If you want people to grow - you have to let go“You don’t understand,” I said partly in jest, “It has nothing to do with their fear of change. It’s ALL my own insecurities.” As soon as I heard the words leave my mouth, even though I was meaning them to bring humour, I knew they were true.

I was trying to work out what my role should be in Agoge, the social business I founded and own. Hearing these words changed everything. I realised that so much of my identity and status and self-esteem was tied to being the leader.

And allowing my insecurities to win, would eventually lead us to lose.

This week Jim Grafas, was promoted to CEO of Agoge. I couldn’t be more excited to see a person who I trust and who is an amazing friend take the role. More importantly he is a phenomenal leader who people love to work with, who deeply cares for people, and who passionately believes in Agoge’s vision of People Matter ∴ Do Good.

I will tell you something else about Jim. He doesn’t yet know everything he needs to know to be CEO, which means he will make mistakes. Which is exactly how he will grow.

If I allowed my insecurities to stop me stepping out of the way. Then I not only stop myself growing, I stop Jim, and the amazing team beneath him from growing as well.

If you want people to grow, you have to let go.

Since having the insight about my own insecurities, it’s amazing how often I have heard it in others. So many leaders and managers and even parents are holding great people back, purely because they won’t let go.

Our role is to help people grow into the best possible version of themselves.

We don’t do that by holding on.

We do it by letting go.

If you want people to grow, you have to let go.


Finally in case you’re interested. I haven’t retired. I’m now the MD of Agoge and still passionate and emotionally invested in its future. I’ve also teamed up with Vivek to co-found a new social business, that aims to have the same ethos and purpose that Agoge does, but solve a different problem.