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How I Fired Myself and Got My Unread Emails to Zero

One of the things I did in the last year and a half, that has allowed me to become a better leader, is I’ve let go of my control on emails. My Chief of Staff runs through my inbox every day and triages, answers, and lets me know what requires my eyes.

Clutch Your Pearls

Did you just clutch your pearls? I know the thought of giving up the control of something as important as email is scary. It is petrifying! 😫 I get you, though. Cuz that was me, and that is often still me. But it is NECESSARY.

Today, I go in my inbox and I had ONE unread email. ONE unread email. My soul said YES, because I can now go do other things that will affect the business’ bottom line in the positive. And I know what is urgent is handled.

Zero Inbox Meme

Here are a few lessons I’ve learned in the process:

  • Cultivating TRUST in team members is key, so they can be handed keys
  • Relinquishing control to the right people is rewarding 
  • The most productive leaders are backed and supported by incredible team members. We’re able to do what we do because we don’t do it alone

My Chief of Staff started as my assistant two years ago. When she first came onboard, I saw how she handled everything she had on her plate with a level head, excellence and unbotheredness. I kept increasing the stakes on what I had her take care of. She kept rising to the occasion. Over and over again, she showed me that she can handle what I need her to. She was also taking initiative, and not just waiting to be delegated to. 

My biggest fear about relinquishing control of something as important as my inbox is that major balls will be dropped if I’m not in everything. That fear had me in a chokehold. 😭

But get this: major balls are being dropped when I’m in EVERYTHING BECAUSE I don’t have capacity to maintain it all myself. I let it go. 

My Chief of Staff now has her OWN assistant, who is also incredible. And together, they are a power team. One of my company’s core values is: “Team is a verb, we collaborate and support each other without shame or judgment.” And that’s what I continue to try to build.

No Shame

Oh and the very practical thing you need to do to make this all work: have people sign NDAs (non-disclosure agreements)

Lemme also say: TEAM BUILDING has been one of my biggest challenges as a CEO. I often do not get it right, and I call in reinforcements because people management is HARD. It is my weak spot. I’m better than I used to be but it’s not my forté. I know my flaws.

But this is one thing that has truly changed the game for me in countless ways. Most of the time, it’s not even me saying “Yes” or “No” to engagements. My Chief of Staff knows my bandwidth and my values (and my calendar), and I trust her yeses and her nos.

It is so important to have people on your team that you can rely on. It makes the weight that you carry as a visionary so much lighter.

Thank you, Tiff!!! 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾


FIRE YOURSELF. It’s not just what I did but it’s the title of chapter 12 of my book Professional Troublemaker. I go deeper into this concept in there so pick it up everywhere books are sold!

I talk about the importance of firing yourself in my post on Instagram and check out the video I made about it here.

Grab a Copy of PT

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