Simple Strategies to Tap the Power of Letting Go
Letting go feels like losing control.
Let go to extend capacity, increase energy, and enhance fulfillment, for yourself and for others.
It’s time to let go when:
- Fear of losing control keeps nagging.
- No one can do it as good as you and talent is under-utilized.
- Opportunities slip through your fingers.
Letting go isn’t:
- Giving up.
- Shirking responsibility.
- Passive acquiescence.
Letting go is process not conclusion:
Growth always includes letting go.
It’s difficult to let go, because we usually wait too long. Begin the process by asking new questions.
Stop asking: “What do I need to do?”
- Who can do what I’m doing – 80% as good as I’m doing it?
- Where am I slowing, rather than energizing, the process.
- What can I do that no one else can do?
- Who has capacity and desire to learn new roles?
Letting go is:
- Exploring exponential capacity. Don’t let go because you’re busy. Let go because you have new dreams.
- Daring to imagine yourself through new eyes.
- Replacing yourself so others can move forward.
- Allowing space for others to earn new roles, opportunities, and responsibilities.
- Sharing power. Two people cannot have equal power over the same thing.
Letting go is stepping toward vision-driven growth.
7 things that enable the process of letting go:
- Identify functional roles or responsibilities you are letting go.
- Define new roles and relationships.
- Make it a fluid process, especially at the beginning. Avoid boxes that limit possibilities.
- Explore how you will treat each other in the process of letting go and taking up.
- Set boundaries. If you are releasing financial decision-making, set guidelines and limits, for example.
- Evaluate as you go, not after.
- Set deadlines. You may tend to hang on too long.
Tip: Make goals visible. “I’m learning to let go of some functional roles so that our organization can grow.”
What’s important about learning to let go?
How might leaders learn to let go in appropriate ways?
Input on letting go from Facebook fans.
Thank you for the simple brilliance of this post!
Thank you David!
I love “replacing yourself so others can move forward.”
Thanks Emily. For me, letting go has purpose when I think of it as creating opportunities for others.
“imagining yourself in new roles.. ”
Agree! Our self-talk becomes an imprint.
“I’m a salesguy” .. I’m an engineer” .. I’m a CEO” .. “I’m a Pastor”
some of the most effective folks I know have crossed career paths.. a few multiple times!
The experience of an alternate environment can add insight, if we can let go of our own image..
Thanks Ken. You took this idea beyond roles to our image of ourselves. Powerful!!
Imagine YOURSELF in new ways.
Letting go requires a change in my work and responsibilities. The change is a huge growth opportunity, which will further develop capacity. Letting go requires thoughtful and intentional strategies.
Thanks Michaelv. You make it practical when you say, “change in work and responsibilities.” Things can’t stay the same if we are really letting go.
it’s like being in water and holding a weight – once we let go, we are no longer anchored in place.
Thanks Bill. Love the mental image!
Letting go is a choice. It is the first step in taking control . . . IF letting go is the right choice.
Happy Tuesday! 🙂
Thanks Dianna. Your big “IF” is important. We should hang on to some things.
When I was in post-graduate school, one of my university professors sent me off to New York to work for a very tough business-owner of Hickey-Freeman suits. The afternoon I arrived—even before I had a chance to unpack my one suitcase—this business-owner’s philosophy was FIRE, Ready, Aim. I was to get in there and deal with his customers. There was no training. I had never sold anything in my life.
I felt totally out of my element and out of control. I thought to myself, why on earth would he want me to do this? Here’s what I learned over the next few days and weeks. Once we’re in the game, we learn. If we’re always on the sideline or in an office thinking, planning, ruminating, getting ready–we can miss the chance to learn, grow and respond to life, living, being, and doing—and we are not in control: The marksman hits the mark partly by pulling, mostly by letting go.
The power of action is part of the discovery process. For the improviser it is Ready, FIRE, aim. We begin even before there is a plan. The action of what we do moves us forward and gives us even more information about how to proceed. The doing itself becomes the teacher and guide. “Just doing it” makes it unnecessary to be motivated, to get ourselves together, or even feel like doing it. The key is to get up and let go.
This tough, wonderful businessman told and taught me lots of things, among them this adage: “Most of us cannot overlook the “broken gate” to see the “flowers” beyond the gate.” All we see, first, is the problem…not the opportunity or reward. We see “disorder” not the chance to put things in order.
He spoke to me about control and order: When life seems to be “out of control,” it’s because “things” are merely “out of order.” So, we simply have to put things in order to gain control again.
Nothing is as liberating as letting go. It frees the mind and fills it with opportunity.
Hi Belyew: Thanks for sharing your emotions and sentiments. I’m not sure this is the proper venue for a discussion of this kind, or whether I’m the most apt or appropriate person to make a comment. I just want you to know that—irrespective of your of your views and hardships and all that you seem to see or don’t see—YOU ARE NOT ALONE. People care. We care. I care about what you are going through—even if we don’t share the same perspectives. There is a Divine Presence and He is everywhere…with you, all around you, and especially IN you. And He cares. Blessed are the hearts that can and will bend; they shall never be broken. Please do not forget God, love and forgiveness in your life. The real crime of love and life is forgetting God. Peace, grace (favor) and blessings be to you, Belyew.
sometimes i can’t let go of certain things from what i have been through. like crooked cops ruining my family for their steak on the table and job security.
Thanks belyew. Although this post focuses on letting go of behaviors, practices, and beliefs that hold us back, letting go of offenses is an important part of learning to let go. I’m glad you brought it up and sad that you have faced injustice.
Love “Let go because you have new dreams.” This really hits me today. The dreams have been coming clear–now time to ruminate on strategically letting go–or all that happens is adding more and really doing less!! Thanks Dan. I truly value your encouragement and insight!!
Another post that’s definitely aligned with a great notion; but I’m really struggling with the lists included!
With respect to ‘Ask’: “Why have I resisted letting go?” ‘Letting go’ is really, to me, the last two of the five items. And, sorry, but the last list of seven make no sense to me…
Excellent post. The ability to delegate is a key for leadership growth. Leaders who don’t let go and delegate limit not only their own future, but also the futures of those they lead.
Struggling through the process right now. It would be easier to maintain the status quo but it has become painfully evident that learning to let go is what is needed to grow the business as well as personally.