Being a Super Hero Isn’t Always a Good Thing

When I was a kid, I had dreams of becoming a superhero. This ambition wasn’t just make-believe; it was a childhood mission. My brother and I, at around 5 and 6, were once found by our babysitter sliding down the laundry chute from the second floor, launching ourselves like rockets and landing on the top of the washing machine. We’d spend hours running around the backyard, capes fluttering behind us, fueled by the belief that we were destined for superhero greatness.

Fast forward to adulthood, where I found myself trying to channel that same superhero energy into my business. However, the reality of being a one-person show (or 8-person show at that time), trying to do it all, didn’t quite translate into the exciting superhero success I had imagined. Instead, it led to an overwhelming burden on my shoulders, endless hours of work, and the realization that operating as a superhero in the business world doesn’t build a thriving company; it builds a bottleneck.

The problem was clear: trying to be a superhero in my business wasn’t the answer. The true goal shouldn’t be to take on everything alone but to create an environment where everyone can become their own kind of superhero.

The Problem of Repetitive Decision-Making

As I was building the business, I encountered a recurring issue: constant decision-making. Each day was filled with endless queries from my team, seeking guidance on how to handle various situations. This cycle of repetitive decision-making was a sign of a deeper problem—a lack of a clear approach or “One Truth.” Without a clear, consistent direction, every decision required my input, slowing down operations and diverting attention from growth.

Signs You Lack a “One Truth”

The absence of a “One Truth” in a business is like trying to navigate without a compass. You notice inconsistencies in how decisions are made, leading to confusion among your team. It’s a clear indicator that your business lacks a foundational guiding principle, affecting everything from sales to customer service and every other area of the business.

The Power of One Truth

The realization dawned on me that establishing a “One Truth” could transform the way my business operated. Instead of being the sole decision-maker, I could empower my team by establishing a set of core principles to guide their decisions. This would not only free up my time but also enable our team to respond to challenges and opportunities, giving them a sense of independence and confidence.

It’s also not a one-time thing you need to do. I still find situations where I thought we had established a One Truth and then realize that something has evolved in the business and we need to make something more clear, improve some part of our process or create a process for something that hasn’t been done before.

Establishing Your One Truth

Establishing this “One Truth” involved stepping back to look at the big picture and identifying the overarching goals and values that should guide every action within the organization. It was about distilling these insights into clear principles that my team could easily understand and implement. Through training and consistent reinforcement, we ensured that our “One Truth” became the lens through which all decisions were made.

The journey from aspiring superhero to empowering a team of superheroes hasn’t been “accomplished”, it is a constant work in progress. But by keeping this in mind, it taught me that the strength of a business lies not in the heroics of one individual but in the collective power of a unified team, each member guided by a shared “One Truth.”

Creating an environment where everyone can become a superhero in their own right doesn’t just reduce the workload on your shoulders; it builds a resilient, scalable business. It’s a lesson I learned the hard way, but it’s one that has fundamentally transformed how I approach leadership and business growth.

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