How to Coach Your Team to Become Self-reliant

Feb 3, 2023 | Listen

How to Coach Your Team to Become Self-reliant

When your employees depend on to make every decision and come up with every solution, you have less time for business growth. This is why it’s vital to build a self-reliant team, giving them the skills and confidence to be independent so they can troubleshoot issues and make sound decisions.

When they can deliver results under minimal supervision, you’re free to focus on crucial business areas that propel your business toward its expansion goals.

In this episode, our guest Lauren Goldstein and I talk about how you can grow a team that can work independently and effectively.

Timestamps for this week’s episode

In this week’s episode, we discuss:

  • 03:23 The main obstacles to having self-reliant team members in your business

  • 07:45 What to ask and what to look for when recruiting players vs. worker bees?

  • 11:25 The “Four C’s” you want to use in your business

  • 27:52 How can you make your team self-reliant so they can run things independently?

  • 34:43 Actionable step to take in the next week to develop self-reliant team members?

The main obstacles to having self-reliant team members in your business

There are two main obstacles to having a self-reliant team:

1. Entrepreneurs think when they’re building a team, they need somebody just like them to do it.

However, the key is to have people whose strengths are your weaknesses, who can, can kind of level you out and make sure that the things that you’re blind to, they can actually see.

2. Entrepreneurs tend to hire “worker bees” or task-based workers because they think they need employees to simply check off operational tasks.

However, especially in lean and smaller teams, it’s critical to have “players” because these employees think strategically, has a plan, are project-based, and have the autonomy you’re looking for.

It's key to have people whose strengths are your weaknesses. [People] who can level you out and make sure that the things that you're blind to they can actually see.

What to ask and what to look for when recruiting players vs. worker bees?

To find a player, start with clarity around the role, and we have our Scorecard tool to help you plug in a job description.

You need to think about the role, what talents and accountabilities are required, and then get clear on the mission of the role vs. just listing down the skills or experiences needed. This will attract “players” because they are very project and mission-based; they want to know that they are making a difference in the business.

When interviewing, you can ask specific questions to determine if you have a worker bee or a player.

An example is, “How would you hit our goal of increasing our lead generation by x amount to y over the next six months? What’s your plan?”

Players will break down their plans or discuss how they did something similar in their previous positions. On the other hand, Worker Bees will say something like, “Oh, I’m happy to do whatever you would like me to do”, or “What did the person who had this role before do?”

“I see many entrepreneurs struggle with the realization that they’re a business owner, not an operator. And so you’ve got to elevate out of the trenches into that visionary leader and CEO, which is sometimes very hard to give up control.” – Lauren Goldstein

The “Four C’s” you want to use in your business

The four C’s are:

1. Clarity

Being very clear as to what is needed in the role.

2. Capability

What are the innate talents of your prospect?

Does the person have the DNA to be capable and successful in the role?

3. Capacity

If your employees are at capacity, check if you are giving them too much-unrelated work or if the expectations around deliverables or dates are unrealistic.

4. Communication

Are you getting any feedback from your people?

Are you also aware of how your people process information? Some need to go and process data internally first, while others do so externally. Knowing how your team communicates with themselves and the team as a whole can set them up for success and keep them going on the best path.

When I see entrepreneurs get trapped in the trenches, it's mostly because they've accidentally made themselves an irreplaceable linchpin, where the team doesn't feel comfortable moving forward unless they talk to you first.

How can you make your team self-reliant so they can run things independently?

  • Determine who on your team are the players versus the worker bees.
  • Don’t directly manage any worker bees. Always have a player in between.
  • If you have a worker bee costing you too much time and revenue, let them go and hire a part-time player.
  • Be really clear and open about everything. If you have mismatched expectations, that creates frustration, which leads to resentment, and once you or your team start to resent each other, there’s no coming back from that.

“There’s almost nothing that you can’t clean up. And if you build the right team, they’ll clean it up for you or learn from it.” – Lauren Goldstein

Actionable step to take in the next week to develop self-reliant team members?

Go and audit your team. Identify your players and worker bees and get the lay of the land.

Take a hard look at your team and make sure everyone’s clear on why they’re here, how they’re helping the business, and what they’re held accountable for.


  • Entrepreneurs need to hire people who are different from them to have a broader scope and other points of view. They also need to know the difference between hiring players vs. worker bees.
  • To attract players, be clear about the mission and check to see if they provide the correct answers when vetting them.
  • Clarity, Capability, Capacity, and Communication are the “Four C’s” that can help you find self-reliant people or players for your business.
  • Be clear, always choose and work with players, and align expectations.
  • Take some time to audit your team this week to get started on how you can encourage them to become more self-reliant.


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About guest – Lauren Goldstein

Founder, CEO, and The Business Doctor

Golden Key Partnership

Lauren Goldstein is the founder and CEO of the award-winning and globally recognized boutique business consulting firm, Golden Key Partnership, and has been helping business owners achieve true entrepreneurial freedom since 2011.

She does this by helping them optimize their team and operations so they can successfully transition from day-to-day business “operator” into business owner – running their business instead of the other way around.

The secret to her client’s success is her focus on team + ops; revenue + leverage; leadership + mindset.

Her clients lovingly call her “The Biz Doctor” (which also happens to be the name of her podcast) because her superpower is helping highly specialized, 7-figure service-based entrepreneurs uncover what is keeping them stuck in the “trenches” of their business.

Bottom line, Lauren helps you have a business that can sustainably grow without you feeling like it is all on you – and one that when you decide to take that deserved vacation, it runs without you having to worry!

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Podcast | The Biz Doctor –


Unlock your team’s potential, collaboration, and communication so your business will blossom and you can get out from under the mountain of busyness.

Bullseye Hiring:

Get the exact formula to proactively hire with ease and clarity so stop wasting countless hours of time interviewing and hiring the “wrong” people

About host – Kathy Svetina

Kathy Svetina is a Fractional CFO for growing small businesses with $10M+ in annual revenue.

Clients hire her when they’re unsure about what’s going on in their finances, are stressed out by making financial decisions, or need to structure their finances to keep up with their growth.

She solves their nagging money mysteries and builds a financial structure with a tailored financial strategy. That way they can grow in a financially healthy and sustainable way.

Kathy is based in Chicago, IL and works with clients all over the US.

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