Bottlenecked, gridlocked, congested – there are lots of ways to describe how it feels when a business gets stuck. We’ve all been there at some point in our work, and once you realize you are there, you immediately start searching for ways to get “unstuck.”

Obstacles to Growth

Looking for an effective solution that truly gets the business back flowing and growing can feel like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. All the while, the issues caused by the bottleneck continue to pile up and snowball. Results slow down, growth starts to halt, errors increase, and people get frustrated. What got you where you are today no longer seems to work.

The management consultant and author Peter Drucker once remarked that, when it comes to a company’s overall performance, the “bottleneck is always at the top of the bottle.” While there are many ways that organizations get stuck, it is often the result of a business outgrowing whatever systems, resources, or people that brought them to where they are. As companies scale up, capacity can seem to disappear into thin air and workloads increase far too quickly for decision-makers to handle. They are often left struggling with business systems, process, and workflows not designed to operate at that level of capacity for a prolonged period.

Delegate and Elevate™

Entrepreneurs have the rare talent and ability to see, start, and build new businesses. Yet at some point the entrepreneur comes to realize that to continue to grow, they will want to look outside of themselves and build a team around them to extend and enhance their skill set, leveraging the ability of others to truly elevate the organization. As you add new people to the company, learning how to put the right people in the right seats is one of the most valuable skills you can develop as a leader and a manager. Doing so will enable you to delegate effectively, buying back your capacity. This will elevate you and let you focus on doing what you do best while freeing the company up for growth.

Unfortunately, many leaders try to hold onto too much for too long and have trouble delegating and elevating. We think that the short-term investment in “doing it ourselves” will save us time and energy, when, with the right people in place who have the correct resources to enable success, the long term value you can create is exponential. In other words, by not delegating and elevating we become the bottleneck.

Running a business is ultimately about freedom. The Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS) enables business leaders to get their company moving in sync and create something significant, realizing their vision for the business. EOS is a blueprint for building a growth-focused company. If you own a business and are feeling bottlenecked, frustrated, stuck or unhappy, there are a number of steps you can take today.

Next Steps

Written by Dean Breyley

This post originally appeared on the Grow or Die Blog on April 19, 2018.