The art of letting go

Every single organization, team, leadership/ management training or conference I have been part of , there is always this discussion about building the next level leadership and letting go. While there is much talk, there is not as much action. Insecurity creeps in – the fear of losing one’s own importance, then procrastination – there is still time for it!, and so on. For whatever reasons, it doesn’t seem to be as simple as it seems on those colourful  charts up our pinboard or reminders down in our diaries.

While I was doing my course at IIMB, and planning to take up more of a mentoring role at YFS, by building the next level leadership team, I was discussing with my Coach Ms. AB how this one aspect that people talk so much about, is the least attempted. While everybody feels they are fiercely intent on doing it, the same is not visible in the steps taken.  Ms. AB, who is known for making the hardest things seem extremely simple said: ‘It all lies in trust . If you trust a person, you wouldn’t find it hard to let go and let them take the reins.’ It seemed interesting! Why was it so difficult then? She asked me to keep a watch during the upcoming meetings on whom I trusted most, and if I didn’t, why was it difficult to do so.

Let alone our teams, even in the confines of our home, we find it difficult to let go because we expect everyone to perform tasks just the way we do them. The expectations are not only in degree, but in kind too. We expect people to deliver results, and deliver them by following the means and paths we did. And this leads to our root cause of not trusting them to don our role.

Is your Rasam browner than mine? May be it’s not right then. 😉 , if I have to draw a simple analogy. 😀

This lesson has actually helped me. Things may not go on the same way, and to the same extent once we take a backseat. But as long as they are going well, what’s the harm? Someone might even do better than us!

I read this beautiful letter penned by Larry and Sergey when they handed over the ropes to Sundar Pichai. How many emotions would they have gone through to relinquish something so valuable, so popular! These words in their letter just goes to show what true leaders are made of :

Today, in 2019, if the company was a person, it would be a young adult of 21 and it would be time to leave the roost. While it has been a tremendous privilege to be deeply involved in the day-to-day management of the company for so long, we believe it’s time to assume the role of proud parents—offering advice and love, but not daily nagging!

It’s easy to talk about putting the organization above oneself, and the cause above everything. There are people who live by them, and lead us from the front. May we be them, and raise them. 🙂


  1. Linked to your post when I realized how we write about different things, and yet there is a layer in common
    Will come back and read all the other posts.


  2. Great perspective indeed! our pursuit of perfection and of doing things the perfect (our) way, and the illusion of control are things we are better off without.. but realization does come in late in many cases and not at all in many others 😐 Thanks for sharing this!!


Hum along :)

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