Founder goes from Micromanaging to Empowering his Team

case study

meet adrian

Do the ‘urgent’ daily operations of your business take up all of your time?

Are you starting to think that there is more to leadership than just producing results?

Do you want to take a more considered approach to how you lead your team, but you don’t know what steps to take or what tools to use?

Adrian felt the same way when he joined my Mastermind course earlier this year.

Adrian is the founder and managing director of a Shopify expert agency based in Germany. They are one of the leading expert agencies in creating, building, and optimising online shops.

When he first started his business, he was managing a team of 3 or 4 people.

The business has boomed in the last year, and the team has grown exponentially. Adrian now manages a group of 20.

This rapid influx of staff changed the parameters of Adrian’s role.
He was suddenly acutely aware that his team needed a leader, but he wasn’t sure of the behaviours or actions that the part required.

“This [rapid expansion] was the first moment I realised that it’s not only about delivering the actual results and projects, but the team needs someone to bring everything together and lead too. With a large group, I needed to step up into the leadership position as I was the company’s head.

It was confusing, and it was frustrating – I didn’t know what to do or what the expectations were.”

No one likes feeling like a fish out of water, especially when you have 20 people looking to you for guidance, support and leadership.

Adrian was looking for a way to find his role within his company and wanted to see the bigger picture. He did not know how to look beyond the day to day operations of running his company.

Above all, Adrian wanted to find a way to be of service to his team.

“My perception of leadership completely changed. Now I know leading is not just about making the decisions – it’s actually about how can I support and serve my people in the best way.

Making those big decisions should never be about you, as the leader. It’s about your team. That’s such a valuable learning curve.”

But Adrian’s biggest challenge was letting go of his involvement in the business’s daily operations.

“This course helped me to look beyond what I had previously considered as ‘urgent’.

My biggest threat – something that has come up in the past, too – is that I would spend all my time getting wrapped up in the business and the company’s daily operations.

I needed to step back and think about the more important things like, ‘what is my role?’ And, ‘How can I support my team?’

But has it worked?

Is Adrian now able to step back and let his team get the job done – or is he still in that position of getting overly involved in operations and taking over?

I still sometimes find myself in that situation where I’m overly involved… but now I’m able to reflect, take a step back and let the team get on with it. Instead, I ask, ‘How can I get my team members what they need to master this challenge?’ I’m much more focused on empowering my team and being there to support them, instead of taking over and doing it myself.”

Adrian found his footing and stability as a leader.

He found his voice and his position to lead.

As a result, his confidence is only getting stronger.

“I find myself in awe, I feel so much more comfortable in this leading position.

I have found my own space and my own interpretation of the role. I have found confidence in a natural way.”

In levelling himself up and learning leadership tools, Adrian has noticed a difference in his team as well.

“I have become more of an enabler for the personal growth of my team – they know I am there to help them. Together we grow personally but also as a company. Applying that concept and mentality has meant that the team feels more confident and comfortable.

The entire organisation is more cohesive, and it feels secure – it’s a great place to be and to work.”

Adrian shifted his mindset from focusing on targets and results to looking at the wider team and learning how to empower his people to find the answers themselves.

It may be a conscious effort and a continual journey, but in letting go of the reigns of the operation, Adrian learnt how to progress as a leader and be of better service to his company.