In my experience, life’s primary battles are fought in the space between our two ears. It is the battle of the mind.

The freedom of owning my own business is one that I cherish.  At times, however, this great responsibility feels a lot like bondage. As a matter fact, my accountant, Nancy Givens, says that the number one reason people close or sell their business is not because the business failed – but because they are emotionally exhausted and tired of the fight.  

This why I am so passionate about the importance of what I call “release leadership.”  I learned that I cannot do everything that needs to be done alone. My organization is better because of our great people. They bring in ideas, they solve problems, and they can see around the corner – contributing new ways to grow our business.  I must extend trust to them, give them the benefit of the doubt, believe in them, affirm them, encourage them, and create a safe culture to share their ideas.  I also allow them to make mistakes. This has been nothing short of a thrilling experience for me, as I stand back and see my staff blossom.

A critical component to release leadership and high trust culture is ACCOUNTABILITY!  Accountability is the glue that holds the team together. Each member of our team is each required to set annual, quarterly and monthly SMART goals that are approved by their mentor.  This goal-setting approach has worked very well, resulting in:

  • Sense of ownership: The team member determines the goals, not the boss.
  • Develops habits and discipline:  Staff members must complete goal-setting to become eligible for a company bonus each quarter.
  • Increases communication:  Scheduled communications with mentors is key, as unexpected circumstances arise and appropriate adjustments must be made to goals.
  • Creates a self-directed release culture:  No micro-managing is required.
  • Taps into the imagination and vision of our team.


“The most important assets that human beings possess are imagination and vision.” 

~Matthew Harkness

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