"Communicating bad news. When it comes to missing numbers, aspects of the business that failed or didn't perform, or removing somebody, even though we want to empower our people, I don't want to delegate that. I prefer they hear bad news from the CEO. It gives our people a sense that there's leadership at the top and that we don't run away from things when they're challenging."

Ahmass Fakahany CEO, Altamarea Group (food & beverages)
No. 4,298 2016 Inc. 5000 Rank
63% 3-year growth
$65.7M 2015 revenue

"Some people hire formulators for their brands. That's something I would never outsource. I am intimately involved in the formulation of every product, in all aspects, and I think that goes along with keeping consistency of the brand and not letting someone dilute that."

Doug Miller CEO, Core Nutritionals (health)
No. 985 2016 Inc. 5000 Rank
407% 3-year growth
$2.3M 2015 revenue

What the Expert Says...

"When prioritizing what to delegate, ask yourself whose talents surpass your own in a given area. Then ask yourself what you enjoy doing most. What gets you excited? If you had four days free, where would you spend your time when no one's looking for you? Delegate the things you enjoy least to the people with the skills to handle them. A separate question is 'What am I best at?' Great CEOs all share one trait: a willingness to be vulnerable. They're self-aware about what they're good at and what they're not. Focus on what you do best and delegate the rest. It's a combination of recognizing your own gifts and talents plus the gifts and talents of your team."

Jason Hanold CEO, Hanold Associates (human resources)
No. 3,585 2016 Inc. 5000 Rank
87% 3-year growth
$5.3M 2015 revenue

"Gratitude. If I can thank someone for doing a good job, that makes so much more of a difference coming from me than if I were to tell his or her manager to thank the person for me. That sort of acknowledgment goes a long way."

John Stires Co-founder, Brooklyn Winery (food & beverages)
No. 3,433 2016 Inc. 5000 Rank
95% 3-year growth
$5.2M 2015 revenue

"Check signing and cash management. Every week, I look at cash on hand, accounts payable, accounts receivable, orders pending, orders shipped, and orders invoiced. If I see that, I know whether I have a business that's in trouble or a business that's growing."

Tracy Holland CEO, Hatchbeauty (consumer products & services)
No. 753 2016 Inc. 5000 Rank
530% 3-year growth
$59.1M 2015 revenue