The Benefits of Relinquishing Control

According to Paul B. Brown, contributor to Forbes, “There are many different ways of being a CEO and unfortunately a majority of people gravitate toward the old command and control model where the boss’ fingerprints can be found on everything” (Brown, 2014.) Micromanaging in the name of getting rich can be extremely time-consuming and exhausting for a busy entrepreneur. Yet, some find it very difficult to let go of the reigns, even if it means building social capital, human capital, and financial capital for a business. Each of those resources are pertinent for a growing venture to continue to thrive. Greed can be a treacherous human flaw—one that has left many business founders broke and wishing they had done things differently from the beginning.

Jim Payne, former CEO of MoPub said it best, “You can hoard the whole pie for yourself, but it’s a team sport you’re playing” (Shontell, 2014.) With this mindset, Payne not only set himself up for success, but he also set his employees up for success. He allowed those employees to contribute their own ideas and to buy stock in the company. When Twitter finally bought the organization for a hefty price tag of $350,000, many of those employees acquired an enormous amount of wealth, along with Payne. A very valuable lesson can be learned here. It is safe to say the company most likely would not have grown to be worth such a substantial amount if he had gone the route of ignoring the rich amount of human, social, and financial capital his employees had to offer. If more entrepreneurs followed Payne’s model, we could see a significant increase in successful startups in this country and around the world soon.

So, what does this mean for me and others as we work toward our Masters of Entrepreneurship degree? It means a lot. We can see that the trend of being the bearer of the first and final word and being the one who wants to hoard every dime does not always pay off in the end. As a matter of fact, just the opposite is true. But if we follow Payne’s example and the examples of others like him, we stand a very good chance of getting off on the right foot the first time, or even the next time, we decide to create a startup.


Brown, Paul B. “Want To Build A Successful Company? Give Up Control.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 16 Apr. 2014,

Shontell, Alyson. “How 3 Startup CEOs Gave Up Fortunes To Turn Half Their Employees Into Millionaires.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 4 Sept. 2014,


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