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Control Versus Freedom: The Most Important Balance In Business Leadership

Control Versus Freedom: The Most Important Balance In Business Leadership



As a business owner, you will often find yourself at a fork in the road. You will ask yourself, “Which direction will benefit my business to the fullest? Left or right?” Coming up with the answer and making the decision is never easy, but having a strong, supportive team makes it a lot less stressful. When the time comes to make these decisions, do not panic. Think out loud and then logically make the decision. Here are a few companies that have properly dealt with making the toughest decisions they had to make as business owners.

1. Hammerhead 17


Hammerhead is navigation in motion. It is a smart tool that effortlessly guides cyclists to and through the safest and most enjoyable bike routes with intuitive light patterns. The app drives the device via Bluetooth from a safely stowed smartphone. Get the information that you need through the corner of your eye, and keep your eyes safely on the road. Discover the world around you on the bike. Create great routes and share them with the community. Compete in real time. Enjoy the ride.


“You can’t control everyone, time and bandwidth is so limited so you let people do what they do best. We have built a miraculous team of brilliant people who trust each other to do their part in our growth.“ - Jon Morgan, Head of Operations

2. ElectricCloud 10


Electric Cloud powers continuous delivery. They help organizations developing mobile, embedded systems and enterprise web/IT applications deliver better software faster by automating and accelerating build, test, and deployment processes at scale. Industry leaders like Qualcomm, SpaceX, Cisco, GE, Gap, and E*TRADE use Electric Cloud solutions and services to boost DevOps productivity and Agile throughput.


“If you build a common and shared understanding across the organization, as well as a clear understanding of the business goals, you can alleviate your need from supervising the day-to-day. Rather, empower the trusted leaders that you have put in place to run the business successfully.“ - Steve Brodie, CEO

3. SourceTrace Systems 6

SourceTrace Systems

SourceTrace provides transaction solutions systems to industries working in critical sectors of developing economies including agriculture, financial services and retail. The SourceTrace eServices Everywhere™ (ESE™) platform leverages existing mobile and wireless data networks to allow companies to capture transactional information at the source — even in remote locations with minimal or no telecommunication infrastructure. SourceTrace leverages remote data capture middleware and hardware in an on-demand, hosted, web-based ASP model to provide 360° visibility of any number of data sources around the globe. The flexibility of the ESE™ platform architecture allows SourceTrace to customize applications for the requirements of any market, agricultural crop, business practice or process. ESE™ applications can be managed either from the cloud or locally inside your organization.

“As a startup we can’t have a lot of bureaucracy, but we do have a few hard rules that everyone must follow. In addition, we have continual communication between all employees--I ask for everybody to constantly update me with short messages rather than weekly summaries, this allows me to provide support and intervene quickly if they are heading down the wrong path.“ - Dr. Venkat Maroju, CEO

4. Thoughtbot 2


Thoughtbot is a consulting firm of about 100 people with 10 offices around the US and Europe. They are focused on user experience, Ruby on Rails (web apps), and iOS (mobile apps). Their clients are any organization creating a new product or service under conditions of uncertainty. They are optimistic and ambitious. They want customer feedback and rapid prototypes. They know designing great products is hard and achieving product-market fit is time-consuming and expensive.


“We have built our business around transparency and with as little hierarchy as possible. I, along with my other executives, all focus a good portion of our time on coding, in addition to the management duties we have. In addition, we have a democratic process for change within our office policies and environment.“ - Chad Pytel, CEO

5. Free Agent Academy 2

Free Agent Academy

Free Agent Underground is about self-employment, aka 'free agency'. Being free is not just about work, it’s about life. People pursue self-employment because they believe in living life fully and purposefully, and it's immensely hard to do that...as an employee.


“Freedom for me is the ultimate goal and success in business. It is what I teach and believe in to provide success and happiness in life and career.” - Kevin Miller, Founder

6. Clavis Insight 1

Clavis Insight

Grocery shopping is changing around the world as more and more consumers turn to online stores to complete their weekly shopping. This means consumer packaged goods manufacturers need to change how they collaborate with the retail channel. Understanding how your products are represented in physical stores is no longer enough. To succeed in the multichannel world CPGs also need to get a handle on the digital channel. That’s where Clavis Insight steps in. Clavis is at the forefront of the grocery shopping eCommerce revolution, delivering eCommerce Insights and Online Store Audits to Food & Beverage, Personal Care, Baby Care, Pet Care and Household Products brand leaders around the world. The insights are designed to enable you to optimize your distribution, content integrity and placement in the digital channel in order protect your brand online and grow your sales.


“We have designed our platform to help balance both autonomy and control within our customers business practices. We have given senior leadership the dashboards and KPI’s to to stay in control and make the right decisions, while at the same time, we allow business sectors to operate autonomously by always having the right data in front of them.“ - Supriya Chaudhury, CMO

7. Japan Intercultural 0

Japan Intercultural

Japan Intercultural Consulting is an international training and consulting firm focused on Japanese business. They help clients increase profitability and employee engagement through improved communication and working relationships in multicultural environments.  In addition, they provide training, teambuilding, and executive coaching services. After working with them, their clients are better able to achieve their business goals.


“Bring people onto the team that you truly trust--this is the key to successfully delegate critical tasks and grow your business.” - Rochelle Kopp, Managing Principal

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