Co-founder and CEO, Driftless Glen Distillery (food and beverage)
"We're transparent in front of the entire team: who's working on what, when is it due, what issues are they having? We go over it in weekly meetings, and I've noticed it makes everyone want to do better at their jobs. No one wants to be the slacker or the one to drop the ball."
No. 316 2018 rank | 1,561% growth | $2M revenue
Co-founder and CEO, Fundera (financial services)
"You can't have a one-size-fits-all approach to delegation. If I'm talking to a junior-level person, I get prescriptive: Here's exactly what you need to do and here's how to do it. But for a senior person, that's a time suck--and stifling. Explain what needs to get accomplished, and then let them figure out how to get it done. You hired those people to bring great ideas to the table, not to follow your every micromanaging instruction."
No. 69 2018 rank | 4,336% growth | $8.8M revenue
Founder and CEO, Clean Energy Solutions (energy)
"The first thing I do when I sit down with an employee is open my notebook and write their name and the date at the top of a page. Then, when we follow up, I flip open the notebook and know exactly where we left off, what they're supposed to do, what the time frame is--and I know they watched me get it all down on paper. Taking notes cuts through a lot of BS."
No. 70 2018 rank | 4,331% growth | $4.7M revenue
Founder and CEO, Pawstruck (retail)
"Task-management software makes delegation feel less like a full-time job and more like something you can do in a few minutes. I use Asana to see my employees' tasks and what they've accomplished and when, and then I can assign some things on the fly without a meeting. I've found recurring tasks have the highest ROI: I get as granular as possible, even shooting a quick video of exactly how to do something, and then attaching the guide so it's always there."
No. 87 2018 rank | 3,891% growth | $4.1M revenue
Co-founder and CEO, Shefit (retail)
"React by learning rather than micromanaging. After one person's departure, we found out nothing we'd delegated was being done. So we learned to vet new talent beyond belief--do your references vouch that you have follow-through, that you're accountable? You don't wish for something like that to happen, but it made me a better delegator and wound up being pivotal to the company's growth."
No. 154 2018 rank | 2,770% growth | $3M revenue
Rankings and data are taken from the 2018 Inc. 5000: Growth is calculated from 2014 to 2017; revenue is from 2017.