is committed to a core company function and our LT member so I can effectively lead and provide my team with the resources needed to be a world-class team. Whether it’s a haircut or a supplier meeting, Thursday’s my day to do it. — Matt Ehrlichman, Porch

12. Training excessively

I used to think that it was really important to constantly have my team members listen to webinars. But what I’ve found is that it’s better to decide on a few key initiatives, and then focus on action instead of listening. — Elizabeth Saunders, Real Life E