The Bottle Neck is Always at the Top of the Bottle

Clark Neuhoff Execution

Bottleneck, logjam, ran aground… lots of metaphors for things not moving forward.  We’ve all been there, and once you realize it’s happened, you immediately start looking for ways to get UN-stuck.  This is what we do in helping private business owners implement the EOS Process in their businesses so they can gain traction and begin moving forward again to get what they want from their business.

While there are many ways that organizations get stuck it is often the natural result of growth where the organization outgrows whatever systems, resources or people that got them to where they are.  Gino Wickman in the Entrepreneurial Operating System, EOS® identifies five core leadership abilities that the leaders of every growing business must master, in order to break through whenever they get stuck.  They are Simplify, Delegate, Predict, Systemize and Structure.

At a recent gathering of the EOS Implementer community one of my fellow Implementers pointed out a blinding flash of the obvious.  “Have you ever noticed that the bottleneck is always at the top of the bottle?” Huh?!!  So you’re saying that I might be the problem?  Well, frankly, yes.  We all have gifts and its those very special gifts of entrepreneurs that create new business and opportunities but at some point, the entrepreneur needs to bring in some help and an organization is born.  We hand off certain functions to others so that we can re-focus back to what we do best.  This is Delegating.  The issue is when we try to hold on to too much and we won’t let go of some things. We become the bottleneck.  We all reach a point where we just can’t do it all.

There are lots of reasons we leaders do this, some even sound noble… I wouldn’t ask my people to do anything that I wouldn’t do.  Or its quicker to just do it myself… takes too long to train them… and the list goes on.  In How To Be A Great Boss by Gino Wickman and Rene’ Boer they explain a simple yet powerful tool called Delegate and Elevate™.  Here is how it works. First track everything you do over the next week or two.  Then place each task in one of four quadrants; Love to do / Great at; Like to do / Good At; Don’t like / but Good at; Don’t like / Not Good at (why would anybody spend time there??!!). Now begin to delegate things we don’t like and aren’t good at.

You will be amazed and your team will thank you.  Productivity will go up, people will learn new skills and things will get flowing again.  To download the FREE How to be a Great Boss Toolkit that includes Delegate and Elevate plus seven other powerful people tools, go to