At a recent Thursday afternoon yoga class at The Alias Group’s Wellness Center, our yoga instructor Alyson urged everyone to practice deep breathing and exhale all the “baggage” we no longer needed or wanted in our lives. Just as trees shed their leaves in the fall, we all would do well to consider this type of periodic reflection to shed the unnecessary or unproductive things in our lives.
For many, there are likely a myriad of items—both physical and mental—that would be on the list of unnecessary baggage. In that recent yoga class, the concept of purging personal baggage struck me as both liberating and refreshing. After further consideration, it was clear that Alyson’s lesson can also be extended into the workplace.
The lesson was very similar to a phrase heard around our office that has been the backbone of our management philosophy: “In order to grow, you have to let go.” Here is how this phrase fits our organization—and how it could fit many other growing companies.
As organizations grow in size and employees are added, it is a common practice to promote from within and backfill with a person of lesser experience. There is always a transition period and learning curve associated with a new role. Unfortunately, the transition phase can be a nebulous, frustrating period of time if management does not give a newbie enough latitude to learn and develop their individual, unique approach to the job function.
Oftentimes, the previous job holder does not “let go” of information and critical tasks because of their own emotional dependency on perceived status, control, or job security. There may be a lack of confidence that others will be able to adequately handle the new responsibilities bestowed upon them. Without a doubt, it takes a mature and secure person to embrace the fact that someone else is assuming their role and may do things differently. Providing thoughtful support and guidance always helps the efficient transition of responsibilities from one person to another.
The same concept of “letting go to grow” can also be used to describe any company’s periodic review of their business partners and clients. Sometimes, the best way for a business to grow is to stop doing business with companies that are hogging your time, delivering minimal growth, or returning declining margins. Even more impressive are companies that “let go” of their business model and reinvent themselves to stay relevant in an ever-changing business environment. The difference here is that “letting go” organizationally requires broad strategic agreement across an entire management team that MUST be committed to a new tomorrow. While “letting go” so dramatically is certainly not easy, company-wide reinvention seems to be more prevalent today than ever before.
It is interesting to think about the correlation of a message delivered in a yoga class to the reinvention of individuals and companies. But the message fits and it is very true. Time to go breathe deeply and think of what baggage you can let go of so you can grow more freely.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Patterson is the President and CEO of The Alias Group, a company devoted to helping businesses grow through inside sales and digital marketing. The company has been active for more than 25 years and works to bring customized, individual sales and marketing solutions to clients and continues to emphasize growth on both sides of their company/client relationship.
He got his start by building on the successes of his father's sales and distribution company, expanding into more aspects of industrial sales and adding an entire marketing division. As the company grew, the sales and marketing services evolved into a new brand: The Alias Group. The company underwent significant improvements as it grew. The facility, technology, corporate structure, and culture evolved; internally, The Alias Group refined to a team structure, instituted an open PTO plan, and actively applied The Alias Group's core values: Unique Focus, Genuine Connection, and Deliver More.
Mike is dedicated to the company's work and steady expansion, but when he is away from the office, he’s enjoying travel, visiting Dewey beach with his wife and three sons, or spending time on the sidelines of sporting events (whether they are those of his sons or The Ravens).