As you make decisions about the great people who join your team, you need to give them the right tools to perform at their peak. The employees you hire to do what you can't or don't want to do are not copies of you. Liberated CEOs hire qualified professionals to perform essential high-level duties. They nurture employees, respect their roles, and give them autonomy to perform those roles.

This is also achieved by supporting staff with smart processes that managers and staff co-create and document in checklists. This step derives from my view that each employee in your business should have guidelines for the day-to-day and week-to-week processes of their job. I see this as akin to the preflight checklists used by pilots in air or sea.

I'm not suggesting that businesses create more procedure manuals that employees return to the shelf after they have earned their wings. This is something different. When a pilot prepares for a trip, she does not use the preflight checklist to learn how to do something. She uses it because it will remind her of everything that needs to happen to ensure the flight is safe and predictable.

Checklists allow the pilot to be well prepared ahead of time with the information they will need to make good aeronautical decisions—that is to perform the work they are uniquely suited for, flying a plane. (See Figure 4.1.) They also allow the pilot to go over key functionality after the flight has ended. If a pilot waits ...

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